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Reference denied?

Archimedes is wrong (TES, July 13). Heads are under a contractual obligation to provide references - see the Blue Book, paragraph 51: "the professional duties of a headteacher shall include..." and 51.9: "shall" signifies the imperative.

A teacher denied a reference could sue for damages in the amount of the salary difference of the lost promotion.

Clive Teale

Regional official, National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

East Midlands

Archimedes writes: I am always sorry to have to disagree with the NASUWT. The relevant section in the pay and conditions document says a head has a duty to provide information (not a reference) about a teacher's professional performance "where it is relevant" to his or her future career. In the case quoted, I believe the head could argue that the information was irrelevant, because the governing body had already decided to appoint. If requested, basic information about the teacher's record could be sent.

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