Who should be my UCAS Referee


For background, I’m a US student who will be applying to Oxford, LSE, Durham, Warwick, and KCL this cycle. Just a quick question:

Should my school counselor be writing my reference or an actual teacher?

I had thought it was supposed to be my school counselor (they had helped a student fill out UCAS before and had written their reference, so they told me their supposed to write it), but the referee section on the UCAS site says that it should be a teacher familiar with your intended subject and now I’m worried.

From what I’ve read it seems like my counselor should write the reference but it should include input about my specific academic abilities from all relevant subject teachers, is this accurate?

My counselor is wonderful but they don’t know anything about PPE, so should I politely ask them to step aside and let a teacher write it? Would it be better if I got my counselor to write it but with heavy guidance from my chosen teacher (who has extensive academic experience with PPE)? I’m leaning towards that last option but just want to be sure I’ve got this right!

If I got it wrong and it is supposed to be a teacher I can still likely line one up in time but that would be really unfortunate given how close the deadline is! Any clarification would be greatly appreciated!

The key is to get the info about you as a candidate from the relevant subject teacher(s) into the LoR. If there is more than one relevant teacher, having the GC collect all the material & integrate it into one rec makes sense. If there is a teacher who has experience writing UK LoRs that is certainly worth talking to both the teacher & the GC about. Look at it as a joint undertaking, with both your teacher(s) and GC on team @Rs1231. Just make sure whoever writes it has read the UCAS guide on writing LoRs (and tell them that anything relating to ‘context students’ is irrelevant to you).