Cash runs dry for lecturers' body

4th July 2014 at 01:00
Board calls for `unsustainable' Institute for Learning to close

The Institute for Learning, England's professional body for further education lecturers, is set to close over fears it could soon run out of cash.

The institute's non-executive board has recommended that the IfL shut down and its legacy and assets be passed to the Education and Training Foundation. This could happen as soon as the autumn if the body's elected advisory council agrees to the proposals in a vote on 17 July.

Sue Crowley, the IfL's elected chair, said that although the body was currently in a "sound financial position" and held surplus funds in reserve, it would not be sustainable in the long term without further "substantial investment".

As TES revealed in April, the IfL has been shedding members since its annual government funding of pound;5 million was cut and it was forced to raise its fee from pound;30 to pound;68 a year. Since then, membership has fallen from 181,000 to just over 33,500, about a quarter of the profession.

The IfL said that all members who had renewed their membership until 31 March 2015 would become part of the foundation's professional membership and would continue to receive access to CPD opportunities and support.

A spokesman for the University and College Union, which urged its members to boycott the IfL over the increased fees, said: "Many of our members were pleased when membership of the IfL became non-compulsory as there was a widespread perception they were being charged to do their job.

"Clearly the organisation was not sustainable on a voluntary basis."

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