You see! I've only been back in the country a few weeks, and my TeflTrade spooks are STILL beavering away tirelessly, unearthing crap schools and passing on the news to Sandy. The latest piece of hot 'intelli' concerns a dump in London that rather grandly refers to itself as The Burlington School of English, and that rather gross-looking trout alongside is the Principal.
The report begins: "Several comrades have informed me about the Burlington School of English and how crap it is. They expressed surprise that nothing had been written about it, because everyone they know who's worked there thinks it's shit too."
I can easily believe this asessment, as I once went there for an interview myself, albeit many years back. The labels 'crap' and 'shit' were quick to establish themselves in my mind too, so I see that consistency is also one of their trademarks.
The reports goes on to state that this school pays less than £10 an hour for IELTS teaching, and has a pathetic lack of resources - just dog-eared old textbooks and a few dodgy worksheets. Even worse, the DoS is a disgusting fat bastard who, despite claiming to have ‘run’ a British Council School somewhere abroad (Libya? Saudi?), is utterly lacking in life or brains. On top of that, he has an elevated opinion of himself and is extremely rude and unprofessional in his dealings with staff.
In fact, this all sounds very déjà vu to me - it MUST be the SAME loathsome git of a DoS from way back when!? He was keen to impress on me that he'd worked for the BC in the Gulf, a fact that is hardly something to crow about - unless you're a saddo Tefler, I suppose.
Anyway, somehow The Burlington managed to scrape a measly pass for its British Council accreditation back in 2009. In fact, a closer inspection reveals they didn’t do too well, as the BC report mentions a distinct need for improvement in several areas, and zero areas of excellence.
So - any other news on this dump? Have you worked for this grumpy cunt of a pompous DoS? Please add your comments below!
At the BSE the starting salary for a newly qualified teacher is £27.50 for a three hour session (20 minute break, unpaid). Those with a whole one year of teaching experience are on £28.50 per session, and the highest rate is £32 for a three hour slot – but only if you have a PGCE!
Incredibly, those teaching university preparation classes every morning for three hours are paid at the same rate, despite having to make do with various ageing coursebooks without CD's and having to make up a syllabus with pretty much no help. Asking the DoS for assistance was a waste of time, as he barely had a pulse.
Moreover, because of new Home Office regulations, the classes are going to be slightly longer with only a ten minute break, so that the students get the full three hours per day. Of course, there has been no mention of any increase in teaching rates to compensate for the extra work.
In fact, there is now a new Dos in place, as the old one left two weeks in advance after being badly treated by the Principal. Perhaps she rattled his coffin? Anyway, the new DoS was obviously more suited to the school, adopting a policy of “hear nothing, say nothing” in order to give the Principal no trouble.
However, one teacher had to keep pestering the guy for days to get ANY information about her new class, so that she could sort out books and prepare. Then he told her on the Friday before that there actually WAS no other class. Since the teacher was on a part-time contract, she was left with nothing but a suggestion of a 3-6pm class, which the dippy DoS knew she could not do owing to other commitments. Cracking management skills, eh?
The following Monday the same teacher, who had already considered herself unemployed, received a text message (the school only ever communicates by text) informing her of a new university preparation course starting the next day – even though she had never taught such courses before. It’s an absolute scandal that a school that is accredited by BC treats its students and teachers in such a shoddy fashion.
In contrast to its obvious failings, the school is extremely good at several things, though. For example, they successfully upset several teachers by putting up in the teachers' room a list of students who fail to improve on their exam grades. Alongside the student's name they put the teacher's name for everyone to see, which understandable causes no small offence.
The teacher concerned no longer works there, as she rightly figured she would be better off working in the domestic care sector. It pays the same money, almost ten quid an hour, but is much less bother – and no planning and marking! So you can see, it’s a cracking place to work at, is the Burlington School of English!