Head refused to give reference...now being v slow(9 Posts)
I am very drained at my current school, fed up of some of the SLT personalities, disorganisation and no proper promotion. I am basically bored and need a new challenge. I applied to a mix of private and state schools - mainly focusing on the actual school and whether it is somewhere I want to work. I am currently at state.
My Head knows nothing of these reasons - I told her I wanted to work closer to home, experience another school etc.
She was upset when I spoke to her to ask for time off and permission to put her as a referee. She said how much she values me and wants me to stay. Initially, she wasn't nasty - just obviously disappointed.
I then went to 2 interviews and she got the reference requests. They were both private schools and she made it very known to me that she disapproves, thinks it is an awful decision and very rude on her to be leaving (tbh a fairly deprived area state school) to be going to a private school. I remained professional and didn't react to her, just let her say her piece.
I then got a job at one of these schools and so let her know I'd accepted. She expressed her surprise at my choices but again I ignored and remained professional despite her saying some fairly nasty things. I haven't given in my written notice yet.
Since this I have had contact from the school I have the job at saying the head initially refused to provide a reference because she felt it was unnecessary prior to interview and she was unsure about providing personal information to someone she didn't know. I think she sent a fairly stroppy email in reply to the school I have the job at. I politely asked her to complete it and she said she would. She still hasn't...
The school I have the job offer from are very patient about this.. Luckily they have had another reference from my second referee. I have had all the offer details and it in writing but obviously I have to somehow get this second reference form my Head!
What do I do?
If I was you I would email your HT and (importantly) copy in the other new school you've got a job at - as a joint email. In this email be uber professional and polite and remind your current HT that her reference would be appreciated at her earliest convenience. This way the new school see you as polite and efficient and can see you are doing all possible - then if your current HT is awkward it only shows her in a bad light.
Does your reference have to be from the HT? Just wondering if the Deputy, or another colleague, would be prepared to step in. Your new school probably know that HT is being difficult, but they probably do need to tick the "two references received" box.
Yes to the idea of emailing the Head and copying in the other school. The other Head could ring your Head and ask for a reference over the phone and take notes. As it is a private school they can do this.
You could also speak to the Chairman of Governors or raise a grievance as this is not acceptable behaviour by the Head. You could also contact the HR Department of your LA to ask them to ring your Head and you could contact your Union.
I think you are right to leave. Who would want to work for a Head like yours?
I do have to agree with Bojorojo that this is poor behaviour from the head teacher. I would be very certain that they would be asking for and expecting to get references for your replacement!
However you do need to understand that there is actually no legal right to a reference and the head teacher could just refuse to give a reference. In that circumstance I would very definitely be looking to get in writing that they refuse to give the reference and then be making an official complaint to the Chair of Governors. The whole of the education system works on references that are asked for before interview so their attitude really is not good.
I thought it was the done thing that every head teacher gave references as a matter of course. Until I moved schools last September and arrived in y new position to be told my previous headteacher hadn't done it, or even answered any calls/emails at all.
He was sacked over the summer too so I couldn't get hold of him. They accepted a reference from my retired former HOD in its place, thank goodness!
Thank you. I will think about contacting chair of governors or union if she continues to refuse.
I'd be terrified at the thought of new head phoning her as she is the type who will be very rude to new head or say random unfair comments about me. I have evidence of her previous great respect for me in terms of v good observations etc.
New school are currently being very patient. She was equally awkward to some colleagues but has eventually sent theirs - so hopefully mine is next in her pile.
In the past she has refused for up to four months and then sent horrible references, sometimes after the people have begun their new jobs!
Shame as I used to have a reasonably good relationship with her but it really does show I have made the right choice. However busy she may be, she has been incredibly rude and unprofessional over the whole thing.
If you are in an LEA school you could try contacting the HR department. I did this when my head did not send a reference and they contacted his secretary and she sent it.
She's obviously clueless about her responsibilities. References are required before interview in order to comply with Keeping Children Safe in Education and Safer Recruitment guidance. Some people are just spiteful. Complain to the Chair of Governors and when you leave, report her to OFSTED for failing to follow KCSIE!
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