Saturday, November 12, 2011
Regency College English Language School
We regret to tell you that Regency College has closed. Thank you to everyone who has worked and studied with us. We wish everyone luck and success with what happens next.
This was, of course, very brave of Toby Lindsay (pictured alongside), the self-styled management ‘expert’ and driving force behind this set up. He posts a terse message, a few days after the college’s doors had already closed suddenly and forever, leaving many staff and students none the wiser as the why they had lost their jobs or money. How brave!
What’s clear is that Toby and the other Regency management snakes have no intention of informing all the interested parties as to just WHY they have suddenly gone belly-up. Perhaps they have something to hide? And why did they delete their Facebook page the day after posting the message?
Well, my inside sources claim that the official reason for the closure is that the school had its license to sponsor students for more than 11 months revoked by the UK Border Agency because it had failed to apply for the necessary Highly Trusted status by the due date. In fact, Regency didn’t even apply for it, apparently maintaining it didn’t know it needed to.
The truth here, though, is that putting the blame on UKBA is more of a convenient excuse than a reason. Toby and his gang of shysters have also been under investigation for some while (see my posting below) for allowing - or rather, encouraging - many of its students to work illegally, against the stipulations of their entry-visa conditions, with the full knowledge of the school managers.
A former teacher at the school has stated this: “The students typically work as cleaners in nightclubs or have jobs in hotels as chambermaids, or as cooks and waiters in restaurants etc. - all this is common knowledge at the school.”
What’s also common knowledge at the school is that Toby runs Gulliver, Regency College’s very own ‘work experience’ company, which has been charging these same students for finding them placements, despite them not having the requisite visas.
Oh dear, Toby – naughty boy! Thought you had a nice little earner here, didn’t you? Thought you were so smart and cool.
And now you’re pants.
Anyway, those interested parties can find more information, and discover how to contact the snake, by looking at the links below.
Regency on Wikipedia
Regency's Demise - reported in The Argus
Toby on LinkedIn
Toby at Sussex University
Toby on Twitter
Toby's NEW company! (registered just three months ago)
Toby the Management Expert!
Oh, and by the way – Toby's mobile number is 07530 507030. Why not give him a call? I'm sure he'd appreciate a chat!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
We'd like to nominate Regency College in Hove, Brighton, as a candidate for Crap Employer of the Year. The senior teachers there, Andy and Sheena, offer little support to new teachers, even for teachers coming in who are newly qualified, just having got a CELTA. Yes, there are complete novices there, straight out from the CELTA classroom. They just wanted somebody who would accept all the students that none of the other teachers wanted - a most noble educational sentiment!
As for the other management, the D.O.S is hardly ever in the school building, but this may well be to her partner having passed away recently. However, her deputy, Mary the ADOS, is aggressive, shouting at students and teachers alike, and generally serves only to create a hostile atmosphere. She likes to employ methods of 'psychological bullying' intimidating and undermining less experienced teachers, making comments like 'where are all our important teachers?' when only the newbies are around. Motivations skills like that must be very hard to acquire!
The students are given precedence and power over teachers, even to the extent of some teachers feeling bullied and unable to do their jobs properly. More worryingly, many of the college's students are working illegally against student visa regulations, with the full knowledge of the school managers. They typically work as cleaners in nightclubs or have jobs in hotels as chambermaids, or as cooks and waiters in restaurants etc. - all this is common knowledge at the school.
Other staff have reported being offered a job in writing and then having it retracted at the last minute, while the teacher was on the way to the school to sign the contract itself. One teacher was offered a contract which was then withdrawn it as the management shifted their schedule round to keep certain teachers on.
Teachers' morale is generally low there, with everyone looking out for themselves - even to the extent of hiding new teachers' administration papers so it looks like they are at fault. In general it's a nasty place to work, and best avoided.
Clearly this is a dodgy outfit that needs to be be checked out. We have accordingly informed the British Council and UKBA, and look forward to co-operating with them soon.
So, sounds like a cracking place to work, eh?! What do you have to say in your defence, Regency?
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
First up is the Eckersley School of Oxford, a dignified Tefl institute that, according to the advert on tefl.com, “has a long history of learning and teahing” [sic]. Clearly, though, the school has no extended background in correct spelling or proofreading. It also claims that “many of our staff have a long history with the school”, which probably means in excess of six months.
Anyway, this outfit was offering Celta-belters a mighty £13.60 per hour for 21 hours of classroom capering, resulting in an impressive weekly paycheck of ... 285 quid!! In my view, any Tefl job that pays less than 300 quid a week is still living in the 1990s, when it was possible to earn that sum for the usual timetable of 25 contact hours per week.
If you’re interested in making an early application for next year’s round of summer shenanigans, try contacting the Academic Manager, Jackie Halsall, on 01865 721268. I’m sure she’d be happy to lie through her teeth and kid you what a wonderful experience the whole things is!
Next in the queue of awful summer employers stand the infamous cheapskates OISE, who were offering a measly 280 quid for 22.5 hours of intensive classes in small groups, which works out as less than 12.50 an hour!! In admission of this truly derisory financial offering, the tefl.com advert proudly states that “Newly-qualified teachers are welcome, and will be supported.” Clearly no experienced teacher would consider going near the place, then.
In my experience this company are exceedingly shifty. So the statement that “Contracts generally offer ... some leisure supervision in the afternoon on a rota basis” needs to be treated with extreme caution, as there’s no mention of any payment for these rota duties. The same goes for this – “There is a Saturday excursion, for which supervision duties are available on a voluntary basis for extra payment”. This ‘extra payment’ is a mere £50.00, which is around minimum wage level!
Still interested in this ritual humiliation? Well, please call 01865 258323 and ask to speak to Duncan Jamieson, the ‘Academic Mangager’ [sic], who also appears to have a problem with his English.
Last up is the well-loathed Devon School of English, who are already familiar to readers of the pages of this blog. This bunch of shysters were offering a true financial slap in the face – 299 quid a week (the same they were paying in Easter 2009), from which they deduct £35 to cover your accommodation!
The thoroughly obnoxious Bret Hawthorne is the boy to contact here, on 01803 559718, if you’d like to pre-book this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
So there it goes – or went, rather. But perhaps you had an even worse wage or experience this summer. Feel like sharing it with us? Please do!
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Of course, there was a time when BC only accepted highly experienced and well-qualified teachers, but now a greenhorn – no, TEN greenhorns! – will have the lucky chance of being inducted into the BC House of Horrors. As the advert states...
No post-certificate experience is needed; this programme is for teachers without the two years experience we usually ask for.
To which we have to ask ... why? Maybe, just possibly, there’s a financial reason lurking behind all this. After all, the salary is a measly 1100 quid a month, and there’s NO accommodation allowance – so you can kiss a lot of that money goodbye immediately. Mind you, there is the very heart-warming promise of “Assistance provided in finding accommodation plus reasonable time off in first two weeks for this purpose”. There you go – that’s BC being generous for you!
And they’ll have you work your butt off for them too – teaching up to 20 hours a week in the first six months, and then the standard 25.
Of course, if that’s not bad enough for you, try this other one, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It’s allegedly a ‘local contract’, which is why it offers no baggage allowance or airfare at all – and no accommodation allowance either! But of course, if you just happen to be there already...
As the advert admits, “For a poor country, Tanzania is surprisingly expensive.” So trying to live on the measly BC salary of LESS than 1000 quid a month (in a declining local currency) might be very difficult indeed.
So, does anybody else have any Crap Jobs from the BC camp? Sandy would be very interested in checking them out, seeing as he’s got a LOT of free time on his hands right now!
Monday, August 1, 2011
Anyway, I had NO IDEA that selling 'genuine replica IELTS certificates'on the internet was a crime - really, I didn't! I just looked on it as a small source of extra tax-free revenue, and doing my least capable students a little favour when they couldn't quite hit the high notes. Shame, really ... and it was all going so well.
Anyway, now that I am back (released at 13:00 hours today) I can confirm that the normal disservice to the Tefl Trade will be resumed soon. In fact, I have a couple of neat stories concerning BC and several crappy summer school employers to share with you.
But not the whacky baccy - I ain't sharing that!
Friday, June 17, 2011
The ‘concerned Tefler’ said the possibility of such an event was one that the Council should be aware of, especially when considering that the salaries offered for many of their teaching posts were so much below par that the term ‘instructor’ is now used in their recruitment advertisements.
That Letter in Full
Dear British Council,
Can you please let us know what provisions you have in place in the event of a zombie Tefler invasion? Having watched several teacher-training films, it is clear that preparation for such an event is poor and one that British Councils throughout the world must prepare for – a sudden influx of under-qualified instructors who are hired on the cheap.
Please provide any information you may have.
"We've had a few wacky ones before (i.e., teachers), but this request did make us laugh," said Sharon Slapper, head of Information Governance at the British Council in London. Ms Slapper said she was unaware of any specific reference to Tefl zombies in the BC’s current recruitment plan, but some elements of it could be applied if the situation arose.
“BC used to insist on teachers with a Diploma at least” she continued “but nowadays we’ll take anybody with a Mickey Mouse Tefl certificate, as long as they’re prepared to work for ‘local salaries’ – peanuts, in other words”. However, she expressed the opinion that the organisation would draw the line at zombies and Crystal Palace fans.
However, Ed Thurlow, who runs zombie website Terror4Fun, said he felt a Tefler zombie invasion of the British Council was highly likely. "I’ve seen some of these types hanging around language schools in Oxford during Summer, and they really scare me. I reckon that this ‘Concerned Tefler’ has got something here” he stated, before disappearing behind a well-known chain school pursued by garishly-painted teenagers clutching newly-acquired Tefl certificates.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Anyway, here it goes for 2011. Just click on the link here and you can discover the indiluted truth about slaving your guts out for peanuts while having to endure the most odious types of rich-kid students and semi-alcoholic 'colleagues' (as per above) that you could possibly imagine. I have no wish to crow and repeat the awful cliche of "you have been warned", but ... I'm just pointing it out!
BTW, those idiots amongst you who choose to ignore my sound advice should have some excellent stories to tell come late August. So please do pass your depraved accounts this way.
And if there are any other (over-)seasoned Teflers out there with similar stories of hellish summer schools, I'd be very grateful if you could let me have them too. It's not that I'm hard-up for material, but I do feel that a few fresh tales of Summer School despair and despondency would help to persuade the as-yet undecided to avoid a humiliating fate.
Monday, May 16, 2011
I went to the IATEFL bash at Brighton last month and frankly I ended up lying on the beach alone during some sessions, I was so terribly bored. It saddens me to say it, Sandy, but EFL teachers are officially NO FUN ANYMORE. And that is a change worth reporting, I must say.
I mean, what did these comrades-in-arms of mine end up doing in the breaks? Smoke a spliff or two on the beach? Try chatting up a few horny foreign students? Nope, they all seemed to revel in ... taking out their laptops and doing some sort of twitchy-twitchy work-related thing, ON THEIR OWN!! What a bunch of fuggin' douche-bags!!
OK, I must admit that a colleague of mine talked me into attending a workshop on twittering in a weekend session, as I thought I might actually learn something useful for once. No such luck, though – I was faced by an audience of apparent computer nerds who were twittering throughout. I soon found myself longing for the return of a workforce of drunk, skirt-chasing degenerates who turn up for work sozzled and get into fights. Paradise lost?
I reckon the cause for this outbreak of acute nerdiness could be something like this: as a result of the private sector being too mean to send their staff, all the attendees were goody-goody state school English teachers with no lives. In other words, the die-hard piss-it-all-up-the-wall Teflers from the crappy UK Tefltrade schools had to stay at home.
So, is Agent M right in his hypothesis? Did you go to IATEFL last month? Do you have anything, erm, interesting to report? Did you bump into these three dumpy old slappers alongside there [original picture removed due to threats of legal action from a rich publishing house]? And did you shag any of them, or did you prefer to play with yer fuggin’ Blackberry?
Shame on you all...!!!
And finally, as all of my pictures have fallen foul of the International Copyright Police, I'll just have to leave you with a rare and copyright-free glimpse of Yours Truly instead, attempting to remove them from my computer. The images, I mean, not the copyright cops.
Yeh, that really IS me!!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
This time it's a verbatim report from one of my Tefl spooks on the south coast of England, where crap Tefl outfits and even crappier Tefl jobs number in their hundreds. Read this one and tell me - go on! - that this sort of Tefl shenanigans ain't as common as dogshit in a public park.
OK, I can't hold back any longer. Eastbourne again - LTC College.
As well as having a psychopath (and I am using the medical term here) as a Principal, their Director of Studies needs to be taken to task. He frequently tries it on with the Asian students, presumably seeing them as soft targets. He takes them to a pub near his 'shag pad', gets them lathered up and takes it from there. One long standing member of staff who politely suggested that this was not cool behaviour was told he was stupid, called a liar, and then 'constructively dismissed.'
The same Director - let's call him Alisdair Goldsworthy, because his mother did - also keeps details of conversations he has in the pub with his colleagues and 'friends.' If he feels like disciplining them, he hauls out his secret files and accuses them of making unprofessional comments about the school. He has used these as an excuse to rid himself of staff on several occasions.
Even worse, he tells teachers to make academic reports 'more negative' if he personally doesn`t like a particular student.
Oh, and there was the time when the school promised an employee who was on sick leave that they would keep his contract open. They then fired him at precisely the same time as he fell into a coma and then died. His wife and disabled child received the news of his dismissal by post.
Luckily the school is struggling to maintain student numbers and looks like it will soon go belly up anyway. However, I only think it is right that their appalling, inhuman behaviour be documented for all to see.
And you find a nice piccy of these LTC professionals here. Pretty they ain't!!
Okay, LTC Eastbourne - over to you now...
Friday, April 22, 2011
Suddenly you find yourself in a different place, somewhere in the countryside, somewhere you remember from a long ago distant time – a time of trust and innocence, far removed from your current everyday concerns. It’s your favourite season of the year and your favourite time of day. A brook leads off into the distance with all kinds of flowers on both banks. Take a minute of clock time, equal to all the time you need, to savour all the sights, sounds and smells of this peaceful place, this place that’s so special for you …..
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
In my opinion the poor bugger, referred to hereafter as Comrade Perdomai, should be congratulated for making the most apposite of statements regarding his chosen ‘career’. However, the UK’s General TEFL Council takes an apparently dim view of his anal antics, and is soon expected to pass its own wind in the form of announcing his punishment, in the wake of a disciplinary ruling last week.
According to Comrade P’s colleagues and students at the Kosy Kebab School of English in Dalston Junction, the 'rude' and 'inappropriate' Tefler enjoyed breaking wind in front of them as they ate their lunch and carried out grammar tasks. In his defence, Perdomai reportedly claimed he had 'inadvertent' outbreaks of flatulence, especially when preparing classes from Headache Elementary and marking students’ terrible homework.
“I find that whenever I pick up a copy of Headache I end up farting – accidentally, of course” stated the offending Tefler. “It is, after all, a totally natural body function, and it’s absolutely fine to let one rip in the privacy of your own home. It’s only when I started dropping bombs at work that it became a problem” he pleaded.
At a previous hearing in Spring, a fellow Tefler told the panel how she frequently complained to Comrade P about his noxious habit. She said: "I just asked him to put a cork in it. It was getting so annoying. I didn't like the smell around the staff-room and classrooms, and it made us all feel sick – especially when we had large hangovers on Monday mornings." The tribunal also found him guilty of other charges, including his lack of respect for his students, cracking crude jokes about the disabled and ethnic minorities, and regularly swearing in front of students and staff during class time.
Perdomai was also found guilty of asking students to lend him money, especially for his ‘weekend medicine’, and of even looking in their purse or wallet if he didn't believe them when they said they had no cash on them. Committee chairman Maureen O’Flagherty said: "The committee has accepted that you made these financial petitions in such a way that considerable offence was generated. The committee has noted the evidence that if a student did not show any willingness to loan you a little ‘pocket money’, you would abuse them roundly and tell them to nip out to the cash machine immediately."
On some occasions, it was alleged, the foul-mouthed Tefler made rude gestures, such as sticking two fingers up behind the backs of students he didn't like, and referring to unpopular colleagues as ‘wankers’ and ‘douchebags’. In mitigation, Comrade P apologised before the panel members and admitted that his behaviour was juvenile, saying that he had started to feel frustrated at work.
“Then I started getting cocky and I’d just grunt as loudly as possible everywhere. That’s progress, I suppose.”
The General TEFL Council is currently considering an appropriate punishment, which could be as harsh as a month of enforced teaching at EF.
Have you ever farted in the classroom? Have you ever been in the staff-room and caught a whiff of someone’s silent but deadly delivery? Please leave your enlightening comments below…
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Anyway, I am, however, extremely happy to pass on the wonderful news that I somehow did manage to extricate myself from that grim and grimy oilfield in the south-east of Libya, a veritable 'detention centre' that I unwillingly referred to as 'home' for more than three months. Quite how I managed the awesome feat of escapology I refuse to divulge, but Fitzroy MacLean would have been mightily proud of me, I'm sure.
Fact is, the situation there was REALLY grim - I was in real danger of dying of complete boredom. No internet, no booze, and only the muffled gruntings of cute Libyans being 'friendly' with the foreigners to remind me of how coarse the simple act of copulation could be. It would be putting it very mildly to say that I felt left out - alienated, more like it.
And when I get home, I see the Daily Mail shrieking 'MY NIGHT OF HELL!' - too right, mate! In fact, the biggest real news there was that we had an intermittent supply of eggs for a few days. Yes, no eggs. Oh, and a complete lack of drug-crazed black-african desperadoes in hard-hats intent on loot/murder/rape etc., skanking their way through the compound a-robbin-an-a-shootin. I tell you, man - it was TOUGH!
Okay, some dodgy stuff actually did happen - there were a few alarms and even the odd snippet of gunfire, in the distance - but that was days ago, and the end result was ... nothing of any significance at all. In fact, all this crap about a bunch of Ross Kemp types swinging in through windows and kicking open doors is totally bewildering, like sending in the SAS to unblock your drains.
So, the only thing that HM Government really needs to do is hang on for another week or so, and then all the expats could probably get a very good introductory deal with the first Easyjet flight to leave the new independent Libya. However, I suppose the prospect of a trip on one of the Royal Navy's last surviving ships will prove irresistible to many Brits.
So I'm back. Hello, hello.