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Dear Theo, have I been supplying too long to have a good referee?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by bluesberry, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. bluesberry

    bluesberry New commenter

    Dear Theo,

    I've started applying to non-teaching posts, but am not sure who to use as a referee. I've been supply teaching for nearly 4 years, and have only done one long-term supply assignment that took place over a summer term. The school I worked at is a bit disorganised and I had to get a reference from a fellow teacher I have kept in touch with because the Head and deputy head were taking too long to reply to a reference request. Other than this school I have no references that can be dated within the past 4 years. Would you recommend using a personal referee or doing some volunteering to get an up-to-date reference?

  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    You may not have done long-term supply, but have you returned more than once to the same school? Do you know if they ask for you by name - that's a bonus if so, but even without that a school that has employed you several times is somewhere that trusts you.

    So think about it, and approach a Head in one of those schools.

    A personal reference is not really going to do it for you, when there are supply schools.

    Best wishes

  3. bluesberry

    bluesberry New commenter

    Thanks for your reply, Theo.

    Unfortunately, I don't think I have been back to the same school more than 5 times in the years I have been supplying. In London it feels like you're often invisible in supply teaching. I can think of a few Heads who spoke to me directly and took any kind of notice of me being there, but I don't know when I might see them again, especially as I have been working all around London.

    Is a 4 year old reference too old? Do you have any other suggestions as to what I can do?

    Thank you
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    What work have you done this year? Something, somewhere, surely?

    An up-to-date professional reference (i.e. from a school) is going to be needed. Worst case scenario, it will have to be from your agency . . .

    Best wishes

  5. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    Are these school based 'non teaching' posts or something entirely different?

    If they are entirely separate maybe there could be an entirely separate referee?

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