QLD Challenge Internship Employment Reference?

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James B

2 September 2014
I have recently completed practical experience and an internship at a Queensland State School. (I am a student
teacher). At the end of this experience I received feedback and reports I feel are unfair and inaccurate and will make finding employment very difficult. Are there any options for having this looked at under the law? The school, Qld Ed, the Qld College of Teachers aren't interested. Neither are Fair Work Australia - the Fair Work Commission.

Thank you for any help.


I am not aware of any legal rights per se that would entitle you to "challenge" or seek a "review" of such reports/comments James.

The whole point of feedback and third party reports is to provide information to prospective employers. Whilst you may not feel certain feedback is warranted, I'm sure you can imagine what would happen if everyone was able to challenge every bit of negative workplace or educational feedback they received.

Perhaps you could conduct an honest effort to have the school clarify matters to enable you to improve on those aspects of your training and then provide evidence of your efforts to improve to prospective employers.

James B

2 September 2014
Thanks Sophea. I understand what you are saying.

My perspective is however, these references must be used in an application to DETE.

If the reference is unrepresentative of the teachers abilities, it makes it virtually impossible to gain employment. I can understand that it probably sounds like sour grapes, but I can assure you, in this case it isn't.

If a reference points out every minor mistake made by a student teacher, but includes none of the achievements then it is painting an unbalanced picture. In my opinion a reference should be truthful. If claims are made that are inaccurate and there is written evidence from the person making the reference that this in fact is not the true case, then surely the referee should have some rights to address this?

I know in the case of a normal employer/employee relationships the employee has some rights in this regard. As a (mature) student it seems there is no safety net if the mentor is not performing their duties appropriately.

John R

Well-Known Member
14 April 2014
Hi @James B,
  1. You mention reports with a plural - I assume these are multiple reports/references from the one supervising teacher?
  2. I agree with @Sophea and am unfortunately not aware of any "legal" avenues to seek the reissuing of your teacher training employment reference unless it was defamatory, factual errors that you could substantiate, etc.
  3. From a practical perspective, have you considered taking steps to remediate (additional training, taking on another training internship at another school, seeking work as a substitute teacher to build up your experience, etc.) the issues set out in the reports/reference?
Hope this helps. Keep us updated with your progress. Australia needs more passionate teachers! :)