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It's a mess...so how can I get references?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Mrs_Hamilton, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    I have been a teacher for over 10 years (oh my - THAT long!).
    I have always been a good teacher with outstanding features.
    I have taken on leadership roles for various subjects and areas of the curriculum.
    I am very strong with SEN and pastoral care for pupils.

    But, certain relationships between myself and 'leadership' in the school I work in have broken down and seem irretrievable. The situation in the whole school is a 'mess'. It is not a situation unique to me. Other staff have reported their relationships have broken down too with the 'leadership'.

    I find myself, despite having very positive lesson observations which are ALL good with outstanding features, feeling vulnerable. I feel like things might spiral downwards as I have seen with other staff who are no longer working at the school.

    So I am looking for alternatives. I have told my head teacher that I am looking for other jobs and 'asked' if i could give them as a reference which is fine (unless/until things hit the downwards spiral) and I get another job or supply.

    My problem is that I am seriously considering handing my notice in by 31st October but have not yet secured a job as I do not want to go from the frying pan to the fire. An option I am considering is supply teaching to give me time to get my head together. BUT then who or where will i get my references from?

    So I guess my questions are:
    1 - could supply be a sensible solution to getting some space?
    2 - if I were make a conscious choice to do supply how/who/where would I get references from when I decide to get a more permanent position?

    I just feel so confused (and scared that if I stay much longer then I could become another scape goat) and want to continue doing the job I love, and the job I know I'm good at!
    Thank you for any advice or information.
  2. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    I mean once I have done supply for a couple of terms - then who could I get to write my reference?
    (I can't see where to edit my original post)
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I'm sorry that your job has taken such a downwards turn. After so much commitment and so much success over so many years, it must be very disheartening for you.

    You can only edit within 5 minutes or so, I think.

    You clearly see leaving now, handing in your notice by 31 October even without a job to go to, as the solution. It would certainly give you a feeling of relief, even of lightheadedness from what others say, for the last half of term.

    But it brings its disadvantages.

    Firstly, you may find that your income plummets drastically. This all depends on your Stage and Subject, and where you are in the country, but even in times of teacher shortage, supply is not going to give you the same amount of money, even if you work every day.

    Secondly, you would be applying for a new post from the disadvantage of being unemployed. People might think that you had jumped before you were pushed, or that you were difficult. I'm not saying that everyone will think that, but it's always better to be applying while employed.

    Thirdly the reference. You could, if you went often to the same school, ask the Head there to be a referee. It might even be a good tactic anyway, showing that you are appreciated by another school, have flexibility, commitment etc.

    But . . .

    But you will also have to give the Head at your current school. :(

    Because (a) any school receiving your application will expect that, and (b) they will only ring up the school anyway, even if you don't give them as a referee, and get a phone reference on you.

    Yes, they can do that, are in fact encouraged to do so by statutory guidance.

    By the way - a reference from a supply agency is not worth while. Useless.

    So do think hard about getting a new job now. And if you do go along the supply route, which may well be a real change and help you to feel good about yourself, you will need to pre-empt any concerns about leaving your current school to be unemployed with a short paragraph in any application.

    I can help you with that later on, when you are ready again to apply. Just come to Jobseekers forum and ask me there for help.

    Best wishes

    Mrs_Hamilton likes this.
  4. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    Thank you so much for you reply. I pleased that you could make sense of my ramblings! And I feel less alone knowing that I've 'shared' by worries.

    I'm 'only' on about 22k at the moment (despite being UPS1 from the state system) so I am not overly concerned about the finances.

    I agree with what you say about looking for a job whilst being unemployed - which is why supply might be a 'choice' I investigate.

    I don't worry about giving my current employer a reference - as they do know I am a good teacher and I'm sure I would get a good reference from them. But I worry about the second reference as it is seems a long time ago (4 years) since I worked at previous school.

    Thank you also for the warning about supply agencies references being useless - I think that was my concern!

    I'll continue to ponder my options. :)
    Many thanks.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    You do know that you can give two references from the same school, don't you?

    Best wishes

    Mrs_Hamilton likes this.
  6. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    No, I didn't realise that!
    I have been to look around a school for a temporary position which will end in July. Maybe it could be a stepping stone to get out...
    Thank you TheoGriff!
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  8. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    I feel like a dinosaur...I was a tes member many years ago. I can't even remember my username from when I was an NQT. And TES has changed so much! I have just this minute found PMs!
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Bet you are not as old as me! (Or even as old as I :))

  10. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    I'm not really old! (30 something) I'm just more creative than technically minded. I have, though, managed to change my green alien!

    With regards my 'mess' - the references now seem secondary to the fact that I cannot apply for a dream job (temporary and starts in January but would've given me fantastic CPD) because of the 3 months notice period (on other thread). But I am now able to work with all my facts.

    I am going to keep my head down, get through the rest of this term with a resignation plan for either Easter or Summer.
    I will keep looking for jobs as I know there is a slim chance around here that there might be some maintained primary jobs for an Easter start.
    I will get there. I seem sad and deflated at the moment, but less confused than I was: I know what to do, I'm (have already) proving to SLT that the downward spiral is not me, I've got the jobs pages bookmarked ready, ... positive things on the horizon I'm sure!
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Well done, young'un. :)

    From which I assume that you don't have a Smartphone . . . or you may not be comfortable with all its features. Pity, because there's a TES Jobs App which could help you. Available for iPhone and Android. It used to be rather slow. Well, VERY slow! But a new version has changed all that.

    Might be worth trying . . .

    Mrs_Hamilton likes this.

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