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Leaving my current position

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by LMG89, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. LMG89

    LMG89 New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I am looking for some advice.
    I have had a difficult few years in my school with a lack of support from SMT. I am feeling tired, broken and my mental health is severely suffering. At the moment I am currently undergoing extra observations from my head teacher too. My job is consuming my life. I need out but I am unsure what kind of reference my HT will give me to get on the supply list somewhere else or even what kind of reference I will get from her for a job outwith teaching. I have been in this from my probation year 6 years ago so don't have any experience from elsewhere. Finding the time to apply for new jobs is also difficult when I am still trying to impress and put 110% effort into my current job.
    Any suggestions on my next move? How should I approach the reference thing? Will I get a supply job (I'm in Scotland so no agencies) if I am currently getting extra observations?
  2. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    If you apply for a position outside of teaching, you don't need to name your HT as a referee.

    You could name pretty much anybody else in the school - DHT, HoD etc.
  3. LMG89

    LMG89 New commenter

    Thanks. I hadn't thought about that. A lot of the positions I have looked at have asked for a reference from my current line manager which would be my HT. Worth a shot at someone else I suppose!
  4. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    (I'm also in Scotland)
    The HT has to give you a factual reference. That can simply be confirming your dates of employment and your responsibilities. Getting on LA supply lists is straightforward and in some areas there is so much work you'd get snapped up. I don't know where you are but round here we are desperate for supply.

    But I think you need to to find the time to apply elsewhere. Once you do one application, it can basically be used for other jobs. There are other schools which are more supportive and I think you need to experience that.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  5. LMG89

    LMG89 New commenter

    Thanks for your advice and encouragement. The 2 LAs nearest to me have HT report forms which appear quite detailed. From the HTs opinion of me not sure I would look great on paper!
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    That is true. However, the DHT and a HoD may not be authorised to provide any information about attendance, disciplinary matters, etc., should a potential new employer ask for it.

    Nothing to stop them providing a personal reference of course, but only the head teacher can provide a reference as a previous employer.
    Jesmond12 and Rott Weiler like this.
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    If your HT is not supportive then the chances are the LA will be aware of that. Scottish education is small and gossipy and those HTs get a reputation all of their own.
    In most LAs, if you interview for a job that can count as your supply list application and interview. I'd start looking for vacancies and applying ASAP. You won't know until you try.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Your HT is obliged to make any reference fair and accurate. Don't assume s/he would try to shoot you in the foot. S/he can decline to give any reference at all but I haven't actually heard of any instances of such a refusal.

    Just approach them in a neutral spirit and ask. It's not in their interest to be curmudgeonly or difficult. It's a professional duty one way or another. They may not be your biggest fan but that doesn't mean they will try to shoot you down in flames.
    Anonymouse4 and nomad like this.
  9. secretteacher2357

    secretteacher2357 Occasional commenter

    Being quite pragmatic about it, your HT clearly doesn't seem to want you for whatever reason, so it's not really in their best interest to give you a carp reference and have to keep you longer. Is it possible to have a friendly, professional discussion about your future in the school and your desire to move elsewhere? You might find that your HT will give you a glowing reference just to solve their problem, then you can go on to be an outstanding teacher at a more supportive school.
  10. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    It's a difficult one - the HT should be able to give you a fairly neutral reference. If you've been at the school since your probation year then there must be something which they saw in you then to keep you on, so you really need to know what's changed and why. You don't, at least, have the immediate threat of dismissal which would be hanging over the heads of colleagues in England.

    Firstly, have you spoken to your union? You don't seem very clear why you've been put on these "extra observations." There is clear guidance within your LA's LNCT procedures for both dealing with performance issues and also, in many cases, classroom visits/observations (Perth & Kinross has a really good procedure for this, IMO) - the link to find them is through http://www.snct.org.uk/lnctAgreements.php though your union rep will have a good idea.

    Assuming this is all being followed (because this always happens correctly, doesn't it ;-)) rather than moving to supply and the stresses that brings, could you ask about a transfer to another school in the LA if there is a vacancy?

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