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Lost job - HT breaching Compromise Agreement

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by alihip, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. alihip

    alihip New commenter


    I have lost a fantastic job this term. I was made redundant suddenly in July and got a glowing reference from HT. However, the HT from my previous job to that sent a poor reference to my new school. I went through a terrible time in that job with bullying tactics, and left under a Compromise Agreement in place, with an agreed reference. This HT informed the new school that she couldn't complete the online reference but sent in the agreed ref, stating in the email that 'this is an agreed reference and to contact her for any further information'. New school phoned her, she refused to say why this was an agreed ref. I had the job taken away on this basis. Union involved now contacting her to say she is in breach of the CA etc. I am now on JSA and can't find work easily as it's only two weeks in term, so looks likely I'll be out of work for a few more weeks at least. I was wondering if I could claim loss of earnings due to her being in breach of the CA in stating that it was 'an agreed reference'. I am struggling hugely now with finances due to this. Does anyone know whether this can be possible?
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I can only say 'good luck' in what appears to be an awful situation.

    I hope your Union is supporting you - they should be seeking whatever legal redress you can claim against the HT. If not, perhaps the CAB and/or a specialist solicitor? I would hope (I am not a legal expert) that you could sue the B*stard for every penny it has cost you, but somehow I suspect it won't be that easy...
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Does the CA expressly say that the HT can't say it's an agreed reference? If it doesn't I'm not sure the HT is in breach of the CA.
  4. alihip

    alihip New commenter

    I'm not actually sure - but then again what would be the point of an agreed reference if all and sundry know it's an agreed ref? Employers avoid them and supply agencies don't take on anyone with one, I have found out to my dismay. Hence why it is an agreed reference, so that no blame is apportioned under a CA and both parties can move on without referring to it in future. That's what I always thought anyway...
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Your union is involved and they are challenging HT, so they'll know best what your CA actually says. There will be Confidentiality clauses that may cover this situation - or may not. Impossible to say without knowing the exact CA wording. I'm just flagging it Alihip in case it becomes an issue.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I'm sorry to hear of our difficult - and horrible - situation.

    However some references requests include wording along the lines of:

    Can you confirm that this reference is written freely and is not an agreed reference given as part of a Settlement Agreement or similar procedure?

    Best wishes


    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, where she answers jobseeking and careers queries regularly each week.
    stmha likes this.
  7. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Have you thought about approaching your previous HT and asking for any teaching work? Obviously, they will have recruited your replacement, so jumping back into your old job won't be that easy.... But some work is better than no work!
  8. Iloveflapjack

    Iloveflapjack New commenter

  9. Iloveflapjack

    Iloveflapjack New commenter

    Sorry that this has happened to you.
    Check the wording of the document. In my opinion if there is a confidentiality clause that shows
  10. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    All CA's have to be authorised by a qualified solicitor normally provided by the respondent's and your union. It should include the issue of an agreed reference. The head teacher will be in breach of that CA if they move away from the content of the agreed reference...hence the CA is a legally binding document.

    The CA is unfortunately the union approach to all problems.

    Do you have hard evidence of the breach. If so ask your union to pursue this in very clear and precise terms via email. They wont want to get involved in which case find a solicitor or advisor on grievance issues/Employment tribunals.
  11. alihip

    alihip New commenter

    To update on this, my union has sent a strongly worded email to the LEA about this breach. They also stated 'victimisation' in addition to this breach from the HT in preventing me from getting another job, so am awaiting a response from the LEA re the HT's actions. I am waiting to hear from two other schools for their references from the same HT - for supply teaching - as can't return to my old job (school closed down).
    I just have to hope that TheoGriff's msg on the wording in some ref requests:
    Can you confirm that this reference is written freely and is not an agreed reference given as part of a Settlement Agreement or similar procedure? does not ever happen as it'll be impossible for me to put down that school as a reference if so, which will show a gap of 3 years.
  12. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    I have never seen such a line in an application form (although I am sure they exist)..but you have the law on your side. Many heads will phone if they are particularly vindictive, but pursue this via your union. The school you have applied to are likely to have kept a record of any conversations..have you checked with them?
  13. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Just read this again, I think your union's approach is sound and refreshing.
  14. joannagb

    joannagb Occasional commenter

    Do you have to use that school as a reference? I think that I've only ever given one school as a reference and for the other reference I've used something else - something from outside of teaching, where I've done voluntary work, committee work or something else. Maybe someone from private tuition or something? In fact if you're unemployed at the moment maybe you can get some private tuition work in order to build your references up so then give the great school as the first reference and the tuition as the second reference, just to legitimately get the grotty school out of your obvious reference list? Just an idea, trying to think outside the box a bit. Good luck!!
  15. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Alihip can I just get this confirmed.

    Old school - left with CA and settlement agreement with agreed reference. The reference had to be agreed by both parties...surely and overseen by solicitors represnting both parties?

    New school - got job and after a period of time, were made aware of the agreed reference. What time had passed after getting new job. Why were you dismissed if an agreed reference was provided.

    Sorry it seems an incredible position to take by the new school. The old school are in breach but obvioulsy you and your union will need to establish the facts to prove this.
  16. joannagb

    joannagb Occasional commenter

    There are 3 schools involved here aren't there?
    School 1) CA, settlement agreement, agreed reference
    School 2) made redundant, glowing reference
    School 3) gave you a job, which you had started doing, then the agreed reference arrived and they took the job away - is that right?

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