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Possible poor reference - opinions please

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by blueskies31, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. blueskies31

    blueskies31 Occasional commenter

    After 12 years of teaching including a successful SLT post I moved schools in September from mainstream to special and have found it is just not for me. I have already discussed my feelings with SLT but instead of being supportive they just piled on more pressure. I have been signed off work by my GP for anxiety and WRS. I have requested an early contract release and have informed my Head I will be resigning from my position.

    There is nothing I can do about what he writes in my reference but I know he can only put factual information - he never saw my teaching so he can't comment on that. I'm hoping he will put there were no capability or safeguarding issues and will put is was a mutual decision to release me early. Do you think he will mention my time off with anxiety? Not that I will hide this, but I would like to get the chance to explain the reasons behind this before my next prospective Head throws my application in the bin!

    Any of my previous Heads will give me a glowing reference and I am just hoping that this one wrong move will not **** up my career!

    Any thoughts, advice etc?

    By the way I contacted my Union for advice and they were flipping useless. They said I wasn't the first and wasn't the last for this to happen to.
  2. fairygodmother1984

    fairygodmother1984 New commenter

    No, you are not the first and won't be the last - I am in exactly the same position. Signed off with stress and depression after making a wrong move to an awful place where I was bullied from the first day I started. Trying to get released from contract so I can get supply. Finding it hard to get references from previous schools as well.
  3. blueskies31

    blueskies31 Occasional commenter

    I'm so sorry to hear about your story fairygodmother1984, it's an awful position to be in.

    Why are you finding it hard to get references from previous schools?
  4. fairygodmother1984

    fairygodmother1984 New commenter

    Because there is a new head at the school I have just left. A lot of people left or were made redundant and he is refusing to give references to anyone. it is effectively ruining my life.
  5. blueskies31

    blueskies31 Occasional commenter

    Have you spoken to your union? Is there not a DHT there that can give you a reference instead?
  6. fairygodmother1984

    fairygodmother1984 New commenter

    The unions are going to phone the headteacher. Have tried to get hold of DHT but not much luck. new head is telling people no-one can give references instead of him or it's misconduct apparently. Shame we can't give each other a ref. x
  7. stmha

    stmha Established commenter


    You need to have a frank discussion with you HT and ask him directly the type of reference you will be getting.

    The siutation must have deteriorated very quickly. If you have flagged issues and they have not been supportive they have to take responsibility. If it seems like will give you a poor reference then hit them where it hurts.

    Your last school's reference will be fine any school worth working for will understand that sometimes things dont work out.

    If you get a negative response from HT let me know and will discuss options with you.

    Best wishes
  8. blueskies31

    blueskies31 Occasional commenter

    Thank you so much stmha for your reply. I am absolutely devastated at how things have turned out and I have been so anxious that I have potentially wrecked my career because of one wrong move! (many of the things that have caused my anxiety have been out of my control. I have documented things just in case I need to take things further)

    Things did deteriorate very quickly and instead of the Head listening, he just added to it! I obviously can't go into detail on here.

    Do you think I need to involve my Union in any negotiations or see how things go? I will be formally requesting early release again this week.
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I'm really sorry to hear how these two posters are having such a difficult time. I do feel for you.

    In answer to the question, Yes, do get your union on board. They should take some of the pressure off you. For example, they will insist on a Safeguarding statement being included in any reference.

    I just hope that all this can be sorted in such a way that you feel relief.

    Best wishes
  10. blueskies31

    blueskies31 Occasional commenter

    Thanks Theo. I'm devastated to be honest.
  11. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Dont have a lot of faith in unions. However, as long as you know exactly what you want and are prepared to stick to you guns then a union rep would at least be a witness to proceedings.

    If you have documented everything then can I suggest that you ask to see you personnel file. Its amazing what suddenly appears in the file after you make a complaint. This should also contain any references they have provided for you. Do a mock application and if your references are called you will get a flavour of the type of reference you will get. Having said that I would prefer you just asked them straight.

    If you feel they have not been supportive and have caused your health to decline then submitting a grievance is something worth considering. However, from what you have said you have already raised concerns. This constitutes a grievance and if they have failed to act then they have been negligent.

    Make sure you explain the situation to your gp as your state of health will get recorded in your medical notes, something that might be useful if things dont go according to plan, or you want to take it further.

    You can send me a personal message if you want to discuss anything in more detail.
  12. mark6243

    mark6243 Occasional commenter

    You know, there are some truly awful low-life bottom feeders getting into positions of authority, and it all stems from when Gove got in.

    The profession now attracts completely the opposite of what it needs. Full of careerist tick-box monkeys who'd sell their gran for a TLR.

    I hate it now.
  13. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Thats probably a little harsh but understand how you feel. I think the academy programme attracted a new breed of teacher, they come across as suited city bankers when really they just teach the french revolution to 13 years olds etc.

    Dont hate it, its the best job in the world. Just change it.
  14. mark6243

    mark6243 Occasional commenter

    I'm doing supply at a school at the moment where middle leaders have barely gotten out of short trousers and SLT aren't much older. Don't get me wrong, they're a nice bunch, wouldn't stay there otherwise, but really? 26 and assistant head? Really?
    stmha likes this.
  15. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Yes and the real pity is they haven't developed their teaching yet

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