11th September 2009 at 01:00

References and HT reports while on supply

Posted by glasgowgal

Anyone else totally stressed with the situation of having to get the headteacher reports for every job you apply for? I've only ever worked on supply since completing my probationary year (three years) and many were short-term. I did work for one school for six months last session, but I never developed a close relationship with the head. Now I'm having to ask her for reports for any job I apply for. I feel I'm pushing it if I keep asking. I don't understand why a head can't just fill in one report online, which can then be attached to all applications.

Posted by Hazysunshine

You talk a lot of sense! I am in the same situation, and it's so annoying when councils demand your references at the time of application, rather than if you're shortlisted. I feel such a burden to my referees, constantly asking them when I'm applying for every post in the west of Scotland. Your idea of an online reference is excellent - suggest it to the councils!

Posted by Jane the stressed

I agree, along with standardising the vacancy application forms so each council doesn't have its own. Another thing would be to make the disclosure procedure process Scotland-wide as opposed to having to repeat the same application.

Posted by Flyonthewall75

Some LAs do not officially read references prior to interview. Application forms are used to determine who gets interviewed, the interview process is used to determine who is nominated and, only then, are they read. It's time the process was streamlined, at least while the current recruitment fiasco continues.

Posted by vforvendetta

I've been on supply for three years and had one interview. Not many jobs in my subject and I've struggled to get HT reports. Some feel they are not able to support my application because I've been in their school for too short a time. Others feel the gap is too long if it's been a few years since I worked with them. Since my probation year, my teaching has not been observed, so no one can comment on my ability or standards.

Posted by glasgowgal

Applied for a job in Argyll and Bute. They told me they only asked for a report for leeted candidates, as they'd found that a lot of time was wasted getting lots of reports from HTs unnecessarily. Also, it wasn't up to the candidate to ask for the report, they approached the referee themselves. I wish all councils would do this.

Join the debate at, click on forums then supply teachers.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today