Not all references are created equal. So, who are the best referees to use?
You should organise who will be used as your referee before you start looking for a new role. Quality references come from someone in a supervisor and senior position to you. They've worked with you recently and are well-informed that they'll be asked to provide a reference check.
Keep reading to learn which referees you should be using when working with the recruitment team at ep.education.
Who should be my referee?
We use reference checks to identify whether you would be a good fit with the culture of our client schools and centres. They help us to sell you to our clients before securing an interview. In addition, reference checks provide your prospective employer with insights into your strengths, abilities, work ethic, and interpersonal skills.
At ep.education, we contact your referees and use a standardised question set to ensure we're fairly assessing each teacher who wants to work with us and cover the full scope of your professional practice. For example, we ask questions about your classroom management, preparation and planning, rapport with staff and students, reliability, strengths, and any areas of concern.
So, who exactly should you use? Referees should be people in a supervisor or senior role. We want someone who has observed or supervised your teaching. That could be a Principal or Head Teacher, Head of Department, Team Leader, or Mentor/Associate Teacher. Personal referees from family or friends are not acceptable; these are "character references", and we require professional references.
We also need recent references. Ideally, this will be from your current teaching employment. However, if you cannot tell your current employer that you're looking for work, we would require references from a professional leader within the last few years. A referee from a former employer more than three years old is unlikely to reflect accurately on your current professional practice.
It is essential to ask for permission before nominating someone as a referee. If you fail to ask permission, you risk appearing unprofessional if we then contact your referee. Talking with your referee is a good time to collect any contact details you might need. You should be able to provide us with their full name (given and surname), position title, where they work, and their contact details. Always double-check the spelling of the name and email address you provide us. We'll use these to contact your referee, and any errors can delay the successful completion of necessary reference checks.
It is in your best interest to keep your referees well informed. For example, you might like to discuss the kinds of roles you are interested in, which can help them give more thoughtful responses to the questions they might be asked. Of course, it's not practical to alert them every time you apply for a role, but it is advisable to keep them informed of upcoming interviews or if they'll be needed for a verbal reference check.
We require a minimum of 2 written references to place you in a new role. It is advisable to have 2-3 people you can draw upon to provide you with a reference. If you are aware of anything which might mean they are hard to contact, we recommend having a backup plan or giving your referee plenty of notice.
- Referees should be people in a supervisor or senior role, e.g. Principal/Head Teacher, Head of Department, Team Leader, Mentor/Associate Teacher.
- We require recent references from your current teaching employment or a recent professional leader within the last few years.
- Personal referees from family or friends will not be accepted. These are "character references", and we require professional references.
- Check you have the correct email address for your referee.
- You must ask for permission before nominating someone as a referee and endeavour to keep them well-informed about your job search and the kinds of roles you are interested in.
- Have 2-3 people you can ask to provide you with a reference.
Haven't applied for a role yet? Then, check out our Latest Vacancies.