Can my friend from another school write my UCAS reference?Watch this thread
Your best friend is simply not appropriate.
If you are applying through school then your school will compile your reference. Why are you trying to avoid this?
I don't know if it's too late to respond to this, but I was a mature/independent applicant (20 years old at time of application in 2020), I had a previous employer write my reference. They had no interaction with my education, nor did they even know me while I was at school. I received very generous offers from all five of the universities I applied to (King's, UCL, St Andrews, Newcastle, and Edinburgh), I got to see the reference after it was sent off and it barely touched on my academic interests or journey. It did detail my academic inclination, like reading and debates etc. but the rest of the reference was entirely character based. I'm not sure what McGinger is trying to accuse you of, your question is totally valid and there aren't enough resources out there for mature/independent students applying through UCAS. So, from experience, find someone that can testify to your character, if they can include why you would do well at university, or studying a particular subject, that's great. Work with what you've got. You can always contact universities directly, admissions offices are extremely helpful as a mature/independent applicant.
Best of luck, wishing you all the best!