When can I resign as a teacher?
Teacher resignation dates are agreed nationally in order to align recruitment cycles and allow school leaders to plan staffing for forthcoming terms. This can work in your favour if you are moving to another teaching job, as vacancies will be heavily advertised as the set resignation dates approach. If you plan to leave teaching, this constraint can be a challenge that needs some careful consideration as the perfect role might come along just as you commit for another 3 months of life in the classroom. The dates are agreed by all maintained schools in the UK; so it is worth checking your contract if you work in private education or a particularly maverick academy chain. Resignation dates for teachers in the UK are continually updated on our website. Things can change if you work in Leadership so check this page out too!
|I need to resign by…||to leave on…|
|31st October||31st December|
|28th February||30th April|
|31st May||31st August|
What is the notice period for Headteachers?
Resignation dates for headteachers are slightly longer than for teaching staff. There is obviously a smaller talent pool for senior leaders. There is a detailed post about headteacher resignation but at a glance the notice periods for headteachers are as follows:
|To leave your headteacher role||I should resign by|
|In the Christmas Holidays||30th September (Autumn Term)|
|In the Easter Holidays||31st January (Spring Term)|
|In the Summer Holidays||20th April (Summer Term)|
Can teachers leave at half term?
The table above provides some clarity on this subject; the agreed resignation dates align with the end of full academic terms. Headteachers use these dates to plan capacity and think about course changes; any deviation from the plan can cause challenges in staffing and leads to inconsistencies in the quality of education. Bear in mind that other schools are unlikely to be recruiting at Half-Term so a decision to leave at that stage is usually one to leave the profession. Headteachers can have discretion regarding these dates, so whilst it is unlikely you can leave at Half-Term, speaking to your SLT honestly about your desire to leave might prove positive. Keep in mind that any agreement to leave outside of the contracted dates would be on a case-by-case basis and relatively rare but it is possible to provide enough warning for Leadership to recruit a suitable replacement and agree to your request.
How do I resign as a teacher?
Resigning from your teaching role is straightforward but a few rules apply. You should prepare a resignation letter (FREE template available) and ask to meet with your Headteacher or Principal in order to share your intention personally. The meeting might seem stressful but bear in mind that this is unlikely to be the first time they will have had a conversation like this. Remember to keep an eye on the teacher resignation dates, using the table above, and identify when you will be leaving the role e.g. if you provide notice on the 18th September you can leave on 31st December; if you were to provide notice on 1st March (just missing the spring resignation date) it would be at the discretion of the Leadership team to allow you to leave at Easter, most likely you would be expected to work until the end of August.
How do I write a resignation letter for my teaching job?
Your teacher resignation letter should be short and factual. I have provided a guide to writing a solid resignation letter and even written a template you can download for FREE. The key advice is that you will be working within the school for at least another 6 weeks so keep the tone of voice professional. Avoid including any specific grievances in this document and if any exist seek advice from your Union prior to serving notice.
Can a teacher leave without notice?
You signed a contract of employment that protects both you and the school during moments like this. You have agreed to provide a suitable notice period and these will be clearly identified in the contract (and the table above). Your Union may be able to assist in negotiating a shorter notice period but would unlikely to be able to support zero notice resignation. There are occasions when this might be agreed without Union involvement but are incredibly rare. If you want to leave teaching it is always best to plan ahead and understand the seasonal process to staff-turnover.
Will I get paid if I leave before the Summer Holidays?
Looking at the table above you can see that the resignation dates roughly coincide with the end of a term holiday so good news, you will be paid through the Summer if you are starting a new role in September. One word of warning, you are employed until the end of the Summer Holidays so theoretically could be asked to complete certain tasks; this usually manifests around exam results day and any analysis that needs to take place!
I hope this guide was useful; if you have any other questions leave a comment. If you want to buy me a coffee you are welcome to! >