18. David Bradbury’s Agon With Ashley Platts

When did you first come to know David Bradbury?

When I started TBI in 2007.

What were your first impressions?

He only seemed interested in talking to people who were more senior than him in the organization. He showed very little interest in talking to me at first.

Did this ever change?

Not for a long time. Only after I started to be promoted through the company did he become more friendly.

Did you ever raise this issue with him?

I did, yes. I mentioned that he had been very stand-offish when I was a teacher but after I became Academic Team leader, he was much warmer. He said he knew it might have looked this way but denied that there was any agenda or motive to this. I presumed he was a bit of a climber, but I decided not to hold it against him.

What was his role in the company when you started?

At the time I started he had a special position in the Academic Department.

What did this academic role entail?

At the time, he was still doing his DELTA, so he was still becoming qualified to be a CELTA trainer. The role was different to the current Head of Academics role. At that time, roles in TBI were very loosely defined generally. There were no job descriptions at that point, which was one of the problems with the company.

Did he get any promotions from here?

No he didn’t. In fact he received a demotion of sorts. He was soon  just a regular classroom teacher again.

How long had he been with the company by that point?

Approximately six or seven years.

Why did David lose that academic role?

According to multiple sources, because the organization finally realized he had been producing nothing in terms of academic policy or procedures for years.  To paraphrase Luke Preece, he had sat in his little office near the canteen for years, not producing anything much at all.

What was the role of R** W*** in this academic deparment?

Apart from running three CELTAs a year, he didn’t seem to do much of anything. So for 8 or 9 months a year, no one knew what R** did. It was presumed he did very little.

Did R** have any teaching hours on his schedule?

No. I did spend 2 or 3 hours with him when I first became Actel being instructed how to observe teachers.

Did you receive any other help from this ‘academic department’ in your time as Academic Team Leader of Jakarta’s biggest TBI school?

A few times I asked if we could accept certain qualifications from job applicants and was given a verbal answer.

Can we assume that this assistance would rarely have amounted to more than a few minutes work at a time?

It was always given back straight away. There was no research done, so yes.

Who was David and R**’s supervisor?

Mariam.

Had she produced a job description for either R** and David?

Not to my knowledge. It would certainly have been out of character for her to produce anything in terms of policy documents.

I recall an Academic Policies booklet being produced in 2009. What did TBI have before that date?

A few odd bits of paper. There was nothing comprehensive.

So you are saying that TBI did not even have official academic policies until 2009, almost 25 years after the company began?

That’s correct.

Did David and R** create this policy book in 2009?

No, it was created by G***, who had been appointed as Head of Academics.

Was G*** appointed as the boss of David and R** ?

Yes.

Did anything change after David and R** were placed under the supervision of G***?

They didn’t like it at all. But R** was asked to teach more classes , which he certainly resisted. It was well-known at Head Office that there were highly non-cooperative and resisted G***’s attempts to reform the Academic Policy department.

Why was this role given to G**** rather than David?

David already had a terrible reputation for laziness with Senior Management. In a matter of months G*** produced far more in terms of Academic policy than David and R** had produced in years.

Why didn’t G*** remain with the company?

She couldn’t stand the internal politics that people like Mariam and Luke were endlessly engaged in. David and R*** had not made her feel welcome either.

You say that David had a terrible reputation with Senior Management. Can you elaborate on this point?

He had been in the position to drive academic policy for many years and there were just no visible signs of work being produced. It was perceived that he was not able to be productive without close supervision and guidance. So he ended up back as a classroom teacher. This is of course not he tells people, but it is the real reason he never got anywhere in the company.

To me David Bradbury blamed his lack of success in TBI on ‘the homophobia of Ashley Platts.’ Did he ever mention this theory to you?

Oh God yes. Frequently.

To me David Bradbury blamed his lack of success in TBI on ‘the homophobia of Ashley Platts.’ Did he ever mention this theory to you?

Oh God yes. Frequently.

Would you agree that David Bradbury was regularly propagating the theory that Platts’s homophobia was a danger to gay people in TBI?

Yes. He mentioned it a number of people.

Can you please give our readers a flavour of these comments?

David was convinced that the reason he never got anywhere in TBI was because Ashley Platts had it out for him. He believed that Ashley Platts had thwarted his career in TBI because he hated gays.

Do you accept this theory?

I think David’s lack of discretion and patchy record of performance had more to do with his failure at TBI. As for Ashley Platts, he seems to be envious of other expat managers. He keeps pushing Mariam to fire them. He displays irrational hostility to many, many people- not just gays.

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