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Applying for Headship - References

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by izzywhizzal, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. izzywhizzal

    izzywhizzal Occasional commenter

    I am on the brink of applying for my fist headship position. I have just been told that one of my references must be from my current LEA if applying for any headship position.I was not aware of this! Does anyone know if this really is the case? Would that be the first reference and does it take the place of a reference by my current Head Teacher or would the second reference have to be my current Head Teacher? Also, if I must have a reference from the LEA, do I just put xxxxx LA in the box on the application form or do you have to have a particular person from the LEA? Sorry if this seems pedantic but i am slightly confused and I imagine it is important to get this right.
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I've never heard of this - who told you? I (mind, this was quite some years ago!) gave my headteacher and chair of governors for my first headship and then director of education (as was) and chair of governors for my second.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Who has told you that? If it's on the application form sounds like they are using a form that's 30 years old! Back in, ooh, 1980s (that's showing my age :) ), when new heads were largely appointed by LAs, it was conventional for first reference to be the LA "chief inspector" as they'd be called then, and the second from your current head. But that convention died years ago, when LAs stopped appointing heads, and subsequently have stopped doing almost anything.

    Nowadays when I'm recruiting heads most often I see two heads as the referees.

    Suppose you were in an academy? What could the LA say then, other than "No idea, never heard of him/her"?

    Does anyone in the LA actually know you? No point in just putting the name of the LA, the application form would only be sent back to you asking for a specific name.
  4. izzywhizzal

    izzywhizzal Occasional commenter

    It was a head teacher who told me who works in a neighbouring authority! I guess it's current head teacher first, then any other education professional who would support my application fully...which may or may not be someone in the authority eg. Advisor, school improvement officer etc. Thanks for your thoughts!
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide


    I wouldn't place too much reliance on that. I think your plan is the best approach. Current head first referee. If there's an LA advisor or SIO who does actually know you and your work they'd be a good second reference, but if no-one in LA has any personal knowledge of you better to find someone else altogether. It would soon be obvious to the school you are applying to if the LA person knew nothing about you.
  6. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    This is what I did as well.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter



    I put my current Head plus a former Head who had moved on to be a Director of Education.

    Next point. (Regular readers know what's coming next).


    Have you found the application advice articles?

    Best wishes

  8. veneris

    veneris New commenter

    I know of one county who were asking for that a few years ago because I had to do it. I used the school's improvement advisor. Obviously you'll need to ask them first before putting them down on the form but it does need to be a named person.

    It's not widespread practice though so it really does depend where you are applying, and not all the schools in that particular LA apply that reference procedure anyway.

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