Saturday, November 12, 2011

Regency - End of an Era?

Regarding the subject of my previous posting, Regency Language School, this is the message that appeared on their Facebook page last week.

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!

25 comments:

The TEFL Tradesman said...

PS: I notice that the student application form is still live on the Regency website, asking Tier 4 students to pay fees upfront if they need to come in on Tier 4 (e.g. they are non EU students coming in for more than 11 months).

This is a common scam when schools close down, as hapless potential students send money and then can’t get a visa to get in to the country.

Toby was quick to scrub the college's facebook page when it suited him, but he seems strangely reluctant to remove Regency's web presence. Do we really need to wonder why?!

Toby Cunt 'Lindsay' said...

It would appear that someone's trying to change the wikipedia entry, so here's what they used to say:

''Regency College''' is a family-owned [[TEFL]] school situated in the city of [[Brighton and Hove]], England.

The college occupies and leases a period building in Hove which comprises 20 classrooms, a large student lounge and two computer suites.

===Staff===

It has a full-time native British teaching staff of 13, all of whom are either [[CELTA]] or [[DELTA_(ELT)|DELTA]] qualified, three senior teachers and two directors. The staff have a variety of backgrounds, from lawyer to journalist to professional dancer: Director Mary Silver used to be a member of a popular 1970s dance troupe called [[Pan's People]].

===Student accommodation service===

The school leases a number of properties which are rented out as student accommodation. A large percentage of students board with school-approved local families.

===Social Programme===

A social programme is offered to all students, with an activity taking place four or five times a week; examples including a visit to the [[Royal Pavilion]], a local pub, an excursion to neighbouring towns, such as [[Lewes]] and [[Rottingdean]], or attending one of the many cultural events that take place in Brighton, such as [[Brighton Festival]]. The school also works together with Hove-based UK Study Tours, which offers foreign students a range of one-day and weekend trips to British and European destinations.

==Courses==

It offers exam courses including [[IELTS]], [http://cambridge-english-advanced.cambridgeesol.org/ CAE], [http://www.cambridgeesol.org/recognition/index.html FCE] and [[Edexcel]]

General English is taught from A1 to C2 on the [[Common European Framework of Reference for Languages|Common European Framework]]

Special interest courses in Business English, British Culture, Hospitality English are also regularly on offer as well as tailored one-to-one classes.

The school works together with its sister company Gulliver on providing a work study programme, in which students are able to participate on an internship scheme in a variety of industries around the UK.

The school's teaching philosophy is progressive in its use of a bespoke [[E-learning]] programme.

==Students==

A wide range of nationalities including Middle Eastern, South American and South East Asian attend the school. Most students are self-funding, however the school sometimes runs courses for state sponsored Europeans, particularly Italians, and Saudis and Libyans. The age range of the students is from 16 to 50+. The school is popular with both short staying students (two to three weeks) and much longer stayers (over six months), who attend the school to prepare for a higher education course. Classes typically contain a mixture of nationalities with a limit of 14 students per group.

===Student Nationality Mix, May 2011===

| German || 17%
| Spanish|| 16%
| Thai|| 15%
| Colombian || 14%
| Turkish || 9%
| Italian || 9%
| Brazilian|| 8%
| Libyan|| 4%
| South Korean || 4%
| Jordanian|| 1%

==Credentials==

It holds an A rating from [[UKBA]] for enrolling overseas students requiring a study visa.

The school is a [[British Council]] approved teaching centre and a member of English UK.

'Toby' Cunt Lindsay said...

==History==

===The beginnings===

==== 2001 ====

Regency College is founded by TEFL teachers and colleagues [http://www.tobylindsay.org.uk/wordpress/ Toby Lindsay] and Seamus Murphy.

==== March 2002 ====

Regency College moves into rooms at Wayland House Business Centre, Hove and begins their teaching operation. March–June the school grows slowly from 1 to 10 students.

==== September 2002 - March 2003 ====
With increasing student numbers, the school expands its operation by taking on more rooms in Wayland Business Centre and employing staff for the first time. Helen Murphy joins the school as teacher.

===Early years===

==== October 2003 ====

Toby and Seamus acquire their book supplier, Practical Books ELT,{{cite web|url=http://www.theargus.co.uk/archive/2005/03/08/The+Argus+Archive/6706692.Language_school_is_overnight_success/|title=Language school is overnight success (From The Argus)|accessdate=2011-06-02}} and take over the lease for Wayland House with their organisation Regency Premises. As the school grows, more rooms are taken on by Regency College.

==== 2003 ====

Adele Lindsay joins the college as Accommodation Manager.

As Regency College grows Toby and Seamus develop their roles to leaders and managers.

==== 2004 ====

Helen Murphy completes her [[DELTA (ELT)|DELTA]]. The school begins to run [http://www.leonardo.org.uk/ Leonardo] work experience courses. November 2004 Regency receives [[British Council]] accreditation, followed by that of [[UKBA]].

==== 2005 ====
Toby and Seamus stop teaching full-time.

Seamus Murphy is diagnosed with MS and discontinues full time involvement in the business. Helen Murphy takes on his role and responsibilities. The College continues to grow and expand. Student numbers reach the 100 mark. The college invest in a [http://www.schoolworksinc.com/ SchoolWorks], a school administration software. 2005-6 Pre-sessional course for Architecture MA, which features predominately Japanese students, is run by Diana Bundy, in conjunction with [[University of East London]].

==== 2006 ====

Toby Lindsay and Chris Rowbottom found Gulliver Experiences, an organisation providing work experience placements for Regency College and other language school students.

==== 2008 ====
The last licensees move out and Regency College occupies the entire Wayland House, enabling the development of a student lounge and two I.T. suites. Helen Murphy formally becomes a director and Seamus Murphy retires as a director.
==== 2008 ====
Toby begins a Master’s Degree in People and Organisational Development at [http://www.roffeypark.com/home/ Roffey Park Management Institute]. This, allied with Helen’s completion of a diploma in EFL management, precipitates a programme of organisational development at Regency College.

==== 2009-10 ====

The introduction of the [http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers/points/ Points Based System],{{cite news|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5776746.ece|title= Home Office toughen point based immigration system - Times Online |accessdate=2011-06-02 | location=London|work=The Times|first=Richard|last=Ford|date=2009-02-20}} the requirement of a specific level of English to study in the UK and the [http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers/points/sponsoringmigrants/highly-trusted/benefits/ Highly Trusted Sponsor] system puts the TEFL industry in UK under threat,{{cite web|url=http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/business/4996075.Visa_rules_threaten_Brighton_and_Hove_language_school_industry/|title=Visa rules threaten Brighton and Hove language school industry (From The Argus)|accessdate=2011-06-02}} yet Regency College manages to adapt and continue developing its brand, maintaining student numbers of between 150 – 200 and a turnover of around £1.2 million.

Good Luck! said...

==== 2010 ====

The management team is expanded with the formation of a senior team of 3 teachers: Andy Wood, Sheena Humphrey, Daniel Ironside and Senior Administrator Giulia Samonati. Regency College is approved by [http://www.edexcel.com/Pages/Home.aspx Edexcel] as a centre for [[Business And Technology Education Council|BTEC]], primarily running programmes designed for people who need language and work skills development. Regency College becomes 100% owner of Gulliver Experiences.

===Restructuring===

==== 2010 ====
Seamus passes his shares to Helen Murphy.

==== 2011 ====

[http://www.tobylindsay.org.uk/wordpress/ Toby Lindsay], steps down as College Principal and Executive Director to become Non-Executive Director to concentrate on working as an organisational development consultant and executive coach. Mary Silver is appointed Company Director and Giulia Samonati takes over the running of Regency College’s work experience company, [http://www.gulliver.org.uk/ Gulliver] Experiences. Regency College receives its 5,000th student.

Regency closes suddenly on November 4, leaving many teachers unpaid and without reimbursing students' fees. No reason has been given so far. The school website simply states the following:

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. (http://regencycollege.co.uk/)

The college's unexpected demise has been reported in the local newspaper, The Argus (http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/9350186.Hove_language_school_closes_suddenly/)

Update said...

Update from B&H News ... http://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2011/11/brighton-language-schools-may-sue-government/

Regency College, which has closed, had been removed from the register of sponsors.

English UK said that 140 students were signed up to courses at the school at the time it closed.

The 140 students would be able to continue their studies with other British Council accredited centres in the area.

They would not have to meet the costs of the new courses as they will be paid for by the Student Emergency Support Fund which English UK operates.

Regency College directors Toby Lindsay and Helen Murphy said: “The English language teaching market has become progressively difficult to trade in due to the restrictions on student visas.”

Clarence Rhode said...

Nice location for a b&b.
Paul?? Paul??
C'mon lad, you can make it work this time!!

Milton Freedman said...

In March 2005, Toby Lindsay was boasting about his success to his local newspaper.  He and a friend had started with £1,000 capital each in 2003, had made themselves unpopular through their poaching student recruitment tactics, but now had leased an £850,000 period building, with 20 classrooms when Regency finally took the whole thing over.  He also bought out Regency's book suppliers, set up an agency to provide his students with work experience and leased "a number of properties" which students could rent for accommodation.  The business model seems good- charge them for classes, rent them their accommodation and make money out of their work experience.

But by 2009, student numbers, according to the Wikipedia page were only 150-200.  He had started the business with an amount of money that would barely cover the stationery.  Would 200 students cover a 20-classroom period building, two other businesses and a number of properties?  It is unlikely that this was done from receipts, so a more likely source is borrowing.  Ah, those heady days a few years ago when credit was cheap, property prices rocketing and people were wondering exactly how they would manage to spend all their money.  What could possibly go wrong apart from the worst financial crisis in living memory?

A high point of 200 students- that's 10 per room, but many don't occupy the room all day.  Many courses are half a day- they advertise afternoon sessions that begin thirty minutes before the morning session has finished, so there are plenty of empty rooms with the meter running.  Brighton property is not cheap.  Was Toby's career's change to a management guru the result of his impending doom or because he really believed he had made it?   It's hard to know, but the secret to his success is simple- it was never there except in his head. 

Students doing jobs you get a cut of, sleeping in your beds and taking your courses is great if they're yours.  But these weren't his- they were the bank's unless he had come into serious money, which seems unlikely as he slammed the door and walked without even paying his staff the pittances he owed them.  When student numbers fall and you have to pay for an empty classroom and an empty bedroom, it is a double whammy.

Regency was not so much a house of cards as the pipe dream of one from the 'end to boom and bust' days that seem so far away now.

The good news for EFL is that he  has gone under and is going to inflict his lack of talent on teaching people how to run businesses badly, based on his casebook study example of how not to do it.  The bad news is the unpaid staff and students he leaves in his wake, as well as the damage to the industry's reputation.

The Alan Partridge analogy for this buffoon is apt, bar the fact that he has cased real harm and tried to snivel away. He isn't just a prat; he is a cunt.

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote the original article "Regency - End of an Era" needs to clue up on VISA's,requirements to work in the UK and the UKBA licensing...you really don't have a clue...! Get your facts right before ranting about things you don't understand, stupid "teacher"

Anonymous said...

the reason why all the students chose to work illegally than attend your lessons was because you were a really really bad teacher...they would rather put themselves into difficulties with the UKBA than attend your shitty lessons

Pavel Inion said...

It sums up the TEFL industry: talentless, idle management fantasising about their own job titles while the school collapses around them. Then walking out and hiding from the staff. It's happened countless times before & it will happen repeatedly in future. Why? Because these proprietors are failures, misfits and rejects.
A misfit who calls himself a guru is still a misfit.

Anonymous said...

Do any of you people actually enjoy teaching? I have seen no mention of it anywhere on this entire blog. Moan moan moan.

Some TEFL teachers just need to admit that they got into a profession they don't enjoy. There is no shame in that. They need to be honest with themselves. They will hate it wherever they work because they don't enjoy teaching EFL.

If you are not happy with teaching, the pay, or the conditions, don't take the job. Duh!

Do your students a favour and leave it to people with a bit of enthusiasm.

Blaming and hounding the managers won't help you, even if they ARE twats (and I'm sure some are and some aren't).

The truth will set you free! So cheer up!

Anonymous said...

Did you tell the teachers standing in the cold outside your locked school doors two months before Christmas to cheer up!

Anonymous said...

I'm not Toby Lindsay. I'm not even defending him, in fact he would appear to be one of the twats I referred to above. I was talking about the industry as a whole. Some managers are really good, some are twats. Some teachers are really good, some are twats.

What's wrong with you? Are you obsessed with grumbling? Businesses fail in any industry, sometimes suddenly. The world does not owe you a living. Especially you!

POET OF FINAL DAYS said...

And SO another mighty OAK
Is levelled BY this Tradesman bloke

Another high and graceful tree
IS cut down by inanity

Unfair you cry!
And WRONG I shout!

For trees have seen us in and OUT
And they are big and full of birds

Ho Ho you know other words
But no I shall not divulge
That which makes A WRITER BULGE

In short another victim FALLS
But yea or nay DESTINY CALLS

Oliver Twist said...

Ah, the 'Call of Destiny'!

I hear that it's heading your way Paul - yes, it's calling YOUR name, mate!

HIGHBROW WRITER said...

Do not address YOUR NEMESIS by the verNACUlar carbonundrum YOU FOOL
ONLY those who COUNT count REMEmber? The rest are D(R)OSS DOSS DOS materiaL
Such as you failed at EVErything dont even understand MY POETRY
JUst Eff off

SUCCESSFUL AND LOVING IT said...

DOS DROSS DOS DROSS DOS DROSS DOSS DOS DROSS DOSS DOS DOSS DOS DOS DROS DOSS DROS DROSS DROSS DOSS DROSS DOS TEFL TRIFLE EFL EFLUENT AFLUENT EFLUENT ESOL WEASEL WESOL ESOL WEASEL EASEL EASY DOSS ESOL DOSS DROSS EFLUENT ESOL PESOL ESY PESY TESOL MESOL DOS DROSS

Anonymous said...

You plum!

Anonymous said...

A Regency Plum, perchance?!

UTTER AUTHOR said...

You FOOL you tefluent VIPER and foul CARBOnundrum of the delphic misALIGNment
I am not the whelk-SPLEENED maladroit school marm that you FONDLY imajine imagine
You with yer lop-eared bint
Will there be GRAVEN IMAGES of you in every MARKET SQUARE a hundred years HENCE?? NO - you will SINK without tracey!!BUT I shall be rEVEREERED and commemmorrated by an enlightened PUBLIc. MY FIGURE will be cast in BRONZE melted from CANNONS and BURNISHED by the grateful hands of MAIDENHOOD

Think about the GULF between us before you CAST YOUR next LIBEL

Oh sorry - almost FORGOT - you dont COUNT cos yer CARNT FINK

Anonymous said...

Empty life?

Anonymous said...

His sex change operation got botched,
His guardian angel fell asleep at the watch,
Now he's left with a Barbie doll crotch.
He's got an angry inch.

Six inches long and five inches back,
Paul's got an angry inch.

Anonymous said...

Toby's got his crappy website up again to try to drum up trade. Funnily, he makes no mention of the fact that he is a miserable little failure of a businessman: http://www.tobylindsay.org.uk/

SHEER GENIUS ALLIED TO MAGNIFICENT ENDEAVOUR IN A SEA OF UNUTTERABLE DELIGHT DUE TO UPBRINGINGING < EDUCATION AND MIRTHFUL DISMISSAL OF HIDEOUS SURREPTITION EXPLODING IN A VORTEX OF INDESCRIBABLE TALENT AND GLEE BY ALL MEANS BRIGHTER THAN THE SOLAR SYSTEM ITSELF SUBSTANTIALLY IMMORTAL YES YES YES YES said...

HO HO

shake your pigs bladder ON ITS stick

JANGLE your hat of many BELLS

Dressed in yur MOTLEY robes

A ha ha ha ha hhaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

You fancy YOURSELF the joker in the PACK whereas I am HE who BIDES TIME not wastes TIME

VILLAGE FOOL who sets the bullock upon the sow, dribbling and snorting
WHO SETS the leek upon the CHEESE MAKER hoping for a MOMENTARY HILARITY

I AM GREAter than you and more EFFULGENT
You will NEVER understand the ARCHITRAVE NO NO

DO YOUR WOrst, motley ONE
I am INFINITE and UNStoppable

Shighter said...

To the tune of that vile jingle that accompanies the advert for 'We Buy Any Car Dot Com:'

Paul Lowe's a paedophile!
Paul Lowe's a paedophile!
Paul lowe's a paedophile!

When he's not fantasising about child sex on Twitter,he's discussing what he does on the shitter!

Paul lowe's a paedophile!
Paul Lowe's a paedophile!
Paul Lowe's a paedophile!

Paul Lowe! Paedo!
Paul Lowe! Paedo!
Paul Lowe! Paedo!

Paedo!Paedo!Paedo!Paedo!