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Agreed reference GLghost Theo?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by azzie, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. azzie

    azzie New commenter

    Me again a bit more advice if anyone is out there.

    I have agreed a reference. The last paragraph states I have been put into capability. I have asked that this paragraph is only included if a specific question is asked about capability. I have been told this cannot be done. I have ditched my Union rep but I am sure that this should only be included if asked for. As I am negotiating this reference myself any one any ideas about the rules around this?

  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There is a specific statutory requirement applying only to schools to disclose capability if asked (School Staffing Regulations).

    However, the general law on references applies to schools as well and that requires employers to give references that are fair and accurate and not misleading - search online and you'll find plenty of law firms giving more details of what this means.

    I imagine your school/LA takes the view that in your specific circumstances the reference would not be "fair and accurate" if it failed to mention the formal capability.
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    The only relevant rule regarding references in general is that what is included must be true. As this is true, there is nothing to stop the HT from including it.
  4. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I believe that since September 2012, schools have to disclose if an employee was on capability.
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    My reference stated that I had had extended sick leave with a 'contagious condition', which eczema isn't. It took a solicitor quite a while to persuade the school to remove the word 'contagious. The school tried crawling through the loophole of claiming that they believed this to be true at the time the reference was written, as HR had told them so.
  6. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I suspect a reference including this would be (next to) useless in getting you another job. If the school won't remove it, can you negotiate that further details are included that put the 'offence' into context? Obviously you can't post those details here, but think about how you might show that the capability issue isn't really serious and won't stop you be an effective teacher in another school.
  7. old_dobbin

    old_dobbin Occasional commenter

    I wonder whether you can at least get your school to agree that the paragraph in your reference about capability will be removed two years after it was finalised, just in case you still need to ask them to supply references then or later.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    What a difficult situation for you.

    The legal requirement is that the employer, if s/he provides a reference at all, should provide a true, accurate and fair reference that does not give a misleading impression.

    If, because of negligent misstatement (inclusion of inaccurate or omission of important information), you suffer detriment (loss), you may claim damages.

    But it seems that this is true and accurate? Fair? And not misleading in any way?

    I'm afraid that this reference will have to stand in that case. You see, the school also has a legal obligation to any prospective employer :

    • An employer owes a duty of care to the recipient of the reference (the prospective employer) to ensure that it is true, accurate and fair, and does not give a misleading impression. The employer giving the reference could be sued by the recipient if it gives a negligent or careless reference which subsequently results in financial loss to the recipient.

    A new school, if this information was not included, could take action against your referee if as a result they appointed you, discovered this later, had to re-advertise etc etc etc.

    Their obligation goes both ways - to you and to the new school.

    Best wishes


    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, where she answers jobseeking and careers queries regularly each week.


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