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Dear Theo - advice about references

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by lily_w, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter

    I am in the process of applying for a part time teaching job and I am unsure of who to put down as my 2 references.
    I left my last full-time job at October half term due to a serious family illness, after starting there in September. The headteacher was understanding and released me early from my contract. I did feel bad about leaving so unexpectedly but it was the right thing to do at the time.

    I still need an income and this part time teaching job starts in January and is non-class based, so it's ideal for me. However, I will need to contact my last headteacher and ask for a reference. I am planning to do this by email but I'm unsure of what to say. Would it be reasonable to write a short email explaining that it is a part time job and that I would be grateful if I could put their name as a reference?

    Secondly, I am unsure of who to put as the second reference. I could put my HoD from my previous school but as I was only there a term, I'm not sure if it would be suitable. Before being employed by my last school, I taught at a school before that for several years but unfortunately the Headteacher is now retired and I don't have contact details for her. The current Headteacher knew me for 4 months before I left and we seemed to have a good relationship but it took a very long time for her to respond to the reference request from my previous job, despite me chasing it up several times, so I am reluctant to put her down again.

    So my questions are:
    1) Would it be appropriate to write a short, polite email to my previous headteacher to explain that I am applying for a part time job which would suit my family situation and that I would be grateful if I could put their name as a reference?

    2) Should I put down two references from my previous school, even though I was only there for one term? (Headteacher and HoD?)

    3) Should I put down the headteacher from the school I worked at before that, even though she only started a short time before I left and there was a delay on the last reference I requested from her? I thought that I could perhaps put the 2 references from the previous school but also include the name of the headteacher from the school before that in the application statement, as that school has a better idea of how I work.

    I hope that makes sense! Thank you for any advice.
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo there! It sounds as though the family situation is a little more manageable now; I am pleased for you if this is so.

    Yes indeed! That's quite right.

    As for the other two questions . . . choose someone who (a) knows you (it doesn't have to be a Head - a HoD would do) and who (b) can be relied on.

    And of course, do ask them first!

    Best wishes

  3. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter

    Thanks Theo.
    Just to clarify, do I have to put the Headteacher of my last teaching post on applications or can it be someone else in senior leadership, such as an Assistant Head?
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Best to have the Head . . . It's what is expected.

    Best wishes


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