Dishonour bound

6th November 2009 at 00:00

What is the mission of the Institute for Learning (IfL)? It is to support excellence in teaching and learning, the professionalisation of the teaching workforce through professional learning and qualification, and to lift the status of the teachers in the sector.

You'd have thought these rational and laudable aims would be widely supported by national organisations, including the unions, as they advance the interests of students and teachers. The reforms to the IfL council due to take effect next year will establish the key role of teachers and lecturers with regard to the IfL's strategies and work. You'd have thought the unions would support this important change to IfL's governance, too.

But members of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) have objected to Bill Rammell and Sue Dutton being honoured for their contribution to the institute's genesis ("Matter of honour", FE Focus, October 23). In fact, the UCU has chosen to go to war on this issue.

This is more evidence of the neglect by some in the UCU of the interests of students and teachers in favour of irrelevant, unhelpful and small- minded quarrels.

Peter Pendle, General secretary and chief executive, Association for College Management.

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