How we work

We have an Organising Committee, which has been working on the governance of the Institute. We have had some discussion about having a formal constitution, but for the moment we have settled upon a slightly more informal “How we work” document. Below, we have detailed our vision, aims, objectives, principles, and how we work in practice.

Our principles draw inspiration from the 7 principles of the International Co-operative Movement, in that we are a democratically run open network concerned with self-help and the common good. They are rooted in values of: self-help and making a difference together; self-responsibility in engaging with IEF activities; democracy with all members being equal; equality, with all members having the opportunity to get involved; and equity, through a commitment to fairness.

Vision

The Institute for Education Futures (IEF) will place De Montfort University at the heart of a global pedagogic and educational network engaged in the dynamic interrelationships between educational processes and societies. The IEF will be a bridge between education sectors. It will be a focal point bringing together DMU staff to support the development and dissemination of pedagogic research and practice. It will catalyse policy-into-practice, so DMU can address crucial questions about educational futures and become world-leading in this field.

Aims

  1. To widen and deepen DMU’s educational and pedagogic research culture.
  2. To create one unified research unit, combining and amplifying educational and pedagogic research.
  3. To develop a scholarly community of practice through relationships and knowledge exchange on pedagogic innovation and research across different sectors and disciplines.
  4. To support the development of evidence of impact in relation to educational and pedagogic research and teaching at DMU.

Objectives

  • To establish a distinctive scholarship culture, in order to inform DMU’s engagement with the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), and the delivery of the University Learning Teaching and Assessment Strategy, including support for individual pedagogic projects.
  • To support early-career researchers and enable career-progression, publication and public dissemination in the area of pedagogic research.
  • To act as a bridge between the different sectors of educational practice: primary, secondary and tertiary.
  • To build a REF2020/21 Education Studies submission.
  • To act as a bridge between REF and TEF activities.

These objectives will be achieved through the IEF Implementation Plan.

Our principles

Our principles are that the IEF will be based on voluntary and open membership, with democratic control of its functions where possible. These are underpinned by a shared contribution to, and ownership of, the financial, intellectual and social capital of the IEF, alongside a focus on autonomy and independence. In this our individual and collective education and development are crucial, with a focus on community.

These principles draw inspiration from the 7 principles of the International Co-operative Movement, in that we are a democratically run open network concerned with self-help and the common good. They are rooted in values of: self-help and making a difference together; self-responsibility in engaging with IEF activities; democracy with all members being equal; equality, with all members having the opportunity to get involved; and equity, through a commitment to fairness.

Principle 1: Democratically-Run

Voluntary and Open Membership: the IEF is a voluntary organisation that is open to all DMU staff and students who are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

Democratic Member Control: the IEF is a democratic organisation controlled by its members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. This includes members contributing equally to, and democratically controlling, the capital of the IEF, in terms of financial capital (e.g. research funding), intellectual capital (e.g. the publications/scholarly activities of the IEF), social capital (e.g. contribution to research projects), and so on. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the IEF (rather than on the social or intellectual capital invested).

Autonomy and Independence: the IEF is an autonomous, self-help organisation controlled by its members. If the IEF enters into agreements with other organisations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the IEF’s autonomy.

Principle 2: Enabling Education and Development

The IEF provides education and development for members so that they can contribute effectively to the development of the IEF’s objectives. Here there is a focus on self-help by enabling professional development in pedagogic and educational research for members, in order to bring benefits for DMU and our wider scholarly community of practice.

Principle 3: Supporting Co-operation for the Common Good

While focusing on member needs, the IEF will work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.

“How IEF works”(membership, decision making, roles)

Membership

  • All members of staff and registered students based at De Montfort University who support the IEF’s objectives and principles may be members.
  • Membership will be voluntary and members can join and leave at any time.
  • Membership of the IEF shall be fully inclusive irrespective of race, nationality, class, political views, religious opinion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Member Commitment

  • All Members agree to take an active interest in the operation and development of the IEF and its business.
  • The IEF shall support its Members by ensuring that meetings, events and activities are accessible and encourage participation.
  • As a self-help network, Members are strongly encouraged to play an active role as appropriate for their circumstances – this includes attending all-member meetings where possible and supporting IEF events, projects and activities.

Organising Committee

  • An Organising Committee shall manage the IEF as a voluntary group. The Committee will be responsible for the operation of the IEF’s business and shall do so in accordance with its aims, objectives and principles.
  • Membership of the Committee is open to all members. Membership is up for renewal annually at a meeting open to all IEF members. New members may join the committee during a year by invitation and agreement of existing members, up to a maximum committee size of 10.
  • The Organising Committee’s responsibilities include the organisational management of the IEF, including supervision of financial matters, initialisation of projects, publicity, and liaison with other local organisations.
  • The Organising Committee will meet at least 6 times a year. At least once a year an All-Members meeting will be held.
  • The quorum at an Organising Committee meeting will be 6 The quorum at an all-members meeting is 10 members. Decisions at both meetings are taken by consensus – members must be prepared for compromise when appropriate to achieve that.
  • Subgroups can be empowered by the organising committee to take decisions between meetings on their behalf.
  • Chairing of meetings and taking minutes will be on a rotating basis.
  • Minutes from Organising Committee meetings will be made available to IEF members.

Specific Roles

Directors: a Director or up to two Co-Directors will be accountable for the delivery of the IEF Implementation Plan and its objectives. The role will be responsible for the strategic direction of the IEF, and for liaison with De Montfort University Senior Management. The Director(s) will be responsible for REF Unit of Assessment (25) and Impact Co-ordination, although these functions may be devolved.