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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ACVX, May 23, 2019.
Sheeesh! Remind me not to work in your school!
Difficult? Hardly difficult if you know your staff. Admittedly, in writing a reference, there is a duty of care to ensure that it is fair, accurate and true- which could be challenging if the head/ SMT lack the experience and ability to write references.
Time-consuming? Possibly- and certainly if you have several to write. And, judging by CalF123's comments in the thread on 'Working as a dinner lady' , a mass exodus from a school that likes the idea of teachers taking on the roles of all support staff (catering, cleaning, grounds maintenance), wouldn't be surprising. So yes, in such a school, providing references would be time -consuming.
All in all, we've learned a great deal about this particular free school!
"It's far too time consuming and difficult otherwise"
Oh, poor you. Poor you, having to spend time writing references for staff who want to move on. Anyone would think providing a reference - positive or negative- was part of SMT's responsibilities.
"It's far too time consuming and difficult otherwise"
I presume you don't bother to ask for references for staff when you appoint or do you expect other schools to do something you don't do yourself?
And, of course, you would hate anybody else having to go to the trouble of giving a meaningful reference for anybody who wants to work for your school. Although anybody with half a brain wouldn't want to anyway, if they knew about this policy. Who wants to work for a place where doing something for staff is considered "too time consuming and difficult"?
SMT at my school have incredibly busy roles and we unfortunately just don’t have time to write detailed descriptions of Barbara in chemistry or Bob in woodwork, who I’m unlikely to have met, never mind be able to write a truthful reference.
We find it easier to have a blanket rule.
Wow. I'm speechless. Are we sure this is not a troll?
If this post is true (and this is a real poster), then it is the best evidence to date that Academies (or some of them) are promoting totally inappropriate and unqualified staff to leadership, presumably because they are a family member or offer sexual services to someone with influence...
In my experience, too many SMT members create work for themselves to make themselves look important. I can't really believe that schools are any better than in the days when there was a Head and a Deputy and that was it. The fact that somebody says they are unlikely to have met teachers at their schools shows how far removed they are from the actually work of educating children. Yes, it will take some time (but not that much) to look up somebody's PM reviews and speak to their line manager, but surely that is important. But it won't make you look important, which I suppose is the downside of actually supporting your staff.
Could I ask, @CalF123, do your school's reference requests specify that you only want the basics?
Bob in Woodwork?
It's Design and Technology these days, or Resistant Materials. The fact you refer to woodwork makes me think this is a wind up.
Yes, I'm sure your SLT are very busy. Because if all you want in references are names and dates, you're probably spending all your time dealing with capability and complaints about staff you did not check.
And they don't in other schools?
Your seriously have teachers you have never met? (Granted you say you are SLT and not the head, but even so...never met?! ) The head has surely met every member of staff and wandered about the school often enough to have a good idea of who is doing a great job and who not?
Easier doesn't mean better.
I must admit I really enjoy writing lengthy glowing references. It’s a joy to celebrate the great. Really sad when those people leave however I take real effort to ensure they have the best chance in a selection process. Yes, it takes time in my evening or weekend to write these, but it’s important. I like to receive those standout references when I appoint. I also would wish for it to be done for me. I think it’s sad when leaders don’t take this time or have a ‘minimum’ policy.
By far the most important factor in a school's success or otherwise is the teachers. A group of talented, motivated teachers who are well supported will give the best education possible, even if cash is tight. So it is very sad that any part of management is not interested in meeting them. Perhaps SMT could do this by joining them as they serve lunch.
I'm afraid the years have made me very cynical.
I've seen too many teachers praised whom I didn't think deserved it and many really sterling teachers unacknowledged. OFSTEDs when our school was rated as good when it most certainly wasn't. And the list goes on.
So I'd rather trust my own judgement and would find the "worked here for 5 years and no safeguarding issues" reference perfect for my purposes. I don't think I'd recruit on recommendation unless I knew the referee exceptionally well.
But people must do what they think best.
Standard procedure in most companies.. Giving an opinion of someone's capabilities (good or bad) is open to challenge and potentially libellous. For the ex-employer t's not worth the efffort or risk to do more than confirm dates and position.
Thinking about this, if one knows your (useless, pig ignorant) Free School SLT only give references like this, you could make lots of claims in your letter of application which may help your chances of getting a job, and your reference won't show up the lies...'After I reorganised the whole of the KS4 curriculum, I developed a work experience programme for all pupils...later I line managed 15 other colleagues...' etc etc.
Yes, it could be dangerous. I think the way out of it that many take is to praise those you rate highly and say little about those you don't. You can sue for libel if there is something in a reference which is wrong or unfair but not, I think, if the reference says nothing of note. This creates a problem when most schools give a full reference but a few don't, as a school receiving a very short reference might think it is because the teacher is seen to not be very good.