The Conference, organised by The National Tutoring Conference proved a fascinating afternoon, with about 130 delegates, including tutors, teachers and school governors. In the end there were four presentations covering a wide range of topics, beginning with an interesting insight into classics tutoring and other aspects of education by Harry Mount, a well known journalist, most of whose views I dissociate myself from! Then a fascinating insight into how some schools are starting to use Pupil Premium to buy in tutors to work intensively with individual children who can benefit from their efforts from Mark Maclaine, who runs a large tutoring agency and also discussed a wide range of aspects of professional tutoring. This blended nicely with my contribution, and was followed by an impassioned argument by Dr Chris Ray, previously High Master of The Manchester Grammar School, now Independent, but Britain's most selective grammar school when I taught there many years ago. Completely supportive of the concept of grammar schools, he also argued against the 11 plus, believing that because children's rates of development vary so much between 11 and 14, a single selection age is wrong.
As always at such events, the real value is not the presentations but the questions, which in my case proved very incisive, and the discussion between and after formal proceedings. I was especially delighted to meet the Chairman of Governors of the Kent Grammar where I went to school.
The event has proved such a success that the organisers are looking to put on another event later this year in Kent, focusing in more detail on the Kent Test, with a target audience of all who are involved or affected by it.