Bad refs with no obvious reason(9 Posts)
6 weeks ago my husband lost his secondary school teaching job as his previous references were poor and the school decided not to keep him as he hadn't met the terms of his contract (contract switched from perm to termly, being paid until end of term so 'current' school are legally in the right)
He requested information from his personal file from both his last schools to understand the poor references.
His last school gave a positive lesson observation and one that was mix of average to needs improvement. No other info on file.
The school before that told him they have nothing on file for him,yet gave a poor ref. He'd told me that he was never given the impression that they thought he was a bad teacher, no meetings to discuss any failings, no chats about how he could improve etc. It's all been a smash in the face right out of the blue.
He is still chasing his union to see if they can get any more information as to why he received such poor references.
Is there anything more we can do? Will the schools have something hidden on file that they haven't shared? Should we be persuing legal avenues?
Dh has decided to leave teaching because of what has happened and not only do we want it all resolved but we are unsure of how he will be able to get any job with such references.
He should be able to request copies of the references to see exactly what was said.
He has seen the references and they are not good but he doesn't know why?
It seems like there is nothing to back up the references and the first he found out there was any concern was when his new head teacher told him about his references.
Does his current school want to keep him? It would be an underhand way of making sure he couldn't leave...
Has his current school said they will give him a better reference? If his work with them had been good, they should be willing. I'm surprised tbh-often the references are tick boxes and it's actually quite difficult to give a 'bad' reference these days because people can ask to see them. Would def be harassing union at a higher level than local rep-ask for area or higher.
The school that has nothing on file for him, but have written him a bad reference, are the ones to chase, because they can only give a bad reference if they have evidence to back it up. In a letter, you need to go through all the statements in the reference, and for each untrue statement, you need to tell the school that wrote it to remove that information from the reference. You may also want to point out to them that writing something negative on a reference can amount to defamation. See: ico.org.uk/for-the-public/personal-information/.
All of the above is to help your husband have the references amended ready for applying for other jobs. However, since he has lost his job and therefore his livelihood due to bad references, he can also claim damages for loss of earnings in court, especially the one that has no evidence to back up the bad reference. See:https://www.gov.uk/work-reference. It might be worth posting in workplace dilemmas on TES - there are people on there with some employment law knowledge.
It would definitely be worth getting your union involved,or a solicitor.
I am currently in a similar situation - my previous school have written a bad reference. On mine, they claim I was subject do disciplinary procedures when I never was.
Thanks all. The senior staff member at his union I think has given up on it now they know his current school have done nothing wrong. Unfortunately they didn't want to keep he was only there for 4-5 weeks aren't willing to write a ref for teaching.
However his head of science said to go directly to her and she would.
I'll get him to chase his union so they can chase for evidence from previous schools.
If he is a Science Teacher, he will have no trouble finding work, even with a disappointing reference. He should put his CV on Reed and be ready for 10 - 15 calls a day.
As for negative statements, the school needs to remove them or back them up. The showstoppers are CP issues and gross misconduct.
He needs to reflect on the reasons for the bad references, however, and be ready with an explanation or stay well clear of situations that don't suit him.
All schools should write some kind of reference even for a placement of s few weeks as he needs evidence of not being in prison at that time. He should also have had an observation, so they can comment on his teaching.
He is a science teacher but he no longer r wants to be after 6 years of continuous temporary work and after finally getting a permanent role it hasn't panned out well.
We are trying to figure out what else he can do and how he can explain the poor references. I am hoping the schools change them or he is at least able to tell future employers that they are false and we are legally challenging them.
No misconduct they just said poor teaching and did not have a good relationship with students which is strange as he was always a bit of a big kid and got on with the students well.
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