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What to do first: ask for reference or send out job application?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by balconysun, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. balconysun

    balconysun New commenter

    Hi, I work at a state selective school and I have a lot of grief from this two-faced bully whom I have to share classes with. This is the 6th year. The SLT that knows about my struggle thinks I am over sensitive and chooses to believe the bully and does not seem supportive to me. This is the last straw.

    So I saw this job opening a few days ago (deadline in a week or so from now) and really want to go for it. I know bullies are everywhere, but I hope the next one does not share class with me and make my life miserable. One thing I am not too sure is, should I inform my line manager that I am applying for a new job and ask her if she can write reference for me before I send out the application form? Or should I put her name down on the application form anyway and send off the form. Then if I am shortlisted, I tell her about job application.

    Another question is, when do I hand in the resignation letter, if I am going for a Sep-start job. I want to do the decent thing and do not want to mess anyone around and cause unnecessary trouble/worry.

    A couple of years ago, I applied for teaching post at another school, but was told by my school that, in order to be able leave by the end of summer term, I have to resign before Feb half term holiday. Is this a common practice? Today I read on TES community (forum) that the deadline is 31th May in order to leave on 31 Aug. I cannot see any information on notice period on appointment letter.

    Thank you.
  2. Jamaica50

    Jamaica50 New commenter

    As far as I'm aware 3 months is the standard notice period, however your school may have a different policy check your contract of employment. As for reference it is professional to ask the person you want to give you a reference for their permission before using them. If you are shortlisted the school will generally contact your references before interview.
    balconysun and TheoGriff like this.
  3. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    Sorry to hear about the bullying.

    In answer to your questions:
    - I'd inform your line manager - and the Head? - before you submit the application form. There's no telling what the school might do in terms of when they request references. Although common sense may suggest it would be after they have shortlisted and invited the shortlisted candidates for interview, you just can't be certain;
    - I always assumed that the resignation deadline for a September start in the state sector is the end of May.
    balconysun and TheoGriff like this.
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    @balconysun The simple rule is that you never name anyone as a referee in your application form unless you have asked their permission to be named. They might refuse! No-one is obliged by law to give you a reference.

    Most job applications require the head of your current school to be one of your referees.

    You don't say what type of school you are in but if you are in a state school all LA schools and most academies follow Burgundy Book ( the national 'Conditions of Service for School Teachers...') and that says you have until May 31 to resign if you want to leave at 31st August. Only you can know what your contract actually says - get union advice if unsure.
    balconysun, TheoGriff and steely1 like this.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Can't add to what Rott Weiler has posted.
    balconysun and Rott Weiler like this.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, you should ASK not tell people that you would like to put them as referees. So that starts with having to tell them that you’re thinking of leaving.

    Word it nicely, say how you have appreciated the opportunities for professional development, but now feel the time has come to move on.

    Do not say to anyone at any point that your colleague is the reason for hoping to move. In particular do not even hint in your application or interview, if you get one, that you can’t wait to shake the dust of this school off your shoes. They want to be loved for themselves, not because you are desperate to leave your current post.

    You may want to check Amazon to see if there are any books with advice about an application for a teaching job. Choose carefully one which is UK not US based, and read the reviews.

    I have put on TES Resources a template for doing an E.S. to save people having to reinvent the format. Hope that’s helpful.

    Best wishes, keep safe
  7. balconysun

    balconysun New commenter

    Thank you everyone. I really really appreciate all your wise input, as I have been very stressed.

    I am grateful for the professional development opportunities and support offered by the current school, but like what’s been mentioned, the time has come and I would like a change of scene, just hope it works out some day.

    Thank you and stay safe.
    Lara mfl 05 and steely1 like this.
  8. balconysun

    balconysun New commenter

    Thank you everyone.

    Your advices (for me and for others on this forum) have been enormously helpful. 3 very carefully composed applications (thank you again TheoGriff!), 1 online interview with a demo lesson that I am proud of, and 3+ solid weeks of preparation (read: being bags and bags of nerves), and now I have a job offer (phone call from the future line manager and email with a scanned letter signed by the future head teacher)! The hardcopy of all relevant documents are on their way to my address.

    Handed in my resignation letter in person yesterday morning. I will miss my students, my supportive department and several colleagues whom I have been fortunate enough to have met and worked with. Soooooo happy that I won't work with that two-faced bully soon.

    Thank you again everyone and stay safe.
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I'm delighted for you, and it's a perfect beginning to half term!

    My pleasure! Glad the books helped out.

    Keep safe, everyone
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  10. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    Great news - well done.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Grrr fourth fifth sixth seventh EIGTH time of trying to post this. (And I've even deleted and rewritten the post. :rolleyes: What is wrong with tes today?
    We used to have a tradition on here of posting to congratulate people on their successes and a 'Shiny Star' by the forum expert at the time was much prized.
    As I don't have authority to post a star what I will do is post this
    Well done @balconysun

    steely1 likes this.

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