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Last Monday morning, Pan and Katherine, two Career Tutors on our books, and I motored up a surprisingly empty M40 to attend the first conference hosted by The Tutors’ Association at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire.

(I visited Stowe frequently when I represented my school at tennis and squash – it was fun to be back as an adult, with the ability to appreciate how fantastically beautiful it is!)

The Tutors Association conference’s theme was “A legacy of learning” and offered us the opportunity to listen to two keynote speakers and attend a couple of CPD seminars; we also had moments to chat to old contacts and meet new ones.

I really enjoyed listening to the speakers in the plenary sessions. Ariana Azad spoke passionately about  One Degree, a charity that mentors and empowers GCSE students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and it was a dream come true to hear Sean Fitzpatrick speak about his life and captaining the All Blacks (being married to a Kiwi, Fitzy’s name is highly revered in our household). Both CPD seminars I attended offered great opportunities to share thoughts and experiences. One session looked at how to identify and effectively tutor students with special educational needs, and the other, how to motivate and empower your students.

It felt quite special that ‘the tutoring world’ had come together at the conference. Tutoring is gradually gaining credence as a profession, yet we are still sometimes viewed with suspicion so the more opportunities we have to meet and cement our conviction in who we are and what we do, the better. Roll on the next one (and indeed, the next OC Conference!).

Lucy Cawkwell

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