Writing a reference for your headteacher

Find out what’s expected of you if you receive a request for a reference for your headteacher. Understand whether you need to write a reference, who should write it and what it should cover.

Last reviewed on 31 May 2022
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School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3844
  1. Requirements
  2. How to write a reference and what to consider
  3. No requirement to disclose references


You don't usually need to give a reference

You're only required to give a reference if there was a written agreement with the headteacher to do so. 

If you do decide to give a reference, it must be fair and accurate. 

This is explained by GOV.UK.

The chair should be responsible for providing the headteacher's reference

As the chair works closely with the headteacher, they'd be best placed to comment on the headteacher's employment at the school.

This was explained to us by our associate education expert Fred Birkett and the Department for Education (DfE).

Respond to any questions about capability

Maintained schools must share details about capability procedures that have occurred in the past 2 years, if prospective employers request this information.

This information must contain:

  • Why there was a capability procedure 
  • The duration of the proceedings
  • What the outcome was 

If you're at an academy, your funding agreement will tell you if you need