Air Force pilot flies into IfL advisory hot seat

3rd September 2010 at 01:00
A former Royal Air Force pilot turned teacher trainer has been elected as the first president of the Institute for Learning's (IfL) advisory board.

John Chorley immediately takes up the post, which involves leading the governing body of the compulsory membership organisation for teachers in FE.

"I consider it a great honour to be elected as president of the IfL advisory council," he said.

"For more than 20 years, I have been actively committed to the training of teachers in the post-compulsory sector, taking great satisfaction in the way that individuals have developed as reflective practitioners, contributing to the professionalisation of what is the most misunderstood and misrepresented sector of the English education system."

He said he wanted IfL to raise the profile of teachers who make a difference and to provide an "apolitical" voice for them.

"We must be seen to be providing a voice for all members as well as being sensitive to providing benefits, combining this with the notion of professional integrity and the core values of public life," he said.

The theme for his year in the role would be supporting new teachers in FE, Mr Chorley said.

He began his career in the RAF in 1968, as a 17-year-old. There he gained his private pilot's licence and also trained as a photographer, before leaving the Air Force and gaining a degree.

Mr Chorley's teaching career began soon after, both in schools in Walsall and running adult education classes in photography. He also volunteered as a youth leader.

After taking a master's degree in social education, he moved into teacher training and has been training FE lecturers at what is now the University of Wolverhampton since 1989. An active trade unionist, he has been branch secretary at Natfhe, and subsequently the University and College Union, for more than 20 years.

The election for president was contested by four candidates as well as Mr Chorley, with Bea Groves, Paula Jones and Rania Hafez defeated under the single transferable vote system.

Sue Crowley, chair of the institute, said: "On behalf of the IfL, I would like to thank John for standing for this role, for the valuable contribution he has already made over the past year and a half as a council member, and for his active engagement in a range of committees.

"I look forward to working with him in the future as we continue building a truly autonomous professional organisation that is well-placed to represent our diverse membership."

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