Friday, 25 October 2013


According to recent emails to this site, Kennedy is believed to be be sniffing around schools in Africa, particularly in those countries that do not require criminal record checks.

If you are approached by him, please ensure you insist on criminal record  checks for EVERY territory he claims to have worked in and take up references from his past employers, particularly in China and Venezuela

Tuesday, 3 April 2012




Kennedy has once again emerged and once again he is trying to find a role that brings him into close proximity to children.

He is now Glasgow-based (or possibly still in London) and billing himself as an “Independent Education Management Professional”

This is wrong on almost every level.

Independent? Only if his mum and dad have stopped paying his bills and debts. A little embarrassing when you’re in your mid to late thirties.

Education? In my experience he seemed to have acquired little and was deliberately misleading about his qualifications. He also showed no ability to impart education to any third party.

Management? Suffice to say, he can’t even manage to wash himself or his clothes.

Professional? Only if “professional” has been redefined to mean “inevitably late, ill-prepared and untrustworthy around children”

You have been warned.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Some of Us are Gonna Try,,,

An Introduction to this Site

This site is dedicated to protecting students and schools from unscrupulous teachers who abuse the TEFL industry and endanger the children in their charge.

Many of these teachers pass from school to school, frequently lasting six months or less. Some of them just do it as a way of seeing the world for free, having no intention of trying to educate their charges. Others have more sinister reasons for seeking work in close proximity to young children, work they could never get in their home countries due to the insistence on criminal record checks.

This not a site aimed at singling out less gifted teachers or allowing schools to settle petty scores. Instead it is aimed at naming and shaming those teachers who work the system, cheating children out of an education and who present a genuine risk to the safety of those they are being paid to help.

If you know of such a teacher, please email me with the details and, if appropriate, I will add their name to this list. It could be that no-one else supports this initiative, but at least I know I’ve done my best to stop one teacher ever endangering students again.

These people need to be stopped.

Some of us are gonna try.

Tony Murray
Hong Kong
May 2011

More details on the personal experiences that led to this site being set up can be found here:

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Niall Kennedy

Known Aliases: 
Dermot Kennedy, Michael Kennedy, Neil Kennedy


Place of Birth: 

Mid 30s (could pass for early 40s)

Email Address:

Countries known to have worked: 
Venezuela, China, Germany

Was sacked from a six month contract in China after four months due to poor performance and unsatisfactory behaviour. Claims to have broken contract in Venezuela due to unhappiness with school. Possibly sacked there. Also worked at Finer English in Germany, duration and reason for termination of contract unknown. Imperative that schools are contacted directly and principals spoken to. Some contacts available on application.


Claims to have graduated from Oxford and Glasgow, but suspicion aroused about the former, due to lack of knowledge of the place. Possibly an affectation, possibly a claim being made to conceal true academic record (or lack thereof). Insistence should be made on seeing original certificates (not easily forged scans) and on speaking to academic referees directly. TEFL tutor should also be contacted and asked why she provided such a bizarre and half-hearted reference.

Causes for Concern


Consistently late and unprepared for classes. Observed classes failed to reach a satisfactory standard and no improvement was observed at subsequent observed classes, despite teacher being notified of pending observation

Relations with Students:

In observed classes, students consistently failed to be motivated or engaged. This was due to the teacher failing to plan the classes and merely working through the textbook in an imaginative and dull fashion. The number of activities frequently fell short of the full time of the class, resulting in excessive padding and repeating of activities, adding to the alienation of students. Throughout, the teacher demonstrated no interest in building a rapport with students and exhibited no sense of failure when classes were removed from him due to underperformance. The overall sense was that deliberate underperformance would result in the curtailing of his hours to a bare minimum. At no time was any sense of responsibility demonstrated for providing the students with any education. The teacher had the lowest level of retained students in the history of the school.

Adult students were more vocal in their complaints, insisting the teacher was changed and asking for money back due to unsatisfactory classes. Again classes were unprepared and consisted of the teacher asking students to read out chunks of the textbook, both collectively and in pairs.

Relations with Parents:

From the teacher’s first morning at the school, when the teacher was 30 minutes late for a class, parents uniformly expressed unhappiness with the teacher. Complaints related to a lack of punctuality, unacceptable standards of dress and hygiene and a failure to motivate students. One parent complained: “My daughter used to love English and used to talk about it all the time. Since beginning this class, she has lost all interest”. 

Following an open class, which parents were invited to observe, several demanded refunds and/or an immediate change of teacher. This was variously attributed to the teacher having no rapport with the class, not knowing any of their names (having taught them for seven weeks), having failed to plan the demo class and frequently appearing “disoriented”. A decision was taken, at this point, to give him no further classes and to begin looking for a replacement.

At Chinese state schools, the teacher was the weekly subject of complaints. This resulted in three off-site centres issuing written instructions that he was not welcome to teach on their premises. The teacher treated these complaints as good news and openly bragged to other members of staff about his increased amount of free time.

Relations with Other Staff Members:

The teacher was stunningly unpopular with Chinese staff. Classes were shared by a foreign teacher and a Chinese teacher. Part of the Chinese teacher’s remuneration was based on the level of rebookings by students for subsequent terms/additional classes. Chinese teachers swiftly became aware that very few of the teacher’s students would look at rebooking. This resulted in Chinese staff refusing to be assigned classes with him, continually asking that his classes be assessed and stating their intention to leave if they were obliged to teach with him.

The teacher presented himself as being unfairly victimised to other foreign members of staff, even while manoeuvring to have more of his classes shifted onto them and, in one case, ensuring his housemate was asked to leave school accommodation for activities that it later transpired  were entirely down to the teacher in question The teacher attempted to play politics within the school and disrupt its day-to-day running as a response to the necessary disciplinary actions that were being taken against him. He did not, however, attempt to remedy any of the behaviour that had resulted in these actions being taken.


Out of Class Behaviour:

The teacher failed to arrive on time for the one half-hourly weekly teacher’s meeting that was stipulated in his contract. He frequently failed to attend at all, claiming he hadn’t been informed of the meeting. This was despite the fact that the meeting was at the same time every week and all other members of staff managed to attend. Items addressed in teacher training sessions were routinely ignored and the teacher seemed incapable of or unwilling to develop his teaching skills.

Subtle and not so subtle hints about inappropriate dress and hygiene standards were routinely ignored, making it impossible for the school to use the teacher in any promotional activities.

The teacher was frequently hungover or suffering from indulging in substances illegal in China (particularly cannabis).

Domestic Arrangements:

The teacher routinely abused his school-provided accommodation. Complaints were received from neighbours and his landlord of loud activity of night and of communal areas being taken up by non-school personnel drinking and smoking. The teacher blamed these on his housemate, who was asked the leave the accommodation. The offences continued and it transpired that the teacher himself was the culprit. The teacher, it turned out, had manipulated the situation out of a desire to have solo occupancy.

A visit by the school authorities discovered that the apartment was in an appalling condition, with left-over food, stubbed out cigarettes and half empty beer and spirits bottles littering the premises. When offered a cleaner, the teacher declined on the grounds that he didn’t see why he should pay and that the mess didn’t bother him. Two teachers that were subsequently allocated a room in the accommodation left after one night, maintaining the place was “unfit” for habitation. The teacher refused to leave the accommodation, even after his teaching contract had been terminated. He instead demanded money to move out.

Criminal Issues:

The school had concerns over three potentially criminal issues:

1)      Purchase and use of prohibited substances (cannabis), much of which, it was believed, was smoked in school accommodation. This was a particular concern as the offences took place during the 2008 Olympics, a time of heightened security in the Chinese capital.

2)      Theft of a boat in a public park whilst drunk. This took place after a decision had been made to terminate the teacher’s contract, but would have been grounds enough for an instant dismissal.

3)      Reports of ‘inappropriate’ behaviour by the teacher towards a young female student were made by a Chinese member of staff. The teacher was placed under immediate supervision and it was ensured that he was never alone with young children His obvious inability to establish relationships with women of his own age only added to concern. There was no repeat of the behaviour and no corroboration, but it remained a huge concern.

Further Contacts:

Email/phone contacts can be provided for witnesses to a number of these events. These will only be provided to bona fide employers.


The obvious recommendation is don’t employ. If, however, you wish to give the teacher the benefit of the doubt, then the following steps are advised:

1)      Take up references at every school the teacher claims to have worked at. Phone the school and speak directly to the individuals concerned.

2)      Be hugely suspicious of any employment gaps on the CV. Ask for documentary evidence of activities during these periods.

3)      Insist on seeing original documents for all claimed academic qualifications. Speak to academic referees  and insist on speaking to his original TEFL tutor

4)      Insist on an UP-TO-DATE criminal record check for the teacher’s home country, even if it is not legally required in the territory you are looking to appoint him to. Also request a criminal record check for any territory the teacher has been/claimed to have been domiciled in for more than six months

5)      Insist on a medical and blood test (including drug screening) prior to confirming any appointment

6)      Keep the teacher supervised in the presence of young children. Never allow him to be alone with them during level testing etc

7)      If only a remote interview is possible, insist on being sent a video of the teacher conducting a class.


Interesting Postscript: 
An email arrives, unbidden, from someone claiming to be a former employer of Kennedy that I was previously unaware of. Apparently, as I'd pretty much guessed, this was not the first time Kennedy was cautioned about innappropriate behavour towards kids.

More details when and if this pans out.