Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Regency College, Brighton

Not a lot of people know this, but Sandy has a network of Tefl spies peppered around the South coast of England, where dodgy outfits outnumber the bona-fide schools by about 2:1. My latest damning intelligence report concerns a rather vile little setup in Brighton, Regency College.

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 One teacher was offered a contract which was then withdrawn it as the management shifted their schedule round to keep certain teachers on.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?