When do I have to hand in my notice at school?


If you are thinking about moving on from your school you will have to provide your notice in advance. It is advisable to check your employment contract to find out if it includes specific details on the procedures to follow.

You may be in breach of your contract if you do not give enough notice. In theory, your local authority or Trust could take legal action if you do not follow the correct procedures. It should be noted that the rules between maintained schools and academies are different.

When do I have to hand in my notice if I work in a maintained school?

The Burgundy Book outlines the terms and conditions in relation to handing in notices for teachers in maintained schools. We outline these in the table below:

To leave at the end of: Teachers must resign by:
Autumn Term (31st December) 31st October
Spring Term (30 April) 28th or 29th February
Summer Term (31st August) 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 will be in breach of your contract of employment.

When do I have to hand in my notice at an academy or free school?

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

What are my employment rights during my notice period?

Your employment rights should not change during your notice period. Your notice period usually runs from the start of the day after you have handed in your notice. You should receive full pay until the end of the term. If you resign in the spring term to take up another teaching post in a different local authority you will be paid up to the day before the new school opens for the summer term if this is earlier than 1st May.

If you resign at the end of the spring term and are leaving teaching altogether, your school would expect you to work up to 30th April as you would be paid for the whole of that month. In some circumstances, it might be possible for you to leave at the end of the spring term, especially if the replacement teacher is starting after the Easter holiday.

If you are ever confused about this process you can contact your school, local authority or Trust for more information.

What happens if I change my mind?

If you resign and you change your mind, for example, the job offer falls through you should tell your school immediately. Depending on how soon you are due to leave and the circumstances, your school could decide to retract your resignation. It should be noted that your school is under no obligation to do this.

Further support

We will be able to provide advice and support if you encounter any difficulties during your notice period.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
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