Dear Theo and all, HELP!!! I don't really know what to do. I've called ACAS who said it's a civil matter and of course, like a silly girl, I'm not in a union (Something about being too poor to afford the subs!!) I was only made aware of the bad ref when a supply agency called to say they couldn't employ me as my ref was 'insufficiant'. I then called the school where I'd had an interview the previous week who said they got the ref but put it to one side and made ther decision without it as they couldn't match it up with the person in interview (thankyou!). I then called my previous school and requested a copy of that ref. It came this morning and it is the most awful thing I've ever seen. It makes me look like I was hardly ever there, (2 days sick in 4 terms) didn't do any additional activities (ran drumming club and the school council - got awarded the Green Eco flag last term) was hated by all staff (been on the phone all the time over the summer) and the parents and pupils couldn't stand me (out with one family for the day in the hols, round anothers for tea, met up for breakfast with one of the mums last week and asked to do private tutoring for four of them). It says I wasn't interested in CPD (only went on 10 courses in 4 terms!) badly prepared lessons and presentation (regularly overheard - oooo, that's a bit fancy!) and so on an so forth. I was actively bullied by my head while I was there (and no, I didn't keep a record, more fool me) who regularly interupted my lessons for things she could have asked for earlier, undermined my authority at every turn (sending children back from her office because she didn't think I'd gone through the time out procedure first, aggressively questioning me in front of the children for things that I was in the right about and so on.) and she also made things up about stuff people had said. I only found this out because am an honest and upfront person and if I have upset anyone or behaved inappropriately, I say 'Sorry' at the first opportunity. I have been met with a lot of 'what are you talking about? I never said anything like that!' She is now preventing me from getting work. Can I stop putting her as a reference? Can I put the retired deputy head instead? Can I, realistically, get something done? She has treated me appallingly and continues to behave in this manner to others - should I speak out to save other people going through it or keep my mouth shut and not rock the boat? HELP!!! Yours, A very confused and upset teacher.