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Hello all


We are recruiting new staff at our setting.


Can I ask that whether you ask for reference requests by way of a formal form/letter or just ask them to provide a written reference?


Is there anything particular we must ask on a reference


Thank you

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I have a proforma that I send out. Mostly tick boxes but some comments are required.


You must ask about dates employed as this you need to tie back to what your applicant has told you. (Safer recruiting) Also ask if there are or were any disciplinary issues. You should also ask if they have any reason to think the applicant should not be working with children.


I ask if they would reemploy this person. Have had some very interesting answers.

I have also found writing for references before interview gives a bit of information. But you do need permission from applicant for this.


Good Luck

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I have received a reference for a prospective member of staff from her last employment in a retail position. The company says it is their policy to only supply standard references that confirm dates of employment and not to complete any other forms or answer any questions about suitability. I have asked again for them to confirm that they are not aware of any reasons this person shouldn't work with children but am not hopeful of a proper answer. I am confident (as much as you can be ) about this person but am worried about how Ofsted will view this.

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Reference forms I've had claim that information shared is private and confidential, but can it be with equal opportunities and data protection legislation? Is it perhaps incorrect to share negative views because they may be based on personal opinion and unfair judgement? And isn't it so that the applicant has the right to read the reference?

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At the Ofsted Big Conversation we discussed references. It was clear that Ofsted do not have a view of how you ask or what you ask for in a reference as long as you are able to prove that the person you have employed is suitable. So, with this in mind I would say that if you have got a reference from previous employer of date/times of employment (to prove there are no gaps in employment history) you can sensibly ask for more references unitl you get someone who is prepared to vouch for your prospective employee.

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