IfL – again

I’ve recently received an email from IfL.

It’s wordy, but the crux of the content is that they have reduced their grotesquely inflated subscription for the year ahead. I will have to pay for two years in advance to receive the best discount but even yearly, the price is significantly reduced. It’s higher than last year, but that’s probably to be expected.

So what happens after two years?

Who knows, but IfL will certainly have to pull their socks up if they are not to receive the disdain and criticism hurled at them this year. The wordy email does acknowledge this, but we need to see immediate changes if anyone is to feel comforted by paying the new subscription.

They say:

“In the discussions and agreements reached with trade unions, employers and IfL, the following shared principles are supported by all parties:

  • A commitment to a professional, high status, qualified and regulated teaching workforce, recognising its importance for consistent quality of service to learners and employers, and for the good reputation of the sector.
  • The recognition of the value of having a flourishing, independent, professional membership body that is both accountable and relevant to its members.
  • The recognition of the importance of retaining a flexible and diverse workforce.
  • Fee policies need to ‘feel fair’ as well as being as clear and simple as possible.”

But that doesn’t tell me anything. Or am I being obtuse?

What would I like to see? Off the top of my head …

  • A monthly newsletter. NOT just an email, but a LINK in an email to a simple web page or .PDF document that has been thoughtfully laid out, is colourful, varied in content and relevant to the readership. It doesn’t have to all be about quality and ofsted. Perhaps a few guest contributors discussing current issues?
  • Nationwide and/or regional meetings for members to attend. It may be that members have to pay a small fee, but the meeting facilitators should deliver an inclusive programme that ‘involves’, ‘interests’, and ‘enthuses’ the attendees, is relevant to their needs and has elements of CPD that can be recorded.
  • A change to the way in which CPD recording is expected by IfL. Reflect works for many I know, but I suspect, not for most. If it’s a costly provision IfL – lose it and come up with a way of allowing members to record their training and personal development. Ask around, there are plenty of alternatives for blogging and hosting of sundry evidence
  • And that they use their ‘fellows’ more. I’ve had several phone calls from (I assume) consultants employed by IfL to find out if and if not, why not, I’d be renewing my membership and one even promised to ring me back (didn’t happen) – but no one has rung to ask what I can offer in the way of CPD input, either voluntarily or paid.

So, a cautious well done IfL, I suspect that when this very busy week is over, I will reconsider my intention not to renew. We’ll see.

I previously wrote about IfL elsewhere – see: http://saturdaywalks.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/ifl/.


2 Responses to “IfL – again”

  1. dsugden Says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your considered reply.

    I think that I have only intimated my real reason for posting with the list of ‘wishes’ – I’d just like to know what I will be getting for my money. I’d not given a thought to their London base or had any knowledge of any inflated salaries, but both issues need addressing to give absolute clarity to the organisation.

    Simply moving out of the capital will not only save IfL money, but anyone else who has need to visit or work with them. Housing costs and living costs are cheaper elsewhere, so maybe there would be no need for inflated salaries then. Who knows.

    In the meantime, my yearly fee (if I pay up front) will be just £2.50 extra – so my thoughts (perhaps the answers I need?) are still – what’s in it for me.

    Thanks again Dave.

  2. davefoord Says:

    Well said – I think my views on this matter are exactly the same as mine. The other thing that I would add is:-

    Why are IfLs head office in London, which is obviously very expensive, and why are the staff at IfL paid such a huge salary? a colleague has let slip how much the top staff are being paid, and to be honest it is offensive to others working in the education sector that the professional body for the organisation are earning so much (being paid for by our subscriptions) when others are having pay freezes, pay cuts, job loses etc.

    As you say, if the Government doesn’t bail them out again in 2 years time, then they will have to seriously think about cost reduction as I for one think it is offensive to have to pay more than the school teachers pay to the GTC, especially as the IfL take up was part of negotiations to close the pay gap between schools and FE (that never happened)

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