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Worried about my reference for head of department position

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by frannyanne, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Hi,

    My current headteacher has just interviewed myself and 3 other people for a Second in Science position. My lesson was graded good not oustanding, but in feedback from my Head of Science I was told that if my lesson had been outstanding then I would have been given the job. I have since seen a head of chemistry job at another school, went to see the Head to ask if I could put him as a reference, he made me cry saying I was disloyal and that I was not good enough and that I should take a good, long look at myself in the mirror and then realise that I am not ready and should not apply. I have been told that I should take it as a compliment as he is scared and does not want me to leave (he has hinted before that he wants me to stay and be head of department there). However, I am now worried that he will give me a bad reference and I will not get an interview for the other job? Someone has told me that they do this, leaving out any positives and only writing negatives... Any advice would be really appreciated, both with what to do about the situation and also my application for the other job...

  2. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Leave. He is a bully and you should not be fobbed off with promises (or not even that, fake hints) that he'll promote you in the future. Ofsted have proved this week that individual lessons shoudl not be graded, and Second in Science is not a job based on how good you are in the classroom. I would be worried if I was the best Maths teacher in my own department of 13.
  3. Thank you! I appreciate your reply. Do you know if a good reference, which my current head of chemistry has already said she will write me, will counteract his potentially bad reference?
  4. Thank you! I appreciate your reply. Do you know if a good reference, which my current head of chemistry has already said she will write me, will counteract his potentially bad reference?
  5. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    I don't know, I'm afraid. But you are relying on rumour, and you don't know until you try.
  6. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    Gosh, what a lovely, supportive head (!)

    My belief is that I would personally rather someone who could produce consistently 'good' lessons. The adage about being unable to be outstanding all the time is true. Outstanding teaching means outstanding learning - rapid progress - and students just can't make rapid progress all the time. In fact, I don't think that they ever do in my lessons, it is more of a slog, but we do get there!

    I hope the above helps your confidence.

    Regarding your reference, if your head's position is typical he will be "known" to other schools, don't worry - and the main thing is a strong application letter, a good interview lesson and of course a good interview.

    Good luck.
  7. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    If you are not successful in becoming a 2nd in Science why on earth are you looking at applying for a HOD position. Your HT said you was not good enough, so take on board his advice and develop so therefore when an opportunity arises you are suitably qualified. Don't run before you can walk because it will not work!
  8. scientist555

    scientist555 New commenter

    2nd in Science is equivalent to Head of Chemistry in a lot of schools and sometimes even higher. In a Science Department for instance, there could be a Head of Science, 2nd in Science and Heads of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. This might be why the OP is looking at a HOD Chemistry position as it may be suitable for them to apply for at this stage in their career.
  9. It seems that most schools have short listed and called for interview before the references arrive, so if your application is good, and the day goes well, your performance and one good reference will be fine. If you don't get the job, you can ask your current head to show you the reference he wrote. (I wrote that last bit and thought, I think I'm right, but the lovely TheoGriff will know for sure over on the careers forum.)

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