Being trans at Explore Learning: Morgan's Story

Do you feel like you can be yourself at work?

I do. My name is Morgan, and I work for Explore Learning in the education team. I’m also the co-coordinator of our LGBTQ+ Staff Network and a member of our Diversity & Inclusion working group. I am openly trans and use they/them pronouns.

I started working at Explore Learning in April 2019 as a tutor, at the Bramingham Park centre in Luton. I was fresh out of a retail job and excited to work in a completely different environment. Within my first week, I was stunned by the amount of attention and support I got from the managers there. I was used to being ignored unless I did something wrong. Instead, my centre team went out of their way to build a relationship with me and learn about me.

Within these first few weeks, I remember a casual chat with one of my managers, in which she mentioned her girlfriend.

People in many minority communities have these moments of recognition. Even if nothing is spoken aloud, you learn to notice details, turns of phrase, and other clues that suggest someone might be there for you if you need them. I had these moments before Explore Learning, but never with a manager. She was so open about it. I wanted that in my workplace.

At the time, I hadn’t begun transitioning. It wasn’t until the 2020 lockdown, when we moved to online working, that I felt I had room to experiment. I cut my hair, started going by a different name, and began to consider how I would transition at work. I was still a tutor – I had about thirty-five kids I taught regularly. I loved my role and I wanted to be myself, but I wasn’t sure how to have thirty-five conversations about names, pronouns, and gender itself.

In 2020, I saw a call for members of a brand-new Diversity & Inclusion Working Group at Explore, spearheaded by the Chief People Officer. I was delighted and applied to join. That application form was the first time I told someone at work – albeit indirectly – about my gender identity. I was accepted into the group and was privileged to meet people from all over the company who cared deeply about making sure everyone felt they belonged.

I felt ready. I was applying for the tutor development scheme, the Future Leaders Pathway. I knew this could result in me becoming a manager, and probably moving centres. I wanted to start at my new role as myself. I sent my managers a short, casual email, letting them know that my name would be different on my application. I explained why.

My manager emailed back quickly. She said they would support me however I needed, to make sure I could continue being the excellent and valued tutor that I was.

Completing the name change involved some back-and-forth with IT, but I was never asked for proof. There were no barriers along the way. I was accepted immediately and enthusiastically. Shortly after, I received a message from another manager, telling me how thrilled he was to meet another trans full-time staff member at the company. He said he had previously been the only one.

Work in the Diversity & Inclusion group continued. We celebrated Pride Month across the company this year, and our policies reflect trans-inclusive language. We’ve held multiple panel events for inclusivity, where I sit with my pride flag hanging behind me.

But the biggest change for me was establishing our staff networks. Networks, or Employee Resource Groups at other companies, allow us to connect outside of our centres and teams. We advocate for ourselves within Explore, and we also have a space to socialise and support each other.

As the co-coordinator of the LGBTQ+ Network, I am extremely proud to say I know many more trans people in our company, both managers and tutors. Now, when I meet another queer member of staff, I still feel the same thrill of finding a connection. But I can also make sure they know there is a community here for us, too.

Learn more about Explore Learning's commitments to diversity and inclusion here.

Are you ready to influence the next generation of fearless learners?

Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to work for 2019

Glassdoor 2018 Best Places to Work

Target Jobs UK 300 Top Employer 2022/23

Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to work for 2019

Glassdoor 2018 Best Places to Work

Target Jobs UK 300 Top Employer 2022/23

Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to work for 2019

Glassdoor 2018 Best Places to Work

Target Jobs UK 300 Top Employer 2022/23

netmums recommended
mumsnet rated
Education Investor Awards 2019 Winner Private tutoring company
Sunday Times best big companies to work for 2019
Cyber Essentials Certified Plus
2019 Business Excellence Winner - Best After School Tuition Provider - UK - Explore learning

Your nearest centres

Sorry, we don't have any centres within {{distance}} miles

image alt text from CMS

Explore learning online tuition

We also offer online tuition to flexibly fit into your family’s life.

Results from outside {{distance}} miles

Please select a centre

Showing {{count}} closest to '{{postcode}}'




{{distance}} miles

Select this centre

Search again

Please enter a valid postcode or location