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  • FIRST POST
    • HevyDevyMad
    • By HevyDevyMad 16th May 18, 12:26 PM
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    HevyDevyMad
    Educational References
    • #1
    • 16th May 18, 12:26 PM
    Educational References 16th May 18 at 12:26 PM
    Hi,
    New here
    If an educational establishment, be it academic or vocational, requires a reference from a previous education provider, are the rules governing the provision of references the same as those in employment? i.e. those found in the gov.uk/work-reference website(can't post the link as it's my first post)
Page 1
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 16th May 18, 12:30 PM
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    kingfisherblue
    • #2
    • 16th May 18, 12:30 PM
    • #2
    • 16th May 18, 12:30 PM
    https://www.gov.uk/work-reference


    Link for you
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 16th May 18, 1:20 PM
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    ReadingTim
    • #3
    • 16th May 18, 1:20 PM
    • #3
    • 16th May 18, 1:20 PM
    Are you an employee of said educational establishment, or a student/client of it?
    • HevyDevyMad
    • By HevyDevyMad 16th May 18, 1:52 PM
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    HevyDevyMad
    • #4
    • 16th May 18, 1:52 PM
    • #4
    • 16th May 18, 1:52 PM
    Hi ReadingTim...

    I'm enquiring on behalf of a student who feels that they have been the subject of bullying and discrimination at the hands of the course tutor and they have no trust in the current educational establishment to address the matter in a fair and impartial manner - hence, they are concerned that if they move to another educational establishment, the course tutor may provide unfair or inaccurate information in a reference.

    BTW.. the course is vocational and any future education provider would require a reference from the previous course tutor
    Last edited by HevyDevyMad; 16-05-2018 at 1:59 PM.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 16th May 18, 2:44 PM
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    Gavin83
    • #5
    • 16th May 18, 2:44 PM
    • #5
    • 16th May 18, 2:44 PM
    Unfair? Depends who you ask. Inaccurate? No, they can't. Any reference that provide has to be factual and accurate, they can't lie. They can however write negatively about the student, just as long as they can back this up.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 16th May 18, 2:51 PM
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    ReadingTim
    • #6
    • 16th May 18, 2:51 PM
    • #6
    • 16th May 18, 2:51 PM
    I would suggest that similar rules/advice applies, as per the government website, linked above, ie that it's fair and accurate; and if it can be proved that the reference was misleading or inaccurate, and the student could demonstrate that they suffered a loss as a result, they could seek damages in court.

    However, whilst the reference does have to be fair and accurate, as there's no limit to its brevity, it could simply confirm that "Bloggs was a student from x to y", which may be next to useless in terms of whether Bloggs was a good student or not - the problem being not with what's said, but what's not said....

    Furthermore, the inclusion of factually accurate information, such as "Bloggs made a claim of bullying and discrimination against his course tutor but left before the claim was fully investigated/resolved" could do a great deal of harm, despite being completely accurate.

    It may therefore be easier for the student not to disclose to either the new or old college the real reason they're moving, and come up with another reason - better commute, change of family circumstances etc rather than risk leaving under a cloud, and receiving a consequentially a poor reference as a result. If the course tutor really didn't like the student, you'd think they'd be only too glad to see the back of them, and give a positive reference to ensure they'd see the back of them!
    • HevyDevyMad
    • By HevyDevyMad 16th May 18, 3:47 PM
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    HevyDevyMad
    • #7
    • 16th May 18, 3:47 PM
    • #7
    • 16th May 18, 3:47 PM
    yep.. I imagined the same rules you have described would apply in an educational context but it appears to be quite difficult to find a definitive answer.

    Bloggs has made no claim of bullying and discrimination to the establishment and they are unlikely to. If there is a mechanism for dealing with such issues, they appear to hide it quite well.

    Regarding your last point, the tutor of the particular course Bloggs is studying has the power to prevent them from progressing to the next level - forcing them to take a year out with no guarantee that they would be able to resume their study next year - if, in their 'professional opinion', they don't think they are 'ready'. From what I can tell, this seems to be entirely at the tutors discretion and indeed, this is what has happened. So, if Bloggs wants to continue studying, they will have to find an alternative education supplier. If the tutor really doesn't like Bloggs, the opportunity to shaft them with a crap reference might prove too tempting to ignore .... hence the original question.
    Last edited by HevyDevyMad; 16-05-2018 at 3:50 PM.
    • Les79
    • By Les79 16th May 18, 7:44 PM
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    Les79
    • #8
    • 16th May 18, 7:44 PM
    • #8
    • 16th May 18, 7:44 PM
    Regarding your last point, the tutor of the particular course Bloggs is studying has the power to prevent them from progressing to the next level - forcing them to take a year out with no guarantee that they would be able to resume their study next year - if, in their 'professional opinion', they don't think they are 'ready'. From what I can tell, this seems to be entirely at the tutors discretion and indeed, this is what has happened. So, if Bloggs wants to continue studying, they will have to find an alternative education supplier. If the tutor really doesn't like Bloggs, the opportunity to shaft them with a crap reference might prove too tempting to ignore .... hence the original question.
    Originally posted by HevyDevyMad
    Why would a tutor do this? What is their motivation?

    You see, when I went to university I sort of got the impression that they will everything in their power to award you at the very minimum a Pass grade. It reflects badly on the tutor and the university if a student effectively fails a year/course. That being said, I got stitched up in similar circumstances with a provider where they didn't *fail* me, but awarded me credits and "congratulated" me for it. Still, upon reflection I personally wasn't ready for the course so I'm at peace with their decision.

    I just can't see how you would be worried about a bad reference if the relationship was fairly amicable and they were simply a poor performing student. There must be some sort of backstory here, and I really wouldn't be surprised if you were receiving the coloured version from them.

    I would potentially explore the internal grievance process in the university and, if that fails, look to see whether any external bodies can help. I took on my first university (I know, such a rebel!) and their internal board overturned their original decision, so it *can* provide positive outcomes if you try.
    • HevyDevyMad
    • By HevyDevyMad 17th May 18, 11:35 AM
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    HevyDevyMad
    • #9
    • 17th May 18, 11:35 AM
    • #9
    • 17th May 18, 11:35 AM
    Your questions are most pertinent, what is their motivation?

    Of course there is more to the story but, this is a public forum and it would be unwise for me to go into a level of detail which could identify the relevant parties. What I can say is that Bloggs has a near 100% attendance record, has completed all assignments to date to the required standard, and has received no verbal or written warnings about their conduct or attitude to learning from the educational establishment... they are also regarded positively by their peers.

    There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the justification for the tutor's decision is open to challenge however, travelling down that road is dependent upon a judgement as to the potential impact on Bloggs's future career.

    The primary goal for Bloggs is to complete their studies so that they can begin practicing their chosen vocation...one which they currently perform voluntarily and for which they receive extremely positive feedback.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 17th May 18, 12:37 PM
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    ReadingTim
    I find it highly unbelievable that for anything where there is a degree of subjectivity, any decision is made by one person and one person alone. Moderation, both internal and external is essential to ensure consistency of marking, uniformity of standards, assurance of the quality of the qualification etc - plus there are inevitably those whose marks fall on the borderline between 2 marks.

    The only exception to this would be case so clear cut that such a process is an unnecessary waste of time and money. This isn't discrimination and bullying - this is simply a candidate being told something they don't want to hear and having their ego bruised as a result.

    You've admitted you're not giving us the full story. You yourself might not have the full story. Unless or until you get it however, you need to entertain the possibility that the problem/issue/fault etc may not lie entirely with the tutor....
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 24th May 18, 12:28 AM
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    Savvy_Sue
    In educational establishments, there is always a chain of command. If an individual tutor doesn't like someone, there's always a head of dept who can be approached. There will also be a complaints policy - I've just googled for that on both the local University website and the 6th form my boys attended. I didn't read it, but I'm willing to put money on the fact that if a student makes a complaint, they have the right to have someone with them in any meetings about that complaint. Can you support them in getting to the bottom of this?

    And as Les said, there's no incentive to fail a student, and every incentive to pass them if at all possible. That's when he was a student, and whenever that was, the trend has increased.
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    • andydownes123
    • By andydownes123 24th May 18, 11:46 AM
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    andydownes123
    Motivation to be truthful in references often comes from either a) knowing the place they are going, or knowing the staff, which means that b) maintaining acadmic integrity is important.



    I would be miffed if course tutor to sent me a reference of a poor performing student saying that they are brilliant, just to get them off their books or because they don't want to tell the truth or write anything negative.


    There are certain key phrases to use that help other educational establishments understand your students. For example, the phrase "would recommend without reservation" at the end is code for: this student is perfect for you and you woudl be foolish not to take them.
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