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The IfL: why should we keep it in business?

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by Marley811, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. I wholeheartedly agree! Maybe you could kindly share your letter so more people can email or send theirs off?
    Do you have their contact details?
    I currently only teach 4 hours a week during term time so that means that I have to spend 3% of my annual income to be part of an organisation that does not benefit me in any way whatsoever...
    I'm relieved I'm not the only one feeling negatively about ifl - and that was before the introduction of their charges ...
  2. I wouldn't write to Michael Hayes, John might be a bit ****** off by that!
  3. they seem to be making good progress on QTLS and recognition in schools
    I quite like Reflect. but then I like techy stuff and eportfolios - have my students on pebble, wouldn't have thought about it if I hadn't used reflect
    I actually quite like getting the update email and policy stuff as it saves me reading around all sorts of topics
    oh and some of the case study stuff on the website is good
  4. You'll be getting a tidy little lot for your 68 quid then, cheflecturer. Saves you going to the trouble of doing stuff for yourself, by the sound of it. Nice one.
    Cardoon - great post. It seems to me that this is the perfect opportunity to get rid of the IfL. Don't pay, starve them of cash, watch them go down the pan, and that's the end of it...
    The problem with that - based on my own experience as an ex-member - is that the IfL will try to bully anybody who refuses to play along. When I left they wrote to me and basically said we'll write and tell your employer. In other words: we'll get you sacked if we can. And that from an organization that purported to represent my professional interests. Bullying, pure and simple, because they know their own jobs depend on members' fear of them. It would be pathetic - even funny - if it wasn't so outrageous. And now they want £68.00 a year in return for much of the same, presumably. I'm glad I'm out of it. They don't want members: they want milquetoasts, cowering in the corner.
    Thing is: who'd want anything to do with a body that behaved like that? Not me. I'm glad I left and at my college we're still waiting for that letter. It never arrived.

  5. It is absolutely essential that nobody pays anything to the IFL. When the whole crumbling edifice crashes there will be no claiming it back. Best wishes to all disgruntled teachers and educators(sorry for the tautology) this is something we can't afford to lose, the battle that is not the IFL.
    Is anyone questioning the legality on a human rights front? Could we be coerced into joining the BNP by the same tactics? That is of course rhetorical. Also why doesn't the IFL ever defend itself in the TES?
    All moot points.
  6. Please, if you are going to direct a reply to me then refrain from being down right rude and objectionable. I am more than happy to agree to disagree with a fellow professiona..... oh yes, sorry, there's the issue. Aaaaaaaaaargh look, I'm being dragged down to that level now.
    It's quite simple. I believe my teaching and what I learn from it is there to be shared with others and I want to learn from the experiences of my peers - foodies and others. The IfL has given me the chance to do that on a much bigger scale. I like 'reflect'. There are a group of chef teachers who share resources through it. None of which our respective colleges facilitate or support. I guess deep down it is a simple question of whether you view yourself as an insular teacher in your own little world and damn everyone else or if you see a bigger picture. I see a bigger picture. I will say what I think and I will not be browbeaten by someone who feels the only way to make a point is to belittle others.
    It's the big problem with an anonimous place like this - no control and no professional respect. Any surprises the people here hate the IfL - just look at how they act!
    If I pay my subs, and I'm damn sure I will, and you don't - I hope you do get sacked.
  7. Apologies cheflecturer. I had no right to let my feelings about the IfL become rudeness towards you. You make some good points about the benefits you've received from your IfL membership. A pity that posts like yours seem to be in the minority here. Perhaps if more members felt they were getting something for their money there wouldn't be the strength of feeling we're seeing (and have seen on previous threads)...
    Anyone else had the same positive experiences with the IfL that cheflecturer has?
  8. I actually agree with the principle of an obligatory professional body, but I expect my employer to pay for it since they are the principle beneficiary, with the cost ultimately passed onto students as part of course fees.
    My suggestion is that we should all attempt to claim the membership fee as expenses.
    Alternatively we could refuse to teach classes until the students have all chipped in their share. Probably would be about 75p each in my case.
    No. And there is the problem. IfL has not delivered anything of use.
    The QTS/QTLS parity issue is a red herring. Even if it were achieved, it would not put one more penny in FE lecturers' pay packets.
  9. shirtandtie's posting, humorous though it is, raises some interesting issues. I had some thoughts along these lines myself.
    I assume the first suggestion - that the employer pay the fee - might be possible in an FE college. The number of its members of staff may be much smaller than in an LEA adult education outfit, which may employ a large number of part-time tutors across a county. I've done a quick computation of the cost to the employers of paying the IfL fee (as expenses or not) for tutors in my neck of the wood and it's a pretty hefty figure. Getting on for £300,000. Not on, I think.
    As for raising it through course fees: for the last few years, LEA adult education class fees have risen well over the rate of inflation. Government policy has been to reduce central funding progressively with the aim of ensuring that classes will soon be entirely self-financing. So if you have ambitions of poddling along to an evening of watercolour painting when you are retired, get ready for an unpleasant surprise when you see the fees. I'm not sure in these circumstances that the students would be eager to stump up a contribution to the salary of the IfL's CEO.
    No, I can't see an alternative to us all shelling out. Or not, in my case. Hopefully with thousands of others.
  10. No positive experiences, I'm afraid. I teach Tai Chi and used to run 11 sessions weekly for 2 separate local authorities. I was forced to resign from one post because I didn't have my teaching file with me on an unannounced internal observation and was graded a 4 without the teaching even being observed for one minute. When I kicked up a fuss, I was told that I had committed a serious disciplinary offence, so I walked out. I set up the classes privately, took the students along and almost immediately was taking home twice my previous hourly rate plus no hours of paperwork and no hassle from 'Management' (who were really just a bunch of uber administrators suffering from OCD).
    As for the other post, I am whittling down the hours each year and hiring the halls privately. The students are happier and I feel more enthusiastic than I have in years. By September, I will teach just 1.5 hours a week for 30 weeks a year (this is a group of seriously disabled students to whom I feel very loyal). For that privilege, I am now being asked to contribute what will amount to over 13% of my annual income. Of course, it's ludicrous and in my subject, the IFL is of no benefit whatsoever. I shan't pay the fee. I don't like being bullied and I am confident that like most of my former colleagues, I can go it alone, make more money, be much more productive in the classroom and not have this deep seated anger and resentment within me.

  11. Exactly the future that I outlined in my original posting,Tate888 - LEA tutors walking away and setting up shop on their own. Really, who can blame you?
  12. LIke MrMandolin, I've also received a threatening letter from IfL. hated the whole illusion of optional membership (which was actually compulsory) only to find out I've signed up to do (yet more) out of hours admin.

    I hope the IfL sink.

    £68? I don't think so.
  13. That's close to 4,500 tutors - have you got the maths right?
  14. Whoops - you're quite right, cheflecturer, my maths is wrong there. Apologies!
  15. I would estimate the cost to my employer (an FE College) of paying IfL fees to be in the region of £30,000-£35,000 based on approximately 500 teaching staff.
    I know that the majority of FE Colleges will not pay the fees on behalf of their staff and many of the Colleges have it written into teaching staff contracts that IfL membership is a compulsory obligation.
    The way I say it, there will largely be two responses from FE Colleges. Those that say membership is voluntary and won't enforce the membership requirement, and those that say staff must pay the fees to be an IfL member and will enforce. Staff in the latter category will be subject to disciplinary for refusing to be a member of the IfL.

  16. I am not a member of IfL, but I can understand the feelings of those who do not agree with its imposition. However, if I were still teaching I would see IfL as a benefit and good value at £68 in terms of it conferring professional status and protecting me from un-licenced labour.
    I run a small plumbing firm and have spent years developing my skills, while providing quality services to the local community...for which they pay me and I am grateful. But the influx of the tens of thousands of newcomers into the industry, without recognised formal qualifications or experience has had a devastating affect - the public are losing trust in idependent local installers and instead buying insurance protection from AA, homeserve, etc. There is no protection over the title plumber, and when there is, through mandatory gas licence (Gas Safe), there is still very little entry criteria - e.g. a five day course and only 40 days of work experience, that its basically a free for all.
    Mandatory licencing in teaching protects those who have experience and qualifications, from unqualified teachers or instructors. I pay nearly £300 to register with Gas Safe, who do not protect me, in the same way that IfL protect FE lecturers, nor do they confer professional status.
    As for IfL, a visit to their web-site will result in some sort of learning about your profession. Some of the stuff on their demonstrates that IfL do have their hand on the pulse of FE, they have an incling of what is going on...click the link to the podcast for information on the Wolf Review of FE:
    This short pod-cast demonstrates to me, that IfL are right at the centre of issues that affect FE. They are also an emerging organisation, so perhaps need a little more time to develop a more democratic framework for deliberative solutions to membership problems. I think the key is working with organisations like IfL to try to voice your own disgruntlement to try to get things changed. But I accept this is easier said than done, given the responses so far.
  17. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    Sorry Simon, it may appear relevant to you, but to many "professionals" in FE it does not. A true professional body would be created and controlled by the members. IfL was created by the government on a whim, is NOT representative of the members, and ordinary members actually get no say in its running as they cannot be elected to any panel or stand for office. The state of play in my College was that we were already doing the CPD supposedly obtained for us by the IfL, and that there is now uproar at the idea of us paying for membership of a body that does nothing for us and is not even representative, and whose sister body (the GTC) has been disbanded. If Mr Gove were to add a tiny amendment to his educational quangos bill he could do us all a favour.
    I also object to receiving letters addressed to Dr Jacob MIFL, as I feel this denigrates the REAL qualifications that I do have and can put in a string after my name. MIFL is piffle.

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