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Ca - how long until agreed references?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Kelloggs, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. Kelloggs

    Kelloggs New commenter

    I left my last post at Xmas with a CA which was after a period of informal capability which was to be made formal, despite me producing evidence that my teaching was not inadequate. School agreed I could go at Xmas but be employed until end Jan and I would get a tax-free payment and an agreed reference. After Xmas I waited a few weeks before approaching agencies etc to register for supply work and to look for posts myself as I knew that the reference needed sorting. My union rep drafted it from the original one provided by the school and sent it off over 3 weeks ago. I have now been offered a half-term contract starting after this half term 'subject to suitable references'. Apparently it is with the council's legal department and has been for at least 2 weeks. I am now starting to panic as I need to get this sorted ASAP before the offer is withdrawn. The supply agencies are also chasing this one reference which is outstanding. Anybody got any words of wisdom on this? I have asked the union rep to chase this up but haven't heard anything back - she has been very good, but the area one has been very quiet.
  2. I would try rining HR and explaining how urgently you need it.
  3. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    Have you actually signed the CA? The reference should be part of the agreement and as soon as its signed by both parties you should be able to request the reference. My LA sat on the agreement for a month before signing to enable them to make the payment when it was convenient for them, which meant I had to wait an extra month before I could apply for anything. If the CA has been drawn up then it will have been done by solicitors and as such is no longer in the hands of the union, so it is unlikely they can do anything. You should have been given contact details for the solicitors so you could contact them directly to find out the status of the agreement.
    If all this has gone through then the school would be in breach of the agreement by not providing the reference, so I'm assuming that it hasn't been finalised yet.
    You could try contacting the school and politely requesting they provide a reference but they don't have to until the agreement is signed.
  4. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    It's sounds as if your CA has not been completed: the agreed reference is presumably part of the agreement.
    If you don't have a CA, then you can look into taking your employer to a tribunal.
  5. Kelloggs

    Kelloggs New commenter

    It is part of a CA - nothing has been signed yet at all. The payment has been agreed verbally, the reference has been amended by us and sent back to them for their amendments or agreement. It is with the legal department, so it is almost there, but not quite!!! As they have had it for over 3 weeks, I would hope it is finalised very soon as I need it urgently!
  6. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    I would see if you can make some other arrangement just in case - without wanting to unnecessarily worry you when it may not be the case, but I signed mine and it then took more than 5 weeks before I got the signed confirmation back from the LA and could request refs and then another 3 weeks before the money came through.
    If its only the reference you need perhaps you could contact school and explain the situation?
    I do hope you get sorted, but I wouldn't sit around waiting for them - they don't care how long it takes.
  7. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    They generally start with 'to whom it may concern' which is a giant red flag to anyone inside education. Other than that, no.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I have had references written individually to the school requesting, not To whom it may concern.
    They have, however, usually been identifiable as CA references from the style. Bland, not saying much, and not actually amswering any of the specific questions we asked in our reference request.
    They can't, of course, as a CA reference cannot deviate from the agreed format.
    Two other indicators: someone leaving a school but NOT at the usual leaving date.
    If you haven't yet finalised your CA, see if you can get your leaving date changed to 30 April, (with you on leave) even at the expense of having to pay tax on your salary, and losing some of your possibly-tax-free pay-out. Your Union should warn you about this point!
    The second one is when we ring up with a query about the non-answering of a specific question, and get told: I am not at liberty to say any more. Get your union to agree that they may answer, in the spirit of the agreed reference, any questions.
    You are of course also stymied, I'm afraid, when the reference request includes: Please confirm that this reference is given freely and is not part of a compromise agreement or other agreed reference.
    What does your union have to say about that? Do get the union working for you!
    Best wishes


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  9. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    It is possible to get a clause in the agreement saying that the school must address the reference to the person who requested it, to avoid the 'to whom it may concern' issue.
    I agree with Theo, you definitely ought to try to get the leaving date changed to the end of April, otherwise it will be very obvious to anyone in any school you apply to at any time in the future.
    If you have a leaving date at the end of a term, then once you've found your next post, you won't have to worry about the agreed reference, because you can just ask two people from your new school to be referees when you move on.
  10. casper

    casper New commenter

    Not sure if this has been resolved, but I would go through your union. Get them to do the chasing.

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