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UK employment - Could you help with info please?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12302
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 5:16 am    Post subject: Starting a school Reply with quote

Establishing and running a Language School is a business, like running a restaurant or a retail business.

If you go into it with the mindset of an amateur you will, like hundreds before you, fail.

I am trying to get you to face reality.
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Folks,
It looks like you have decided already. I'll throw in my twopennorth worth anyroad.
Scot 47. I also work at that uni...It ain't nothing special. crap money and conditions. good library resources.
My point? If you have enough experience at teaching on a wing and a prayer, can manage to deal with bureacrats who have no knowledge or recognition of your field of experience or respect for it other than regarding you as a cash cow, come and work in the EFL industry in the UK.
As a recently qualified newbie with a few years experience in a language school that is well resourced and helps you develop as a teacher you will not make it here, unless you hit a lucky link. there are good jobs out there. I have had a few. there are some crap ones too. hourly paid, part time hours, split shifts, prep time unpaid, assistance at meetings the list goes on. like Sue mentioned it is easier if you have your own accommodation because your savings will disappear really quickly if you have to rent in London or the South East. If you are preparing for a higher degree it is worth returning and suffering part time work, or badly paid-8/9/10 an hour 30 contact hours a week-jobs for the access it allows you into academic institutions which allows you to research a lot more easily than abroad. Add to this when you are on a higher you spend less time, and money, in the pub and that crucifies most returnees.
As for GaryWolf.
The reference to regullations that you make is to the requirement of the British Council that 'recommended schools' have at least a 50% content of teaching staff holding the DELTA (no equivalents accepted) qualification.
These teachers will not accept low wages. Employing them will not be easy for you and your freshly-started school will not attract them. Where will you get your students? How will you guarantee they remain at your school and don't go to a better cheaper one?
The easy thing about trade is finding the right thing to sell.
The five 'R's
The Right product at the Right price in the Right place at the Right time in the Right quantity.
I have boomed and busted many times. Buy low, sell high. Great idea but where do you get the punters from???? Who do you sell to? As Scot said do your research or you are wasting your time, both now and in your future.
Point one,
Business premises.... how much can you afford to throw away?
Point two,
Health and Safety requirements. Public access means a refit on your business premises and no income while this is going on!!!
Point three,
Insurance for you, your staff, your premises and your contents, and up to a million pounds for accident and injury claims from any crafty fly-by-night "student" that might try it on.
Are you still with me? Have you considered buying some matches and petrol?
hth,
Will.
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khmerhit



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 1874
Location: Reverse Culture Shock Unit

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

never mind, Gary. go for it. I suggest Ealing or Acton.
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GaryWolf



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scot

Once again, thanks for your input. I can’t believe that you can’t see that step one is, ‘can you have a school in the first place?’. It’s ok Scot, I now understand that we would do things differently. First you would spend all your time researching all the things that “Will” is suggesting. Then you would spend lots of money on financial guidance from accountants etc. Then, the very last thing you would do, is find out that you can’t own and run your own English school because of the new Home Office rules which are about to come into force stating that only students attending ‘recognized’ English schools will be given a visa.

So after spending all your time and money, you then find out that you can’t have your school after all, may be. I’d just like to start the other way round and know if first I can have a school due to the upcoming new regulations by the Home Office.

Scot, we’re just different. Admittedly, you are the more intelligent, I offer you no resistance here.

Any way

Thanks for the input. I know your heart is in the right place.


As for Will

Will first, thanks for your reply. Again, like Scot, just ‘read’ my post slowly and carefully. I’m just asking about regulations, only regulations. I understand that you have had a hell of a lot of failures in your life (as you said in your post - I don’t mean to be rude), but not everyone does things like you and Scot. Just take your time Will, take things a little slower (eg, reading posts clearly).

I think that if you and Scot set up a school, the first time you guys would hear about regulations and accredited schools is when your first students are phoning you from the airports back in their own countries saying that they couldn’t get through customs because your school isn’t accredited.

Will, you said you have “boomed and busted many times”. It’s good to get some input from someone who is well experienced in failure. What did you fail in so many times? Is this why you started in the world of EFL?


But again, thank you very much for your input Will

Many thanks

GaryWolf (very soon to be a failure too, “many times”)





Khmerhit

Thanks for your vote of confidence. If I can help in any way, please just ask (same for Scot and Will)

All the best

GaryWolf
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gary,
Thank you for such a nice response to my input. It is refreshing to receive such a positive response from new posters.
To further your info on regulations search you could try to establish a link with the Home Office, or a colleague working there, as I have. The British Council has a website too. The info concerning their plans is available there as well.
To answer your question I failed at being successful in business. Each time I thought I knew it all and could do it on my own. As I matured, with more experience, I became more successful at hearing what was being said by those who were giving me advice, and was capable of running a business at a profit. My products were produced and sold in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australasia. I did very well for 6 years. I eventually ceased working and employed others to do my work for me. I learnt to recognise a good thing. I then moved into management, got bored with it and started a new career in education putting my other 'life' on hold and used its finances to pursue 'another interest'. That was 15 years ago. The success came at a price. I closed my operations down and capitalised on the finances while at the peak. In other words I made a killing and got out while the going was good. I learnt how to back off at the right time and not try and milk the situation for ALL it was worth but to take what I could get and then get out.

Let us know what the accreditation regulations are when you find out, I am sure we would all like to know more about this. I must admit it is all news to me. I imagine it is something to do with the 'visa schools' at the lower end of the market, My current activities are associated with 'home' students so that is probably why I missed it.
thanks in advance for the info,
Happy browsing.
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GaryWolf



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will

Thanks very much for your reply. Communicated and received much better than your first one. The problem, is that both you and Scot, instead of just responding to my request, automatically assumed that I have no knowledge of business and decided to let me know what you thought about it. I just didn’t know why you came to that conclusion from my posts. I only ever enquired about employment in the EFL industry in the UK, then enquired about regulation in the industry. I understand the difficulties that you pointed out to me and I have much experience in most of the areas that you mentioned.

However, I did appreciate the fact that you mentioned them, it’s just the way you responded Will. Please accept my apology.

I would like to congratulate you on your business successes. Sounds like you did well. I think your primary motive is financial gain Will, which is 100% OK with me, and I think anyone else with sense - not meant to be offensive ok.

My motivation, is mostly professional satisfaction, but obviously, like yourself not just this, there is also financial reward (hopefully). I enjoy teaching Business English very much. My background is in the area of communication. Although, I’m not a ‘teacher’. I have a lot of experience in business too, and I know it’s difficult.

As regards to the regulations in the UK I will paste a copy of an article that I found on the net. It is now confirmed that regulation will come into operation in the UK by the end of the year (see article below). How this will work nobody knows yet. If I will be able to own and run my own Business English School isn’t clear from the article. I say this because I am not a qualified teacher. The article only mentions limitations as to students needing visas for the UK, it doesn’t say that there are limitations as to who can own and run a school for students not needing a visa.

Any way, sorry for the long response Will (and you other guys). I will put the article below ‘if’ it will paste, and then you can read it for yourselves. As you will see, nothing is yet confirmed in how all this regulation will administered or how it will work.

Once again, thanks for your input Will, very much appreciated.

GaryWolf


Here is the article

www.elgazette.com/ELNews/NewsStory.asp?SubTitle=UK%20and%20Ireland&Special=UK-Irl&StoryID=517


UK accreditation to be mandatory

By Melanie Butler, Friday 7 May 2004

All UK language schools will have to apply for accreditation by the end of the year or risk their non-EU students being unable to obtain visas. This follows a promise by prime minister Tony Blair that 'we are going to file an approved list of accredited colleges. When this is up and running by the end of the year, students from overseas will only be given permission to come here to study if they choose insititutions on that list.'

Contacted by the Gazette to ask if accreditation would become compulsory the Home Office responded that it was the government's 'intention to require non-accredited English language schools to have made steps to gain accreditation by the end of the year in order to move to a position where visas will only be issued to students who make applications to study at accredited institutions'.

Concerns had been growing in the UK English language industry that the government intended to set up a new system of compulsory accreditation. This followed statements by David Blunkett, who as Home Secretary has responsibility for immigration. On 22 April he promised to 'establish a system in which those applying to study in the UK will only be able to do so at an approved college'. A Home Office press release of the same date said 'an accreditation and monitoring scheme will be set up to ensure that genuine establishments are properly registered by the end of the year'.

Asked by the Gazette if the Home Office intended to set up a separate scheme or if existing accreditation schemes - such as the voluntary one run by the British Council - would be expected to do the job, the Home Office said that existing accreditation schemes would be used. 'The main accreditation providers we know of are the British Council’s English in Britain scheme, ABLS and BAC.'

Cherry Gough of the British Council, which runs the English in Britain scheme, told the Gazette: 'We fully support the Home Office initiative to create a strong regulatory framework for private sector English language schools and colleges, as we feel that this will inevitably lead to more consistent standards and more protection for international students of English in the UK.'

Ms Gough was clear, however, that the final details of the government scheme have not been decided: 'Our understanding is that the Home Office announcement indicated an intention to firm up the registration and accreditation of private colleges,' she said. 'The details of the proposals are still being finalised, but we are in discussion with the Home Office and are confident that all relevant bodies will be consulted as part of the process,' she added.

In response to the Home Office statement Judith Godfrey, chair of the Association of British Language Schools (ABLS), told the Gazette: 'For the last ten years ABLS has striven to ensure that an inspection and accreditation scheme was available to all language schools, regardless of type, size or budget. The Association of British Language Schools therefore welcomes the government's moves towards compulsory accreditation.'
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gary,
Nice article,
My the week flies by...

This does not seem to really be of immediate effect for you or your planned school, I can see the effect it would have on the 'visa school' trade, most of them rely on the gullibility of their students and a fancy name....etc. If you really want to set up a school I am sure you will go ahead and do it.
Bref! You should be able to set up and ignore the regulations until such time as you need to recruit non-EU students.Just nip down to companies house and fill in the forms, submit them, signed by yourself another director and a witness pay your money ( I think it is still about 80)wait a week or two and you are officially a company with all the tax benefits this implies...

The implication, or risk as it is described in the article, will be to run your school on the basis of EU citizens only. this means by inference a reliance on ESOL and a full understanding of the funding and assessment and bureacratic mechanisms of the Learning and Skills Council. European union funding mechanisms such as Socrates, Leonardo, Erasmus and The European Social Fund to name but a few.
The link here would be "How to survive as an independent language school and not poach students from other schools once they have entered the country and have a visa but realised how expensive it is at their particular school compared to yours" the regulation need not be heeded unless you wish your student base to contain non-EU citizens. Finding EU citizens who are willing to pay for English lessons from your school when they can get them for free from the school up the road may prove difficult. Diversity in difficult times and a limited student base does not make for a profitable outcome. Specialist training courses in your field of .. business English isn't it? could prove more productive.
FYI: ESOl funding is up to and including ESOL level 2, equating roughly to CAE level. Schools feel able to 'Adjust' this level in order to include a student in a class as this means thay receive funding and that is a guarantee of income.
A focus on courses of interest to EU citizens with professional qualifications in their own country , specifically the 'new Europeans' seeking to improve their professional opportunities for employment in this country often need high level communication skills. They are also willing to pay for this so you don't need to apply for funding which as a new kid in town you are not likely to get .
This is an area you could exploit without being affected by the new regulations.
There is a way around the regulations.
Rules are not made to be broken but lawyers can make a fortune by circiumnavigating their way around them.
I hope this is of interest and of help in your decision.
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

double trouble!
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GaryWolf



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Will

Thanks for your response. All the information you gave was very insightful and of help. It is much appreciated. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Many thanks

GWolf
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to be of help,
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Benjamin Semwayo



Joined: 05 May 2004
Posts: 2
Location: ***************************

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gary

I'm sorry I've been so busy that I haven't been able to visit this forum for quite some time. SueH is absolutely right. I work for a teaching agency that finds work for me in the schools and I am paid on the basis of the number of days I have worked. The daily rates for various teaching agencies (There are scores of them.) range from 95.00 a day if you do not have qualified teacher status to 160.00 if you have QTS. You are not paid for the days you do not work. Work is plentiful in winter, when many teachers take days off sick, but in summer it is difficult to find work as schools often have their full staff complements. The result is that in summer some supply teachers resort to finding other jobs unrelated to teaching, and which usually pay less, in order to have something to fall back on if nothing is forthcoming from the agency by way of meaningful employment. As you can see, it is very difficult working as a supply teacher, which is why many supply teachers would rather find permanent positions.

Hope this information helps.

Ben
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GaryWolf



Joined: 24 Apr 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ben

Many thanks for your reply

GaryWolf
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Russell Hadd



Joined: 06 May 2004
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
Even universities in the UK treat their staff badly. My friends are told in June whether or not they will be required for the coming year.

Tenure ? What is that ?

And I am not talking about some back street EFL school - London University.

Yuk !


This is a generalisation - Although I'd say it's the norm there is more and more in-sessional work available. Also, if your prepared to work with non-native speaking home students and can offer more thAn straight EFL e.g. EAP, numeracy or learning difficulties then there are opportunities.
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