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Worried about getting a bad reference

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by catsmieow, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. catsmieow

    catsmieow New commenter


    I have just applied for my dream job and have had to give references prior to interview for time reasons.

    I really want this job but I am worried that due to a personality clash with my current Head that he will give me a less than glowing reference. I know that they cannot legally make it a bad one but they can omit certain things, e.g. he thinks I am a good teacher but that I brought my union in to try and settle a dispute when I was pregnant and had been smacked.

    My second reference from my last HoD will be glowing so would this make up for it? I could have asked my current HoD and it would have been good but technically she doesn't employ me.

    Also the start date for this new job (fingers crossed) is May but I have to complete 13 weeks back at my current school before leaving or I will have to pay thousands of mat pay back, so I couldn't start until the end of June, do you think this would put them off me?

  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes they can.
    And if you have had "unsatisfactory" ratings in lesson observations, it will be a bad reference.
    A reference has to be honest, and that could mean bad or good.
    If you have proof that the Head thinks that you are a good teacher (eg lesson observation sheets) then you could have mentioned this in your application, to forestall any problems.
    You have to give your current Head as a referee, so there's no way out of that. If you have one glowing reference, and your application, lesson and interview are outstanding, then one rather luke-warm reference will not make much difference.
    And look at it this way: if the Head dislikes you, he might be keen to get rid of you, so would give a fair reference rather than make it difficult for you to leave!
    The start date is a different issue. It all depends. Personally I would prefer to wait for the outstanding candidate rather than take second best. But other Heads might prefer the convenience of the right start date.
    You need to read all the advice that I give about interviews, to start preparing now for a stunning performance
    Best of luck.
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    The next Workshops I'm doing that still have vacancies are on Sunday 13th and Friday 25th February. There is also a specialist Workshop for applications to SLT on Saturday February 19th.
    Go to https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6060678 for more details of these and other seminars.
    Look forward to seeing you!
  3. Keighleigh

    Keighleigh New commenter

    You are right to be worried. People always say you can't get a bad reference but you can. If the head believes that it is a true reflection of your practice, they can write what they think. My advice would be to have your head on side, actually communicate with them. They need to know if you have put them down as a referee, it's polite. Someone used my Head without her consent and she wasn't impressed. It can seem a bit scary telling them you are going, particularly if you don't really get on with them but feel the fear...and do it anyway !

    Best of luck!


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