IfL JOBS AT RISK

The future of more than a dozen Institute for Learning (IfL) jobs was today looking uncertain as it prepares to transfer assets to the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) before closing.

A spokesperson for the IfL told FE Week that there was no guarantee that any of its 15 workers would keep their jobs following the move, voted through by its non-executive board two months ago.

The transfer is expected to be complete by the end of next month, and an HR consultation is underway to determine the fate of IfL employees.

However, an Ifl spokesperson told FE Week: “The ETF is not taking over the IfL organisation and staff — the plan is for IfL to transfer its legacy, assets and membership to the ETF through a deed of gift before closing its operations.”

She was unable to guarantee that any IfL jobs would be saved, adding: “In view of the current HR consultation process, IfL does not consider it appropriate to make comments about staff and potential redundancies at this time.”

The transfer was triggered by fears the 33,500-member IfL did not have enough cash to keep going. It has seen huge numbers of members desert in the face of increasing membership fees in response to government funding being withdrawn.
However, the vote in favour of transfer was later hit with claims IfL had failed to consult rank-and-file members.

A number of IfL members complained that they were not involved in the decision, before IfL elected chair Sue Crowley (pictured) defended the process.

She said members, who generally paid £63 annual fees, were democratically represented by the advisory board members who took the vote.

It comes just a week after it was revealed the IFL’s Qualified Teacher Learning Status (QTLS) programme would continue under the ETF. The news came in a live webcast by Dr Jean Kelly, IfL chief executive, and ETF chief executive David Russell.

Dr Kelly said: “It will still be called QTLS, it will stay as it is for the foreseeable future. It’s there for people to apply and it will remain the status it has been since it has been in existence.”

Mr Russell announced the next window for members to apply to begin the QTLS process would open from December.

He added it was likely teachers who transferred from IfL would need to remain as fully-paid up members of the ETF to keep their QTLS.

The ETF declined to comment on the potential job losses among IfL staff.