Last reviewed on 26 August 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 2437

Find out what’s expected of you if you receive a request for a reference. Understand whether you need to provide references when asked, what to include, and whether an individual can see copies of any references you provide about them.

Providing references

Do schools have to provide a reference?

You don't usually have to give a work reference, but if you do, it must be fair and accurate. 

However, you're required to give a reference if there was a written agreement to do so.

This is explained on the GOV.UK website

Who can write a reference?

There are no specific rules about this, but it should be someone who knows the individual in question well.

However, regardless of who writes the reference, you should have all references go through your headteacher, or a nominated member of the senior leadership team (SLT), and have them sign the reference off.

This is because a formal reference reflects on the entire school and not just on the person writing the reference.

This was explained to us by One Education and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

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