IfL has already lost the fight

15th April 2011 at 01:00

The IfL's move to self-funding has certainly kicked up a huge storm. Although the press and social networks are full of committed people on both sides of the argument, one conclusion is inescapable. Whatever the outcome, the IfL has failed.

If the IfL's view prevails and members are forced to pay their fees, it won't make them want the institute any more than they do now. The IfL may get its revenue stream, but it will have achieved nothing for the vast majority of the people it purports to represent. For members, the organisation will simply become an expensive irrelevance - a well-funded failure.

If the protesters' views prevail, the IfL will lose the majority of its income, either through the abolition of compulsion or a through a zero- cost registration scheme. In this situation the IfL will also have failed, as the vast majority of the sector will not choose to pay for most of its activities.

Straw polls from around the country suggest that 70-90 per cent of members are not going to pay their fees. This is a clear expression of their views. So the simple question to the IfL is: what, or more importantly who, are you fighting for?

Martin Ellison, FE lecturer, Stamford, Lincolnshire.

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