Reference to price of courtesy;Letter

23rd May 1997 at 01:00
I was headmaster of an independent school from 1973 to 1992. In that time I was often asked for references by fellow heads and also requested them myself.

In my first 10 years, I always received stamped addressed envelopes with such requests, whether from independent or state schools. In the second half of my headship I noticed a marked decline in the number of state schools that bothered with this courtesy.

In the four and half years since I gave up my headship, I have continued to be used as a referee by teachers I employed.

While independent schools always enclose a stamped addressed envelope, many state schools do not.

When I have protested to schools about this I have been told that it is "a cost-cutting exercise". My response - that it comes across as a courtesy-cutting exercise - has been met with incomprehension.

When I have said that it places me as a referee in a difficult position, since were I to decline to meet the request, I should seriously jeopardise a candidate's chances of interview, I have been variously told, "Well, that's up to you", "It's only 26p" and "We don't really consider applications from the independent sector anyway."

I am also appalled by the growing practice in state and independent schools of ignoring job applications. Teachers devote time and care to sending in letters of application and well-presented CVs and receive no acknowledgement.

The low morale of the profession cannot be helped by such gross discourtesy.

ALAN PATTINSON Flat 5 10 Bruce Mansions Southsea Portsmouth

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now