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Questions about school 'references'

(2 Posts)
Cortina Wed 28-Oct-09 12:41:49

I see that some independent secondary schools ask for 'references' from previous schools.

If these are luke-warm or negative can these prevent a child gaining a place even if they pass the entrance exam?

If a teacher described a child as a 'loner' or 'anti social' could this mean they would be rejected? Has this been true in the past?

Can you ask to see these 'references' and question them before they are sent to prospective secondaries?

Are they written only by the class teacher?


LadyMuck Thu 29-Oct-09 08:32:24

Usually it is a headmaster's reference, so whilst the class teacher may have input it would be the head who would be submitting the report. Usually the school puts most weight on exam and interview so the references usually just tip the balance for borderline candidiates.

"Antisocial" would ring alarm bells. "loner" wouldn't. But if a child had passed the entrance exams and the interview then I would expect the school to talk to current head if the reference was particularly negative.

It tends to be a private school thing - locally at least half the state schools fail to provide references which isn't seen to be a problem. If switching schools midyear then the new school will want to ensure that you're not leaving behind a huge fees bill. I had to supply 2 years worth of school reports too.

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