Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

One Bad Reference Has Torn My Career to Shreds

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

One Bad Reference Has Torn My Career to Shreds

Article excerpt

Under the threat of redundancy and having recently relocated, I was pleased to secure a job as a part-time specialist primary teacher in an inclusive provision for children with autism. But after two terms in post, I found myself in conflict about the way the provision was managed.

I needed a job where I had my own class base. I also needed to address my work-life balance. The headteacher agreed to give me a reference so I could move on to a new school.

I applied for another part-time post, this time as a specialist teacher in an assessment unit attached to a mainstream school, working with children who had a range of conditions including autism. I was shortlisted and attended an interview, which seemed to go well.

When I received feedback from the headteacher, however, she said that she regretted not being able to appoint me because of my first reference - the one written by my school leader. The second reference, written by my immediate manager, was very positive and my teaching had been assessed as good with some outstanding features. …

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