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Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by EBC, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. EBC

    EBC Occasional commenter

    One must be your current employer, and one must not be a friend or relative.

    Who is, the second person you should choose? A colleague? Not sure what they mean by this.
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Previous employer, perhaps. Line manager, perhaps. Depends a bit on your circumstances.
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Somebody who can vouch for your ability to do the job. In teaching, the first is usually the Head of your current school, but you have plenty of scope on the second to find somebody who will give you a decent reference. There does need to be a reason why the prospective employer should trust them, so it needs to be somebody who has seen you in action in an appropriate setting. If it is not too long ago, a previous employer can be good. I once used somebody who I had worked with as a volunteer with a charity.
  4. NQT08

    NQT08 Occasional commenter

    Who would you put down if you left a school and the head left shortly after you and you didn't know which school they went to (or didn't really want to put them down anyway)?
  5. EBC

    EBC Occasional commenter

    I've been at current school for 10 years so previous employer is not possible. I could ask head of department/also member of smt.... Could I ask colleague in another year group, or should it be more senior management?
  6. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I think it should be a manager of some kind, preferably somebody who can vouch for your abilities. HoD seems to make sense to me.

    Always the current Head of your most recent school. The main reason for this is that the person concerned must be in a possession to know about any safeguarding issues, and the Head is the person who will have access to confidential files. When moving into teaching, I couldn't get a reference from an employer from three years before as I had left following a merger, all the people I worked for had also left and the new company had no interest in helping. That was why I got the person from a charity to help.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    What Piranha says^^^

    Heads frequently write references for staff they don't know personally, staff who left before the new head took up their post. They have your staff file and they will ask someone who did know you, eg your HoD or someone else on SLT, to give input.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. EBC

    EBC Occasional commenter

    Controversial but would you ask a past parent... Who you've considerably helped their child and has now moved further up the school?
  9. moonirules

    moonirules New commenter

    Not really a response to the question, but in my new role I had to provide references covering five years worth of teaching/employment - I'd never known of that before and meant me contacting a school where non of the senior leaders were the same as when I was there. Has anyone else experienced this?
  10. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    No. I wouldn't personally accept a reference from a parent - likely to be quite subjective and they don't have anything close to a full understanding of your performance at work. That said, I could see a glowing reference including a line like "Miss EBC established an excellent relationship with students and their parents, some of whom wrote to the school to express their gratitude."
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. missmunchie

    missmunchie Occasional commenter

    What can you do if head is notorious for giving poor references to people who leave?
    I would like to apply for a job at a school where I have worked before but I don't want to use my current head in case it doesn't work out.
  12. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    First question: are you sure it's true the head gives poor references to people who leave? Since people who leave generally leave won't know what the reference says, and as references are asked for before a job is offered it would be rather counter productive of the head to give bad references as then the staff can't leave and he's stuck with them! Are you sure this isn't a staffroom myth?

    There's really no way of avoiding giving your current head as a reference. It's a safeguarding requirement.

    You need to manage the situation more proactively. Approach your current head before applying for any jobs. Explain why you are applying for new jobs. Be shamelessly sycophantic. You've learned so much at your current school under his wise leadership blah blah (OK that may be overdoing it a bit). Looking to broaden your experience. Is he willing to support you and happy to be a referee. Etc.
  13. missmunchie

    missmunchie Occasional commenter

    Mmm, I see what you mean. I know from a friend and ex colleague that the reference they asked for cost them a job as it was very negative. They were offered the job before references were checked. Colleague asked for a copy of the reference following gdpr changes on info schools hold about staff.
    I was just hoping that as I have worked previously at the school I wish to apply for that I could bypass any more unpleasantness. I am unlikely to get a glowing reference if I leave after Christmas. Just thinking out loud here to try and get things in perspective. Thanks for your advice Rottweiler.

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