Dear Theo/John I am looking for some definitive advice about the current situation regarding references. Its a long story which I don't need to go into now but briefly I went for a job, was offered it by telephone, resigned,was then told there was a "problem" with reference from my head so they were withdrawing the offer. PANIC.... then got in touch to see what the "problem" was. The head had only provided basic facts about me: how long I have been employed here, payscale, job description etc... but nothing about my performance or if I was a competent teacher. This was taken by my potential new school as an alarm bell - why wont they give this guy a decent reference? I saw the schools HR consultant and he told me they now have a policy of only writing basic fact style references because the law changed last year. He said it was due to the fact that employers were getting sued if their references were not 100% accurate. I got my union to call my new school to resolve the problem but still waiting to hear. My questions are: Has the law changed? Can they offer a job verbally then withdraw it or make a less attractive offer. What they have said so far is that they will give me the job but want me to sign a temporary contract effectively putting me on "probation" for a couple of months till they can see for themselves that I am capable of doing the job. Clearly this is not what I applied for but need a job for Sept' so feel they have me over a barrel. I know I was foolish to resign without it in writing - before anyone tells me - but I took them at their word and if I had not I would not have been able to start in Sept' as this was just before the resigning date. I will see what the union guy can come up with but if they still insist on the temp contract what should I do next? Any advice welcome.