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Agreed reference...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by laticsbird, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. laticsbird

    laticsbird New commenter

    Hello again everyone. Just thought I'd pop by again as you have supported me so wonderfully so far and for that I'm grateful. Tablets have settled me down and the rest away again is doing me good. Preparing for Christmas with my husband and children is also a Godsend as it's motivating me to get off the couch and actually do things.

    Anyway, I just wanted a little more advice please if possible. I do apologise as I know it's a very busy time for everyone. But, could you please advise what should be included in an agreed reference?

    Thank you again, in advance.

  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Others may disagree with me - but I would want to get into it all the positive facts that I could, e.g. evidence of your success (exam results, good and better observations, etc). This is the kind of thing that heads of schools to which you might apply want to hear about and will assist you in overcoming the 'agreed reference' stigma.
    thekillers1, anon8315 and FrankWolley like this.
  3. laticsbird

    laticsbird New commenter

    Thank you Middlemarch for your swift reply...how long should I expect the reference to be?? What I mean is, should I expect more than one or two short paragraphs?

    Thank you again.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Mine was about 4 paragraphs.
    1 facts about my employment. Dates and roles
    2 clubs and extra bits I had done
    3 a sentence or two about no safeguarding concerns
    4 a bit about various CPD (think this was for the school to pretend they were proactive and supportive and all that they were not!)

    It got me my next post, deliberately a temporary one. Then I didn't use it for my next post and won't ever need it again.
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    It depends on what you want them to talk about. I've written references of a couple of paragraphs which were concise and very positive. I've written more lengthy ones in which I was explaining why I couldn't offer "recommendation without reservation" (the highest form of recommendation) for the teacher in this instance - it might, for example, have been someone applying for a SLT post for which I didn't think they met the criteria.

    What might be a good idea would be to draw up the kind of 'fact sheet' that would make it very easy for the head to write you a reference based on evidence, rather than the kind of meander through nothingness that can pass for an agreed reference.
  6. laticsbird

    laticsbird New commenter

    Thank you again :)

    Your help is most appreciated.

  7. Birdie64

    Birdie64 Occasional commenter

    I've just got an agreed reference...it was positive and only mentioned my positive contributions, no mention of time off with stress ( as the union official said ...I wasn't sick as such, just sick of that school!) and although there were initially some gaps, such as after school clubs, Christmas productions, sports days etc, they were added when I passed it back. The send draft was the only one the school was going to agree to so I accepted it...it was enough to help me get another temporary post elsewhere.

    It's really tricky because in any other job there would be someone else to talk to and one could leave at any time by giving notice...teaching is peculiar like that and there has to be somewhere we can go to make a complaint, or least moan about, someone who is making our lives hell...governors are no good as they are in the pocket of the Heads.

    Keep your chin up, it takes time but there is life ahead and it's going to be ok.
    notsonorthernlass and laticsbird like this.
  8. laticsbird

    laticsbird New commenter

    Thank you Schoolbird...your support is really appreciated. It's a worry for me as although I'm relieved to be getting out of the school, I do need to be able to find work eventually once I'm better. I did send them a long list of everything I have contributed to school but the draft they have sent for me to check does seem rather short and doesn't seem to make mention of many of the successful strategies implemented by myself :(

    I guess this is the norm.

    Thanks again.
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Then send it back with a polite note saying that they seem to have forgotten to include X. Y and Z. After all, they sent it to you to check!

    There should also be a statement about no concerns over CP and S.

    Best wishes

  10. Birdie64

    Birdie64 Occasional commenter

    I think that either
    1) my school was keen to see me go or
    2) they were running scared of the trouble I could choose to cause.
    Either way they wanted rid of me so it was in their interest to do that in the most efficient way possible and that was to write a fair reference based on what I had done there.

    I put my cv up on Indeed and have been inundated with offers of interviews by education recruitment agencies who seem to get that some people's lives have been made a misery for no good cause. I took on some private tuition work through an agency so that I had another active referee and I got my own new post by myself. The private tuition is great because there is instant feed back from the child and also the parents ... When you start to get recommendations then you are reminded that you are good at teaching and it's been a way for me to regain some self esteem.

    It's ok... Really it's ok...you have take of yourself first, then everything else follows.
    notsonorthernlass likes this.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Same here.
    Remember it is an agreed reference, so you need to negotiate and agree. Or, hopefully, your union is doing that for you.

    And yes, it is ok in the end. Take some time and then get out there. Visit schools that are advertising, even if you aren't sure. Just going into a school and meeting normal headteachers who are kind and decent is helpful when recovering.
  12. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I was taking my head to an employment tribunal and they refused to write a reference. My new head was aware of the situation. They complained to the head of HR who then contacted my old head. I got the reference straight afterwards.

    As Theo said it must say there were no CP issues. That was the only information my new head wanted as I had lots of other references.
    shopaholicannon likes this.
  13. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    My nasty head tried to include a sentence that hinted at capability, even though it had been proved that there were no capability issues and it was just part of his bullying. I had this removed and practically reworded the whole letter including paragraphs on my achievements. As it was all factual he couldn't argue. I also made sure I included any skills and experience that could be useful to jobs outside of teaching as i knew I wasn't going back to teaching. This meant when I was applying to other allied professions, the reference backed up my personal statement. The safeguarding and disciplinary sentence is really important as they will be asked to comment on this in a reference and if it is not in the agreed reference, then they do not have to comment on it, leaving that part blank. The omission will then look as though there are issues.
  14. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, the CP & S statement is ESSENTIAL!


  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    To help many people who might not immediately recognise the acronym, what exactly is CP and S?
    I guess CP is Child Protection but S?
  16. SchoolBoyError

    SchoolBoyError Occasional commenter

  17. Birdie64

    Birdie64 Occasional commenter

    I was able to use the points raised in my agreed reference in my interview and that way my answers reinforced my reference ... It was a positive help.

    I had three interviews before I got my new post .... My friend had drilled into me that the interview was a two way street and that if I didn't get the post it was because it wasn't the right place for me. There are nice schools out there with nice head teachers...you mightn't get the first post you apply for but that's ok, it's all practise for the real deal...good luck to everyone who needs to read this post and remember it's not you, it's the system.
    GLsghost likes this.
  18. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Schoolbird likes this.
  19. laticsbird

    laticsbird New commenter

    Hi everyone...just another question please if that's ok?
    If I'm registering with a supply agency and they ask me the reason I'm leaving this employment, do I have to say that it was through a settlement agreement? I don't want to skate over the truth obviously, but I feel a certain embarrassment at having been absent for so long and then being offered the S.A. with an agreed reference and having to tell an agency this.
    Does anyone have any advice?
    Thanks again.
  20. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Doesn't your agreement say that you must not say this?

    Reading your post, I would suggest that you say (if true, obviously not if it isn't true!) Health issue which has now been resolved entirely.

    Best wishes


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