Back to Blogs

How much notice do teachers have to give?

  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 years ago
  • Author: Dunbar Education

​When it comes time to leave a job, most people want to give plenty of notice. But what about teachers? How much notice do they have to give? And what is the process for resigning from a teaching position in the UK? Read on for answers to these questions and more.


What is the minimum notice teachers are required to give?

The amount of notice a teacher needs to give will depend on their contract. Unless your contract of employment stipulates differently, in most cases, the minimum amount of notice is as specified in the Burgundy Book - conditions of Service for Teachers in England and Wales which outlines the required notice periods for teachers in local authority maintained schools.

Generally speaking, you will be expected to provide 2 months' notice, or three if you resign during the summer term, to leave your post at the end of the term. 

Headteachers are expected to give an additional month's notice. 


When can teachers leave their role?

One common misconception is that teachers can only leave their role at the end of the school year. However, this is not the case. Teachers can tender their resignation at any time, although it is worth noting that there may be specific financial penalties for doing so outside of the school year. Their employment will be expected to then end at the end of the term to ensure continuity of teaching for their pupils.


Do notice periods vary in academies and free schools?

Most academies and free schools adhere to the same notice periods as local authority maintained schools. However, this is at the facility's discretion, so we recommend checking your contract for this information.


What is the process for resigning from a teaching role?

If you have decided to resign from your teaching role, you should start by writing a letter of resignation. You can submit this in writing or via email. Your letter should be addressed to your headteacher or employer, stating your intention to leave the role and when you plan to do so. It is essential to be professional in this letter, as it may be used as a reference in the future.

Once you submit your letter of resignation, you will usually meet with your headteacher or employer to discuss the next steps. This meeting is an opportunity to ask any questions about the process and give them any notice or information you feel is necessary.

It is worth noting that if you dream of one day becoming a headteacher, you should be sure to handle matters such as resignation with the appropriate respect for your colleagues and institution.


Can a teacher withdraw their resignation after giving notice?

If a teacher has handed in their notice, they are usually still able to withdraw it within the first week. This allows for heat-of-moment resignations to be withdrawn. After this point, they would need to negotiate with their employer and obtain their employer's permission to rescind their resignation.