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Head still sending out poor references.....

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by anon3150, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Hello,
    I've been on here before talking about my Bad Experience at a school which I've since left. The Head was a bully to cut a long story short but somehow I completed the second term of induction there. Anyway, I've had a really good term and a bit on supply, received lots of positive feeback (nothing negative whatsoever) and feel altogether feel better about the profession. I've never had a negative reference from anywhere else, ever and I feel ready to move on with my career. Trouble is, the other day I tried to register with a new agency and they approached the school for a reference, despite my asking them not to. The Head still seems to be putting the effort in to writing poor references. I have no idea what she has to gain from it at this stage apart from ruining my career. Needless to say I won't be able to register with this agency.
    So two questions....
    Can I ask agencies/schools not to request references from this school? (Probably not).
    Can I ask the school not to provide references at all? (Also, probably not).
    I've sought Union advice and although they were kind and supportive they came across as pretty toothless in terms of being able to do anything. They said that all I could do was ask the school to remove anything that was factually inaccurate. But it's fairly hard to prove that this women was a bully who intimidated most of the staff in to either doing her bidding or leaving asap. (Several did).
    The only glimmer of hope seems to be that she is due to retire in the summer. Will she leave records in her wake I wonder? The Assistant Head at the school always struck me as a reasonable person and I wonder if after the summer I could just put her down? But then she was also very much in the shadow of the Head.
    Thoughts and hard truths always welcome.
     
    Bombart95 likes this.
  2. Hello,
    I've been on here before talking about my Bad Experience at a school which I've since left. The Head was a bully to cut a long story short but somehow I completed the second term of induction there. Anyway, I've had a really good term and a bit on supply, received lots of positive feeback (nothing negative whatsoever) and feel altogether feel better about the profession. I've never had a negative reference from anywhere else, ever and I feel ready to move on with my career. Trouble is, the other day I tried to register with a new agency and they approached the school for a reference, despite my asking them not to. The Head still seems to be putting the effort in to writing poor references. I have no idea what she has to gain from it at this stage apart from ruining my career. Needless to say I won't be able to register with this agency.
    So two questions....
    Can I ask agencies/schools not to request references from this school? (Probably not).
    Can I ask the school not to provide references at all? (Also, probably not).
    I've sought Union advice and although they were kind and supportive they came across as pretty toothless in terms of being able to do anything. They said that all I could do was ask the school to remove anything that was factually inaccurate. But it's fairly hard to prove that this women was a bully who intimidated most of the staff in to either doing her bidding or leaving asap. (Several did).
    The only glimmer of hope seems to be that she is due to retire in the summer. Will she leave records in her wake I wonder? The Assistant Head at the school always struck me as a reasonable person and I wonder if after the summer I could just put her down? But then she was also very much in the shadow of the Head.
    Thoughts and hard truths always welcome.
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Are there any schools within this where you have been asked back by name? Would any of those HTs give you a reference instead? You need a reference from your most recent employer, so supply schools, if you had enough of them, would be fine and you wouldn't need to use the HT causing your problems at all.

    References do need to be factual, but that is the only requirement. If this one isn't as positive as you would like then keep building up relationships with supply schools and put this one far behind you.
     
  4. I can approach any other school I've worked at for a reference with confidence that it will be anywhere between bland (because they can't remember me!) or very good.
    The problem is I can't seem to be able to stop agencies / potential employers approaching Miss Trunchball if they decide they want to. You'd hope that they'd compare one reference against another and decide I'm probably ok (as one LEA kindly did) but some places can be funny about getting poor references even after you've explained the situaiton.
    I wan to be as pro-active as I can... very frustrating! :)
     
  5. Trunchbull. Important to get that right. [​IMG]
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Frustrating yes, but not the end of the world.

    Here is what I would do if I were you:

    When you fill in an application and it asks for employment history don't just write 'supply teacher various LAs and agencies'. Name three actual schools where they definitely know you and think you are fab. Write them all in as if you were employed there, find out all the information from the net. In job title write 'regular supply teacher'. This horrible old school will then be at least fourth in the list and so look like ancient history to employers.

    When it asks for referees, put the HTs of these three schools, make sure you have asked them first, and tick that yes they can contact the schools before interview.

    Do not mention the horrible old school, or the problem with a reference, anywhere in your application. It is in the past, you have moved on. Your application needs to reflect that.

    You can't stop people contacting her if they wish, but you can make it more unlikely and give her reference less power.

    Best of Luck, but you will get there!
     
  7. Thanks, that's more or less what I'm doing. I've got two supply schools I use for references and I could add two or three names to the employment history part.
    Emotionally speaking I think I'm over it, thanks loving friends and family, a kind gp and a tough exercise programme! (Running a 10k this May, a bad experience can be very motivating!). My mum has threatened acts of violence however if she 'ever meets this women.....' [​IMG]

     
  8. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Lol my dad has said the same [​IMG]
    How about putting a line manager from the school down as a reference? x

     
  9. I agree with this. And, to further add to it, if you can get a written reference from a line manager addressed "to whom it may concern" you can then give this to the agencies - they will hopefully then just need to contact the line manager to confirm the details.
     
  10. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I have a vague idea that you need to put the HT as the referee. They may well ask HODs/HPYs/etc, especially in secondary schools, but the HT ought to be the named person. Something to do with safer recruitment or similar.

    You could ask Theo on Jobseekers, he is the fount of all knowledge on such matters.
     
  11. I do use a lovely lady who worked as a class teacher there. On the down-side she left before I did! (For similar reasons - she was an experienced teacher who, after one term, decided the set-up was ridiculous). My mentor was a mini-me version of the Head, unfortunately and would probably be of little use as she'd just refer everything back to the Head. I never put the school down as a reference, it just becomes a problem when people take it upon themselves to approach them. I think in time this will be less and less likely however. Just got to wait it out and continue filling out the stacks of job applications.
    Thanks for you thoughts! [​IMG]

     
  12. You can ask that the school is not used for references and explain that there were problems at the schoo, hence why you left. If you could ask schools where you did supply to provide references you could offer more than just the required references to make up for the nlack of last employer.
    The problem you are experiencing is going to get worse once Mr Gove enacts his plans for rooting out bad teachers. It is already DfE guidance that schools should request references before interview (something not done in industry) so that potential 'problems' - e.g. poor performance, competence and capability issues are known prior to interview (so leading to a number of rejections and no interviews with no explanation I suspect).
    You may need to be candid with supply agencies and build up a bank of people who can give fair references.
    James
     
  13. James - I thought as much.
    The thought that my career may already be over does keep re-occuring. Especially with Mr Gove at the helm. I think I've just got to keep trying until I completely run out of options. Which hopefully won't happen.Hopefully.


     

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