Your teacher training references

Teacher training providers need to check that you’re a suitable candidate for teacher training. One way that they do this is by asking you to provide references when you apply.

This is mainly for safeguarding reasons to make sure you can work with children.

You need to provide at least 2 references, but you can provide more.

Who should I ask to be a reference?

Your references for teacher training need to be from named individuals.

They’ll need to confirm how they know you and if they know any reason why you should not work with children.

You should not ask a family member, partner or friend for a reference.

Make sure whoever you ask to provide a reference can give a detailed response of up to 500 words about how they know you. Sometimes applications can be held up because references are too short.

Types of references

There are 4 types of references you can provide:

  • academic (for example, from your university tutor)
  • professional (for example, from your manager)
  • school experience (for example, from the headteacher of the school you’ve been working in)
  • character (for example, from a mentor or someone you know from volunteering)

If you’re still studying or graduated in the last 5 years, one of your references should be an academic reference (your second reference can be any of the other 4 types).

If you already work in a school, one of your references should be from your headteacher (your second reference can be any of the other 4 types).

If you graduated more than 5 years ago and do not work in a school, you can choose any combination of references.

Make sure you provide a professional email address, not a personal email address for each reference.

When will my references be contacted?

When you apply for teacher training, you’ll need to provide your reference details. Teacher training providers will not contact your reference until after you’ve accepted an offer for a place on a course.

When you accept your place on a course, you can change your reference details, or even change your reference altogether.

Make sure you prepare your references when you accept a place on a course. If you apply late in the year, there can be a quick turnaround between your place being accepted and your references being contacted, so it’s good to make sure they’re ready.

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