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Asking to go on interview

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by thekizzaa, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. thekizzaa

    thekizzaa New commenter

    Dear @TheoGriff

    This might sound like an odd question, and sorry if it's in the wrong place.

    I've just found out today that I've been offered an interview next week, on Tuesday.

    The problem being that today and this week is half term, so I have no way of firstly telling my head that I have an interview next week in person (I did not tell him beforehand as references were only going to be requested after interview, so didn't want to alarm him that I was looking elsewhere in case I wasn't offered an interview).

    I obviously don't want to leave it until next Monday, asking for the next day off for an interview.

    Is it ok to email him/his PA requesting the day off, and letting him know why I'm applying? I don't want to sound unprofessional, or that I'm looking to move, but this is a good opportunity for me to move to a different environment.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Odd not to take up references before the interview.
    Now you probably realise that you should have told him. People leave.
  3. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    This seems to be getting really silly. It used to be seen as a positive thing teacher's applying for jobs. Now it seems to be the heinous crime imaginable to some heads.

    The result is people getting themselves into a bind like the OP.

    In teaching you need (required by law?) a reference from the HT of your current school to get another teaching job. Unfortunately, said HT is not obliged to give said reference. Have I missed something here or is it just me who thinks this is a crazy situation?

    In the past common sense prevailed, you went to your HT, said "I'm for jobs as such and such may I put your name down as a referee" and the response would be "Of course, I'll help as much as I can." Now this situation seems to be a cue for WW3.

    I would be inclined to speak to your HT in person asap (Monday morning) unless you can get in contact earlier. HT's PA may know when they are in school during the half-term.
    MissSimps91, Compassman and alla_ova like this.
  4. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Is this for another teaching post?

    I thought the rules now meant that references for teaching posts had to be taken up before interview.
  5. thekizzaa

    thekizzaa New commenter

    Another teaching post in an FE college.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Just email head and his pa, then speak to him on Monday morning.
    Then relax about it, prepare for interview and enjoy half term,
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    As it isn't a school, this not calling for references is fine. But in general one should tell the Head beforehand.

    Do I have to tell my Head I am applying elsewhere?

    I think that the best solution is that suggested above by @caterpillartobutterfly among others: ask the Heads secretary now if he'll be in so that you can contact him in person, or send him an e-mail asking permission to go, and also see him on Monday.

    Remember that he doesn't HAVE to authorise it, so make it easier for him by saying that you would be leaving clear details of work for each class.

    Now come to Jobseekers Forum (scroll down the forums list) and ask for help with interview preparation, if you haven't already found it all.

    Best wishes

  8. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Now it's an excuse to be spiteful by some heads.

    A colleague left last year after many years service for another teaching job. The head decided to write that his teaching was 'inconsistent' (I think he'd got one '3' in as many years) and he nearly didn't get the job but had to plead for a revised reference.

    Another, who left with an agreed reference applied for another teaching job and the same head didn't even send the agreed reference to the new school. I'm sure that was going against the settlement.

    I'm so glad I didn't need a reference from this HT for my non-teaching job.
    cissy3 likes this.
  9. thekizzaa

    thekizzaa New commenter

    Thanks all, I've sent an email to the head and PA. Fingers crossed!
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Now scroll down to the Jobseekers forum and find out about the interview advice articles.

    Best wishes

  11. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    You HAVEN'T told your HT that you've applied for a new job? Woah. Sorry, irrespective of whether references are to be obtained before or after interview, you MUST tell your head before applying. You need to get their permission to attend this and the fact you haven't told them already indicates that their answer is likely to be no.
    It can burn your bridges with them, and can subsequently lead to a damaged reference.
    If they say no, what are you going to do? If you call in sick, they will know you are lying and this will lead to disciplinary procedures coupled with your HT could phone up your prospective school to confirm if you attended and then inform them that they are not authorised to be away from work.
    You've caused yourself a lot of trouble.
  12. thekizzaa

    thekizzaa New commenter

    Well done, great advice. That's really helpful.
    Emmanuelle2005 likes this.
  13. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    We often post comments like this for the benefit of other people who might read it and realise that they must inform the head that they're about to apply for other jobs. No, it doesn't help you now, but it might help others.
    wanet likes this.
  14. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Why is it different in teaching to other occupations?

    I'm fairly sure that in other occupations that if you apply for another job then there is no obligation to inform your employer?

    As I've said before I was offered a job subject to interview during the summer holidays last year. Just asked the head for the time off for the interview.
  15. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Lots of things about appointment procedures in education are different from practice in business.

    But employment law, of course, is the same.

    Best wishes

  16. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There's not actually an obligation to inform your employer in teaching either, but because of different recruitment practices - asking for references before interview, and interviewing during working day - in practice you do need to tell your head.

    I'be done a lot of recruiting in the private sector and it is indeed very different there. You wouldn't dream of telling your employer you were applying for another job unless and until you actually had it. On the other hand you'd never ask your employer for time off to go to an interview for another job either. In private sector you'd go for interview at lunchtime or after work or take a day's holiday. References are only asked for after you've been offered and accepted the job (because they aren't used as part of the selection process).

    Why is it different? I suspect because historically schools didn't see themselves in competition with each other. And because most teachers were employed by the LA not by individual schools so it was seen more as the LA, your employer, moving you around within the organisation. Because neither of those things are true any longer we are seeing far more problems with heads making difficulties over time off for interviews.
    wanet likes this.
  17. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I personally think it is outrageous - and in fact should breach some sort of human rights legislation that there is an expectation that a Head is informed before one even applies for an interview. As it is a lose-lose potentially for the candidate if the school does not take up the candidate for interview - the candidate has not had success getting a new job AND the Head now knows the candidate wants a different job. This can be undermining to the candidate although I accept in the best cases a Head may subsequently offer better terms at the current school.
    Obviously as interviews take up school days or parts thereof, a Head should of course be made aware then as a reference will then be sought and the candidate will need time off. If all schools worked on this principle things would be better.

    To the OP - e-mail the Head/Heads PA and then at least technically you have given a weeks notice. If the Heads reaction is anything but one wishing good luck (and perhaps genuine regret you are looking to move on BUT with best wishes) - then maybe this will not be your first of the season!

    PS I once put my own line manager in the same position by applying without telling, but the individual in question was unaware part of the reason I was applying was I was only on a succession of termly contracts!
  18. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Slightly off on a tangent but I don't think it's new for teachers to be worried about going for a new job.

    At one school I worked at legend had it that the previous head would write terrible references for staff he rated.

    One Senior person told me that that one of her colleagues had had to explain at interview why 2 senior members of staff at the same school had written such different accounts of her.
  19. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Those "legends" do persist, don't they?
    wanet likes this.
  20. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Deirds said:
    At one school I worked at legend had it that the previous head would write terrible references for staff he rated.
    Click to expand...
    Those "legends" do persist, don't they?

    But MM, surely you must accept that while there are Heads out there that do this...............

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