Teacher resignation dates; there will be times in your teaching career when you find yourself handing in your notice of resignation, either to move to a new teaching role in a different school or perhaps to try your hand at something new.
Teacher resignation dates are the official dates that you can leave your teaching position. The conditions of service for School Teachers, including resignation dates and notice periods are set out in what is known as ‘The Burgundy Book’1 which influences the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD)2. Due to the fluctuation in school term dates across the UK, your notice periods and teacher resignation dates can vary depending on the school you work in, and how long you have been in your position.
Teacher Notice Period
A teacher notice period is generally two or three months (depending on the term) unless you are a senior teacher.
You should plan your leaving date to fall on the last day of term.
There are 3 terms in the school year, starting in September with the Autumn term:
- Term 1: Autumn Term - 1st September to 31st December.
- Term 2: Spring Term - 1st January to 30th April.
- Term 3: Summer Term - 1st May to 31st August.
Each term is split into two parts separated by a holiday. It is best to give your notice of resignation within the first half of the term in which you intend to leave.
- Term 1: Autumn Term - Notice period: Two months, no later than 31st October.
- Term 2: Spring Term - Notice period: Two months, no later than 28th/29th February.
- Term 3: Summer Term - Notice period: Three months, no later than 31st May.
Precise term dates vary across the UK so you will need to check the term dates for your local area to be sure. If you don’t want to ask the administration department at your school, you can use the government website to find out what the determined school term and holiday dates are for your area.
Senior teacher notice period
If you are a senior teacher, your notice period will be a bit longer and will vary depending on the term in which you intend to leave.
- Autumn Term: Three months’ notice, no later than 30th September.
- Spring Term: Three months’ notice, no later than 31st January.
- Summer Term: Four months’ notice, no later than 30th April.
How to Resign - A notice of resignation
When you resign from a teaching job, you need to notify the school administrators and the Headmaster (or Principal) with a notice of resignation. A notice of resignation should always be provided in writing.
Where possible, always try to speak with the Headmaster or your Department Head in person beforehand and let them know that you intend to leave. You can then officialise this in writing with the notice of resignation.
Your notice of resignation should be a concise, respectful and professional letter that details basic information about your resignation including:
- Opening paragraph. “I hereby provide notice in writing of my resignation from my position as [job title] at [school].”
- Projected leaving date.
- Reason for leaving.
- Relevant information about your classes.
- Any important details your replacement may need to know.
- A statement of thanks or a positive paragraph about your time in the position. When you are writing your resignation letter, keep in mind the following:
- You don't have to include details of why you are leaving, you can simply state personal reasons.
- Be professional and keep the tone of your letter positive.
- If you have had a conversation about your resignation already, you can refer to it in your letter.
- Find something positive to say. Your resignation letter may be referred to if a future employer asks for a reference, so always try to leave on a positive note.
If there are things you need to discuss, either about your reasons for leaving, or about the preparations needed before you leave, you can request an exit interview.
If you need to discuss your remaining holiday entitlement or your final salary payment, speak directly to the relevant department, often the human resources (HR) department instead of detailing it in your notice of resignation.
1 The Teachers Union [Internet] August 2000 https://www.nasuwt.org.uk/uploads/assets/uploaded/9a9fca1f-fb65-4160-a06374b589b99193.pdf
2 Department for Education [Internet] September 2020 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/