It’s that time of the year when we receive lots of enquiries from our subscribers about teacher resignation dates.

As explained in our support article on the topic, The Burgundy Book outlines the terms and conditions for handing in your notice in maintained schools:

  • To leave at the end of the Autumn term (31st December). Final date of notice is 31st October
  • To leave at the end of the Spring term (30th April). Final date of notice is 28th or 29th of February
  • To leave at the end of the Summer term (31st August). Final date of notice is 31st May

If you want to leave your school on a date not listed above it is at the discretion of your school to allow this. 

If your school does not allow you to leave on your chosen date, and you do so anyway, you might be in breach of your contract of employment. We would recommend that you always check your employment contract for specific details on resignation dates and notice periods.

Academies, free schools and independent schools do not have to adhere to the Burgundy Book. Some academies, free schools and independent schools may decide to stay with the dates as outlined above. However, you will want to check your employment contract for further details about notice periods.

Schools can sometimes be flexible regarding the dates outlined above, especially if you are out by a couple of days when handing in your notice. Essentially from the perspective of schools, HR teams want to make sure they are staffed appropriately for the next term without being short staffed and having to rely on supply teachers to plug the gaps. 

There may be room for some negotiation if you are pragmatic and provide alternative solutions to your school. In our experience, where schools may be more strict about the deadlines are when you are employed on a work visa or your role is in a short staffed subject.

If you find yourself in a tricky situation regarding resignation dates and notice periods, and if you are a current Edapt subscriber, you can contact us for advice and support.

Teacher resignation dates: what are the practicalities of handing in my notice?

What to include in a resignation letter as a teacher can always be a bit daunting. What information do I need to include and what should I leave out? You might be cautious about letting your school know too much information, depending on what the situation is.

Resignation letters do not need to be overly complex and should stick to the main facts and dates for leaving your position. 

They are certainly not for airing any grievances or personal opinions about the school or members of staff. It is important that you maintain your professionalism during the resignation process.

You have to remember that you will need to secure a reference if you are moving onto another school. You will also have to work your notice period in school, which could be awkward to do so if too many grievances are stated.

You can read our support article on the topic which also provides an example resignation letter template which you can adapt.

Teacher resignation dates: the teacher transfer window

Compared to other sectors, having set teacher resignation dates may seem too rigid to working professionals where normally you just need to provide a 2-3 month notice period.

Negative impacts of these notice windows is that some school staff can feel unwanted and left to feel out of place on the sidelines while working their notice periods. 

Some staff even may delay it right until the last day to submit their notice to avoid any detrimental consequences from their colleagues. For schools, to find the right calibre of candidate, especially for a more senior role could be tricky to achieve especially if you are in an area of the country where candidates are hard to come by.

All these factors can cause friction and confusion to school staff when looking to move onto other roles. Edapt can provide clarity for you if you are facing difficulties when weighing up when to hand in your notice and how to do this effectively.

Subscribe to Edapt today from as little as £8.37 per month to get access to high quality edu-legal support services to protect you in your teaching and education career.


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