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Government announces review of professional development and Institute for Learning

7 September 2011

UCU today welcomed the government's decision to hold an independent review of professional development for college lecturers that will involve looking at the role and effectiveness of the Institute for Learning (IfL).

Responding to the announcement by the further education minister, John Hayes, UCU said it was essential that the review did not shy away from asking awkward questions and that it heard directly from staff teaching in colleges.

The news comes just weeks after UCU members voted overwhelmingly to stop paying membership fees to the IfL, which the union believes is  currently 'not fit for purpose'.

Membership of the organisation is compulsory for teachers in adult and further education, but up until this year the fee was picked up by the government.

The overwhelming view of members who contacted the union during the ballot is that the current arrangements for professional development are not up to scratch and that any charge for the IfL, in its current form, would be too much.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We are pleased that the government has agreed to commission an independent review of professional development that will include looking at the role and effectiveness of the IfL. As the result from our recent ballot made abundantly clear, the current arrangements are simply not up to scratch.

'Boycotting the IfL has not been a decision our members have taken lightly, but to be effective as a professional body it must enjoy the confidence of the majority of practitioners. This is something the IfL simply does not have.  It is essential that the forthcoming review does not shy away from asking awkward questions and that it hears directly from staff.'


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