Memorandum from Jo Horsfall (ILA 29)
1. As a registered ILA provider, I stumbled
across, and watched with interest the Committee session held on
23 January, and was impressed with the openness and frank discussion
of the Committee. As a provider, who has suffered a complete wall
of silence when trying to access information, it would have been
reassuring to have been made aware that this was actually taking
place. My only comment on the balance of the proceedings would
be the representation by providers, who were all from within the
I.T. training sector, rather than a broader range of courses available
within the remit of the I.L.A
2. I would like to add a few points to the
discussion on the I.L.A. Scheme.
3. This scheme was for me personally very
beneficial, and the manner in which it closed was devastating,
to both myself and the students whom I served.
4. Firstly, a little background into my
teaching practice. I teach Reiki (pronounced Ray-kee) which is
a complementary therapy, with stress reduction and relaxation
benefits. Training both therapists, who can practise professionally
once qualified and the general publicencouraging people
to take responsibility for their own health, with good resultsrather
than stretch the over-burdened N.H.S. service, with minor complaints.
5. Most students, approx 135 in the last
year, take Reiki in two stages, the first teaches them to care
for themselves, with the emphasis of the second upon assisting
others. Many of my students have elected to complete the optional
case studies, where they undertake to treat and write up 30 treatments,
which I assess, and if competent I certify them as practitioners.
6. It has not been my experience that attendance
suffered as a result of them having paid less for their course,
on the contrary I have put in place a system, where if
a student has to miss a session on their course, they can attend
that session on a future course (which has resulted in an very
high attendance rate).
7. At £80 for first degree and £100
for second degree, students with the £150 entitlement were
able to take both first and second degree for £30.00 (and
in an area of high unemployment this was of real use to many students).
8. When the first disappointing announcement
was made in October, I spent the time up until the abrupt closure
of the scheme, contacting some 70 students, co-ordinating them
into suitable groups as far ahead as June 2002 (when the scheme
claims were to finally close), hiring halls to facilitate their
learning (I operate from three centres locally) and ordering resources
to fulfil their requirements. This was a lot of work.
9. As I was already busy teaching, I had
scheduled time on Sunday 25th to place these students onto the
I.L.A. system (thinking I had done well, in such a short space
of time, to have completed the task well ahead of schedule). A
scehdule of this information has been submitted to both the I.L.A.
Centre and my local M.P. Ivan Henderson.
10. Many of my students had completed their
first degree Reiki and had booked with me to do their second,
within the first half of this year. The vast majority have now
either withdrawn completely due to the lack of finances or have
had to postpone until they can afford to do the course.
11. Therefore, the effect of the abrupt
withdrawal of the scheme has left me starting from scratch, attempting
during December and January to recruit new students, when I had
been misled into believing that the scheme was to be honoured
until June, which would have given me time to rebuild.
12. My students are understandably unhappy,
they honoured their commitment by paying £25 for their training,
which the Government committed to match with £150 worth of
training, many only received £55, only to have the balance
snatched back from them, and the opportunities this would have
afforded them. They have been particularly perturbed by the fact
that they all received a letter stating that they were not to
panic into signing up for training, as they had until 7 December!
13. I heard mention of compensation for
providers who lost work through the moving of the goal posts on
the deadline, but personally, I would really like the opportunity
to offer the funded training for my students, as undertaken by
14. My thoughts, with regard to the Website
and booking of training, in addition to some mentioned during
the above session, it seems to me that the provider should state
the name, as well as the Membership number for a prospective student,
so that claims cannot be made by randomly punching in numbers,
rather than have the name appear automatically.
15. I had an instance of a student being
told by the Centre that she had a balance of £50.00 on her
account, she did not use it elsewhere, but when I tried to access
it, a warning appeared that the money had been used for the yearI
can supply details if these are required for your investigation.
16. With regard to the disparity of offering
20 per cent discounts for therapies such as Reiki and 80 per cent
for Computer and numeracy courses. Whilst I agree we want a Computer
literate societysurely we also want a nation who takes
responsibility for it's health (recently highlighted by cardiac
17. In conclusion, I would like to state
that I feel that the whole I.L.A. situation has been handled rather
unprofessionally, and feel that both my students and myself as
a provider have been penalised for the fraudulent claims of others,
with the kneejerk reaction of closing the scheme, damaging the
learning experience of the very students the Government had hoped
to attract back into learning.
18. Please do not forget, when implimenting
a new scheme that many students benefit from all types of trainingnot
3 February 2002