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Dear Theo and everyone - Referee Query - please help!!

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by laws2008, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Hi,

    I want to apply for a job that has just come up, but I am unsure who to put down as my referees.

    To cut a long story short, I finished my PGCE in 2010 and have done supply/taken maternity leave ever since. I moved into primary supply recently as I found there was more work there than in secondary.

    I usually put my university tutor down as a referee and my mentor (the head of business) at one of my placement schools. I always put a comment saying that my current employer isn't down as a referee because he doesn't really know much about my teaching, and I feel that these two people have more experience of me in the classroom.

    Anyway, my ex-mentor is starting a new job as a deputy head in September, so her contact details are no longer at the school I worked with her at. She has specifically requested that I don't give her personal details out, but hasn't got any school details until she starts in September (the closing date is 31st August).

    Do I put her down with her old details?

    Do I put my agency down as my referee? (even though they don't know much about me and might not be in the office until September)

    Or do I put a non-teaching reference from my ex-manager when I worked in retail?

    Please help!
     
  2. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Not Theo, I'm afraid, as he's on his hols, but I'll do my best and others can fill in the gaps!
    Theo always advises <u>against</u> using your agency, as they give only general references, like "X has been working through the agency for the last six months".
    Ideally, you would get one of the headteachers for whom you have worked this year. Is there somewhere you were placed for several weeks? The HT may have to ask someone who knew you better exactly what you were like but I'm sure they'd give you a decent reference.
    Or you could put down your mentor's new school details. I'm sure they know which school they're teaching at? Just put the school's address, email and phone - something will get through to your mentor.
     
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Again, not Theo I'm afraid, but I feel certain he would say you should give your current Head as a reference, even if they don't know too much about your teaching. It 'flags up 'as a potential issue if you don't and although they 'officially' sign off, they often don't actually write it themselves anyway.
    As to your mentor's new details problem, could you possibly give their name in the box and say contact details will follow, as they're currently moving schools. If the closing date is 31st Aug., the new details might even be in place by the time they've shortlisted and got to interview- presumably in the new term?
    Best of luck with the application!
     
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    As you know (because it says so at the top of the page!), I am on my hols, but I'll give a brief reply here.
    The statutory guidance to schools is that the current or most recent employer in a job involving working with children or young people must be your first referee. So you have no choice really over this.
    And this means the Head, by the way, except in extraordinary circumstances. If the Head doesn't have experience of your teaching, s/he will ask someone else in the school to draft something about it.
    Not to have the Head looks fishy. Not to have the current or more recent school looks fishy too. Your former mentor is correct to say that you should not give a personal address - always give a school address. But someone who knew you in their role as Head of Business is not really much use as a referee for Primary, to be very blunt here, although it is not clear what you are applying for.
    SO:
    1) Current or most recent Head first referee
    2) Someone else who can give a good view of you as suitable for that particular job.
    3) If current or most recent Head is from a very different type of school, give him/her anyway to comply with the rules, and in your letter have a very brief sentence saying that you have given your most recent Head as a referee of course, but if they would wish to hear also from someone who has direct experience of your teaching in a more relevant context, then the following has also agreed to act as a referee: Mr Theo Griff, Headteacher, Grungy Green School etc etc etc.
    You are asking people before you put them down as referees, aren't you? Good luck!
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme click here or contact Julia on advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions
     
  5. Sorry I wasn't very clear!

    I'm applying for a secondary job, but I've been doing primary supply which is why I don't really think my agency is a good idea (I never usually put them as a referee, but do put a brief note explaining why an usually include my agent's number).

    I do ask permission before putting people as referees, and usually put it as the head teacher but that it should be directed to my ex-mentor.

    Unfortunately, I've only worked at one school on a long term placement and I covered a number of classes. The school wasn't very pleasant and only the receptionist spoke to me (I did try to strike conversation in the staff room but didn't have much luck), so I don't think they would give me a reference that would be worth anything.
     

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