I just received this email from a well-known events company whose events were free to attend until now:
‘Non-exhibiting and non-sponsoring companies that sell solutions to the education market will pay from £650 to attend’
Now, I understand that commercial decisions need to be made to keep the lights on, but this is not a company that is struggling to keep things together. This is a company being greedy at the expense of the people who can’t afford to take a stand or sponsorship. This is locking out the start-ups, the sole traders and the professionally curious.
It’s also reducing the diversity represented at the event itself. The best part of getting out of the classroom to explore education exhibitions, is the inspiration you bring back with you. But those of us who are still able to attend for free, the people who still work in schools and universities, will be left to talk only to the teams of professional sales people on large impersonal stands. Yes, they will get to see the resources developed by the biggest companies in the world. But they will not get a chance to chat in the corridors with the innovators and entrepreneurs who are keeping things fresh.
Not only does this move lock out small businesses, it also locks out tutors. Those of us who are not associated with a school will no longer be welcome at this exhibition. Regardless of our commitment to education or our need for teaching and learning resources.
All this makes me incredibly proud of Qualified Tutor’s commitment to inclusivity. We keep all our prices as low as possible and offer as many free routes to entry as we can. We also have in mind those who can’t travel or prefer online environments. The tutoring community is filled with professionals who live with long term physical or mental health issues that make it impossible to travel and attend in person. But they still need to feel supported, and we still need to hear their voices.
That’s why these days, all our big Love Tutoring events are hybrid. We welcome a handful of people in person and the rest of our participants online. Yes, this is a major technical undertaking. And yes, it is worth it.
The QT Team is innovative and entrepreneurial. We are committed to inclusive practices. We will be contacting the events company quoted above.
If you want to find out more about how we deliver on our values, you can sign up for this week’s Love Tutoring Festival: A Celebration of World Tutoring. It’s the biggest party in tutoring, and everyone is invited. https://www.qualifiedtutor.org/events/ltf4-a-celebration-of-world-tutoring-love-tutoring-festival/
This post was not written by AI. It was written by Julia Silver, NPQH.