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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Petty_vacant, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Petty_vacant

    Petty_vacant New commenter

    Without giving away the whole story here’s the thing:

    There was a near accident in my classroom and I shouted at a student, the student cried, the student made accusations that were never proven. I was dismissed.

    At the time I had an ongoing grievance against my HOD and I was suffering from depression.

    My union is supporting my ACAS claim for unfair dismissal.

    My question is this: I want to work; I need to work; but my supply agency requires a reference from the SLT.

    Should I give the agency my HM’s contact details?
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It's usual for the head of your last school to be given as a reference but clearly that is going to be problematic in your situation. I doubt giving anyone else on SLT as a reference will help you. SLT will know you have been dismissed for misconduct and would probably pass any reference request to the head.

    Obviously I know nothing about what happened and I'm not asking you to post more information, but while you believe the allegation was never proven the head presumably did consider it was proven otherwise it wouldn't have been a reason to dismiss you. So presumably that is what the head will tell anyone asking for a reference? Unless and until you are successful at winning an Unfair Dismissal claim at Employment Tribunal anyway.

    Have you told the agency you have been dismissed for misconduct?
  3. Petty_vacant

    Petty_vacant New commenter

    First thing I discussed.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Ask the union!

    I fear you may be stymied unless and until you get a good result at the employment tribunal.
    agathamorse and Marshall like this.
  5. Petty_vacant

    Petty_vacant New commenter

    I understand that...thanks anyway.
  6. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    OK this happened to a fellow colleague and the agency concerned simply wanted a ref from a senior experienced teacher that could provide a good ref. Are you confident enough to enquire at the agency and do you know any teachers that are willing to do this? Without this ref the colleague would have been unable to work via an agency. Can you present this option to the agency? SLT unless a, close colleague are BTW highly unlikely to know anything about you. How about a Head of Year??
  7. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    No... the agency might NOT necessarily require this. Look at other staff.
  8. Petty_vacant

    Petty_vacant New commenter

    No, the agency has emailed me requesting a ref from either the HM or Dep.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    In which case why not just tell give them the head's name. They know you have been dismissed for misconduct so they'll be expecting the reference to say that.

    Have you (or your union) asked the head if they are willing to give a reference?
  10. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    Not quite true.

    I know of someone who was dismissed after complaints without anything being proven at all, at the hearing it was confirmed that there was nothing proven. Didn't make a blind bit of difference.
  11. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Speak to your union then or change to another agency. Not all agencies NEED a HT ref but will accept from another member of staff that you have worked with.
  12. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    That may be so but any agency that did that is breaching the statutory safeguarding guidance 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' which requires the reference to come from the employer. A colleague you have worked with wouldn't comply with that, nor would they be able to verify the reason you left. Only Head or SLT would have the authority to issue references on behalf of the employer, not a work colleague.

    139. … References should always be obtained from the candidate’s current employer. Where a candidate is not currently employed, verification of their most recent period of employment and reasons for leaving should be obtained from the school, college, local authority or organisation at which they were employed.

    For that reason at my school our HR manager does not accept agencies telling us that have got satisfactory references unless they also confirm the reference is from the previous head (or SLT if it's clear it's given on behalf of the head).
    Pomza likes this.
  13. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    It is beyond outrageous in 2019 that subjective things like references can basically **** a persons life up. To my mind they shouldn’t have survived the 19th Century when ye baker said ye apprentice couldn’t count a dozen to ye ironmonger.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    In this case I don't think it's the reference that will make life difficult for the OP but that the OP has been dismissed for misconduct.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    mothorchid likes this.
  15. DexterDexter

    DexterDexter Occasional commenter

    Our references have just gone to MAT HQ where the completely incompetent HR are dealing with them. Agencies I’ve dealt with say they are frequently getting this and a “just dates” reference meets their safeguarding. Perhaps you could ask for that?!
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. donrickles

    donrickles New commenter

    my understanding is that it is now common practice in a reference to just give the dates of employment. This is common in industry.
    As long as dismissal is not for a safeguarding issue I can’t see a problem.

    the school by law has to give a reference of dates of employment. They can’t mention safeguarding unless it was relevant.

    Thatwill be fine for a supply agency then you are good to start over.

    Dismissal is becoming more common sadly in this modern world of micro management and accountability.

    I’m sorry you have had a bad experience. I find it very unfair how the current system works.


    Mr w
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It doesn't
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    No employer is legally obliged to provide a reference.

    Unless you had the prescience to include it as a term in your contract! or you have secured a Settlement Agreement.

    "On termination of contract the employer will provide a reference including dates and a statement to the effect that no safeguarding issues had arisen."

    But, without such a condition, the employer can wash its hands of you. But the dismissal is quite another matter and, even if you were to prevail at tribunal, you won't compel the employer to provide a reference.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. Petty_vacant

    Petty_vacant New commenter

    Thanks for all the advice - since I disclosed the incident and my sacking I gave the agency the HMs details. It will be interesting to see what he writes...if he does write anytrhing or perhaps he just ignores it. Remember he also has a claim for unfair dismissal to answer.
  20. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    Not would a verdict of unfair dismissal prevent the reference including the fact that you were dismissed.

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