Reference - Moving from prep to senior school

(15 Posts)
Donut82 Wed 25-Jun-14 11:47:31

Hi All

My daughter is finishing her prep school this year, and we are moving to Australia.

There are a number educational options available to us, but we want to be out there to make a choice. We have arranged testing for our daughter at a number of schools.

Most of the senior schools are asking for a letter stating that our daughter is suitable for testing at a selective school. I have mentioned this to the current school who advise that a letter can be sent only to the schools concerned; a "to whom it may" letter that we may present to any school is out of the question.

Is this scenario commonplace, and is the school under an obligation to provide us a letter?

inthename Wed 25-Jun-14 19:20:38

Hi,
Only going by what I was told at Ds prep yesterday, the reference is confidential between the prep and the senior school. I only say this as was told that I wasn't allowed a copy of the reference going to UK senior schools for that reason, so looks like they are applyiing a similar rule to your situation. Annoying, but apparently how prep school do this.
If they are willing to do individual references for each school, which it sounds like what they are saying, then they would have fulfilled their obligation.

Spotsonmydots Wed 25-Jun-14 22:17:08

Just a thought under the data protection act isn't the case you can ask for a copy?

happygardening Thu 26-Jun-14 06:58:01

One of the ghastly mothers at my DS's old prep wanted to see the reference provided to the senior school her DS failed to get in to. The school refused to show it to her, their argument was that if they had to show references to parents then it would make what they wrote more anodyne, and thus they would become of little use, senior school rely on them heavily. They also refused to show her scores from CATS test etc. she was a very pushy type and threatened legal action but I know they didn't relent. Unfortunately and unhelpfully I can't remember how they did this and stopped a solicitors letter landing in their door mat.
In this day and age of the internet can't the individual Australian schools email you current prep for the reassurance they need, especially as you appear to have spoken to a few and arranged to have her tested.

Petrasmumma Thu 26-Jun-14 07:25:08

As far as I understand it, you can ask to see any reference written about your child, in the same way that all UCAS applicants can ask to see their reference from a school or college.

If they won't hand something over, I think it's reasonable to feel that they are trying to conceal something. If they say or insinuate something negative about your child (or you!), you can't defend the situation. Not handing over testing results is worse AFAIC.

I'm sure the school will be happy to talk to the Australian schools individually but if it doesn't resolve to your satisfaction, I wouldn't hesitate to let a solicitor take over.

inthename Thu 26-Jun-14 07:40:16

Think HG has the solution, I only

inthename Thu 26-Jun-14 07:46:37

asked as a novice to CE etc and wasn't sure if they provided copies aa standard. I can fully understand why they don't though so haven't a problem with how they do it. It would definitely easier with email in your case to connect the different schools.with the information they need.

StressedandFrazzled Thu 26-Jun-14 09:40:55

When you've chosen the schools in Australia, just email the prep and ask them either to email relevant schools, or scan a reference letter straight to admissions or the head.

Donut82 Fri 27-Jun-14 13:37:43

Thank you for the replies. I have suspected for some time that the headteacher at the school has been giving crap references on my daughter. Given that they have point blank refused to hand me a letter I have now written one myself and slapped on a logo, header and footer. Problem solved.

Whilst the fact that the new schools are overseas may work in your favour, in my experience new schools tend to email or quite often call the old Head for a reference as common courtesy and to check among other things that any fees are up to date so you should be aware that if this happens and you have already provided your own reference this could go badly wrong for you.

inthename Fri 27-Jun-14 21:10:54

Even thou

greenfolder Fri 27-Jun-14 21:49:51

what really? interesting.

stealthsquiggle Fri 27-Jun-14 21:59:12

Interesting choice, op. I suspect it will backfire spectacularly, but it's your decision.

happygardening Sat 28-Jun-14 00:17:29

I'm curious as to why a head teacher would write "crap" references for a child who is pleasant, gets on well with her classmates, polite, hard working and achieving all she can within her innate ability. What would be the point?

inthename Sat 28-Jun-14 16:05:22

seems a very odd solution to this, you've basically created a fraudulant reference and future record simply because you wanted to see what the reference said? Seems a bit over the top.

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