Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Regent Rip-Off?

I must admit, I was attracted by this recent statement by a former employer of mine on tefl.com - TEACH ENGLISH FROM YOUR HOME. I mean, I've always fancied being able to jump out of the shower, slurp down some Earl Grey, and get straight down to business. And it had to be some sort of video-conferencing teaching idea, right?

But no. Apparently you're expected to “host and teach English to foreign students of all ages.“ Oh, Jesus fuck – you have to let the bastards into your own home?! What sort of self-respecting Tefler would EVER let a student see the squalor and degradation that he is obliged to live in! You'd have to rid all the ash-trays of incriminating substances, and chuck away those empty bottles of Sainsbury's Rioja that have been piling up in the front garden. It'd take AGES!

However, let's not dismiss the idea too hastily, here. After all, this could be a very reasonable alternative to spending a couple of hours commuting to and from work every day, putting up with crackpot colleagues, and enduring the wrath of the incompetent and usually half-sober DoS. Even better, you would no longer have to pretend that you actually enjoy trying to teach a room full of whacky foreigners. So I read on with interest.

“Regent Home Tuition requires welcoming teachers with comfortable homes within one hour of our Language School in Bournemouth, Bristol, Brighton, Cambridge, Edinburgh, London and Oxford.“

Hmm - could I possibly describe my tatty terraced house as 'comfortable'? Perhaps if I bought some proper furniture, yes - but that's a big ask, I can tell you. However, maybe with the aid of the IKEA catalogue, and bit of hunting round the skips of the posher parts of East Sussex, I could put up a reasonable show of comfort and prosperity. Which leaves the most important question, of course - how much are they paying?

Well, as for what Regent rather pompously refer to in their advert as 'Compensation', it works out not too bad...

“Up to £650 per week, depending on type of accommodation you offer, the age of the student and the type of course.“

Now that's not at all bad, is it? For five morning a week of head-banging grammar and skills work, plus the odd afternoon spent walking in the park and chatting in pidgeon English, you get almost a hundred quid a day. Oh yes, you have to play the ever-agreeable host at the weekend too, it appears. But maybe it's do-able, eh?

However, knowing Regent to be a far from altruistic organisation, I wondered just how much they were planning to charge the students for this blissful example of domestic pedagogy. Needless to say, the result, when I found it, came as a bit of a shock...

On their 'Home Tuition' website it outlines what they charge the punters for what it refers to as "a unique programme combining excellent intensive language training, while living in the home of your personal tutor" and "a highly intensive total immersion course in which your language skills develop quickly and naturally."

Actually, it probably isn't any of the above. What you'll likely get is a few pages of Murphy's grammar squeezed in between endless cups of tea and watching AM TV. And, of course, if you're really lucky, you'll get the chance to socialise with a family like that pictured alongside, who will be able to provide endless hours of entertainment, recounting their stories of thrills and adventure at the hands of the local police, social security snoopers, and the occasional employer.

However, let me not digress, as what's really interesting to note here is the wide disparity between what the poor old punter pays Regent, and what Regent pay the teacher. In fact, the teacher pockets much less than half of the fees, as you'll realise if you look at these charges the students will have to cough up. ..

* 25 one-to-one hours: 1 week - £1770 per week, 2-3 weeks - £1690 per week
* 20 one-to-one hours: 1 week - £1470 per week, 2-3 weeks - £1390 per week

Jesus Christ - that's one hell of a difference, eh?! Your 650 measly quid carries a 1000 quid surcharge that Regent get to trouser! What's more, I notice that their rates have increased almost 25% since last year, which means, I guess, that there must be a good market out there, willing to pay premium rates for top-notch accomodation and teaching.

And of course, if you want to go for the En-Suite accommodation, there's a supplement of £100 per week to pay on top. In my house, I'd recommend that option, as the family khazi is a touch primitive, even though it has recently been brought in from the end of the garden. So I'd need to think about converting the larder into some sort of en-suite crapper.

Joking aside, though, it seems incredible that the student could be paying out almost 1800 quid a week, whereas the most a teacher will see of that is 650 – just over a third! Not bad profit for Regent, eh, just for advertising somebody else's house and teaching skills on the web. And you have to put up with a total fuckin' stranger sleeping in your bed, eating your food, and swigging back the family whisky for the entire week - what a rip-off!!

Anyway, as a result of the above news, I have now decided to adopt a totally new life plan. Firstly, we're going to sell our bijou two-up two-down terraced workman's cottage in Skidrow-on-Sea and find a rather larger and more agreeable place somewhere around the West-ish country. Somewhere between Dorset and Devon should be nice, I reckon.

Then I'm going to start my own, very personal, 1-to-1 tuition business (Regent can stuff themselves), using the internet to lure potential mugs, I mean customers, from the so-called 'cash-rich economies' of Russia and South America. I anticipate a fluent stream of eager learners making their way to my exclusive detached residence, happy to fork out 1500 quid a week for a few hours of indifferent teaching, quality whiskey, and feeding the ducks in the local park.

By all appearances, home-tuition is becoming such big business these days, especially if you've got a pad with a swimming pool and a tennis court, that the wife and kids will be kept quite busy improving their construction skills. I mean, it can't take that long to dig a pit and fill it with water, can it? We all used to do something similar before things such as toilets got installed, right? In fact, they can all go and live in a caravan at the end of the garden, like real paddies, while I supervise their attempts to create the necessary material environment for the discerning punters.

And, on the weeks there's no punters, I can spend my time researching the local ales and curries, doing a spot of fishing, or just 'cruising' for exotic cheeses at the local supermarket. It'll be idyllic!

So that's it then - fuck the lot of yer! I've had enough of making money for the rest of the world, and now I'm gonna do it for myself!


Regent Home Tuition said...

Dear All.

What an unhappy ignorant person who knows nothing about how this business is run!

Please take no notice and don't encourage him with a reply.


Emmett Lawlor
Regent Home Tuition
T: +44 (0) 1273 715841
F: +44 (0) 1273 715848
E: hometuition@regent.org.uk
W: www.regent.org.uk

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Oh, Emmett, I know a lot more about how your business is run than you think!

Anyway, if I am so ignorant, why not try to enlighten me? I'm waiting...

Anonymous said...

Well, that guy in the picture by the first paragraph looks like none other than Regent Home Tuition's 'Emmett', himself. So it's no wonder he's not too happy. Who else wouldn't complain after appearing in your blog, Sandy?!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandy,
I'll never forgive you for sullying my reputation. All the lies and disgusting things you said utterly without foundation told me the type of person you were and that you were bad.
I've been baiting you for a while eg with the lies I told about a school just to see if you still repeat the lies of others as truth.
not sure what I'll do yet but it will probably be violent, painful and certainly costly for you.
I'm 35 now so that gives me at least 35 years to find you. I will never give up

Anonymous said...

Don't be dumb that's not £1000 profit, that's revenue
strip out costs, then you get profit, which is why they go to work - just like you.
If you could do it, you would, but you can't so you won't

Anonymous said...

Before becoming BNP leader, Griffin's highest-paying job was teaching foreign students English in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1222045/DOMINIC-CARMAN-A-deeply-disturbing-encounter-BNPs-Nick-Griffin--wife-thinks-hes-oddball.html#ixzz0UeRP5gRe

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Anon, I don't think I ever said that the 1000 quid was sheer profit - go back and read the text carefully.

As for Nick Griffin being an EFL teacher - proves my point about the weirdos and freaks working in this business. Who else would employ him, but a dodgy EFL outfit?!

Anonymous said...

could be paying out almost 1800 quid a week, whereas the most a teacher will see of that is 650 – just over a third! Not bad profit for Regent

My mistake you actually mentioned a profit of £1150

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Wrong again, dear anon. At no time do I mention the figure of a profit. I say that the profit is 'not bad', as in...

'Not bad profit for Regent, eh, just for advertising somebody else's house and teaching skills on the web.'

Clearly the context makes it obvious you need to make a deduction for costs, namely advertising (at least). The result is a profit which is 'not bad', but not 1000 quid or in excess of it.

Learn to read properly, mate!

Anonymous said...

What you think it means now and how it actually reads are two completely different things. Try a little objectivity or at least some basic copyediting.

So wrong as usual old fellow

Taking into account the words you actually used ie 1800, 650 and profit in two sentences and the wider context of your complete lack of business knowledge your intention is quite clear - you wish to indicate a massive profit for fuck all work by the business.

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Oh, it's certainly "a massive profit for fuck all work" - the question is, just how massive is the profit?

Anyway, I won't waste any more time arguing with a fool like you. Get back to your desk, my dear underpaid Tefl turd.

Anonymous said...

me not underpaid nor tefl turd
Me rich and not in tefl.
Projection anyone?

no argument? Just swear

Transparent psychology - loser

Anonymous said...

transparent psychology - brag about how much you earn = small cock

Anonymous said...

rich = bad
poor = bad
welcome to the wonderful fucked up world of sm. Disagree and you just wrong. Join the lABOUR PARTY HERE!

lcd roolz

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Actually, dear anonymouse, I left the Labour Party a LONG time ago. Even I thought they were too weird for comfort!

I think I might go with UKIP next time, though. Or maybe the BNP - that Nick Griffin was once a Tefler, did you know!?!

And he sure is weird enough to be one of us ... or one of you.

Anonymous said...

Having worked in business for 25 years before becoming a TEFL teacher in sunnier climes I'm aware of overheads and mark-ups, and this certainly seems like a business to get into when I return to the UK!

Perhaps Regent Home Tuition could care to enlighten us why their costs are quite so high? Argueing the toss about what Sandy actually said is irrelevant to the point he is making, and the squirming replies only underline his argument.


The TEFL Tradesman said...

Well said, S - and ta very much! Perhaps you and I could do business together, setting up a home tuition outfit for ... Africans who flee to the UK due to global warming?

On second thoughts, I'll give that one a little more thought...

Mrs Nurzhan said...

Profit = good + jobs for the workers
no profit = bad + socialist nirvana and ummmmm oh yes total poverty for everyone
god it is so hard to decide which one is best. What would sm choose - oh yes, the second one, why? because all employers are wankers especially mine but pleeeeeese don't tell him cos I am uselss and it is the only job I could get

The TEFL Tradesman said...

What complete tosh you have written, Mrs N. Why do you feel the need to go to extremes in your efforts to attack me? Where have I ever said that I'm looking to build a 'socialist nirvana' (surely a contradiction in terms), or stataed that all profit is bad?

What I'm in favour of is just swinging the balance a little more in the right direction - back towards the teachers who do the work in the first place.

Oh, and killing the employers too. Did I forget that bit? Yeah, that's the only piece of 'socialist nirvana' I'm really into!

Anonymous said...

teachers don't do the work
just a bit of the
old in out and fuck off to the pub. Not much work not much pay simples

mrs N

mrs n said...

the tradesman has been caught trading in the tottenham court road again. tut tut

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Wot, me, hanging around the 'orrible old TCR? Not likely mate. I'm MUCH too posh for those schools up there!