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Support for learning needn't cost the earth

I agree with Charles Gray (TESS, June 15) that many educational conferences suffer from "ridiculously high costs". Questions do need to be asked about the motives of some commercial conference promoters.

In response to Mr Gray's urge to rebel against high prices, the Scottish Support for Learning Association long ago took up the challenge and has run highly acclaimed national conferences with top class speakers for minimal cost.

Furthermore to overcome the Edinburgh bias of which Mr Gray writes, this association runs its events in different parts of the country. For example, SSLA's recent spring conference (reported in The TESS) was in Livingston and attracted delegates from all council areas except three.

Last autumn's two-day residential conference was in Peterhead and was priced from pound;30-pound;60 per day. This year's event in early November will be in Lockerbie with speakers including Alan Dyson, Brian Boyd, Ray Donnolly, Matthew Maciver and Jim Kane. The day rate for this conference is pound;50-pound;65.

It can be done and we hope councils will support groups like ours who run exciting and relevant events at such little cost and for no other reason than the benefit of Scotland's learners.

Bill Sadler National President Scottish Support for Learning Association

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