There are many reasons why a teacher may want or need to hand in their resignation – from finding a more lucrative position, to making a relocation, or even difficulties with the job itself.

However, it’s important to know that resigning from your current post should be handled responsibly in order for the school to make arrangements to minimise disruption to the pupils education.

They’ll need enough time to find a replacement or supply teacher and for you to debrief the new teacher with the areas you have covered in the curriculum.

So, before you start looking for a new position or arranging interviews, make sure you know how much notice teachers have to give and how to follow the correct procedure. 

Teacher resignation dates – when can teachers resign?

Generally, teachers are expected to leave their posts at the end of one of the three school terms – Autumn, Spring and Summer. The dates of the last days of term are 31st December, 30th April and 31st August.

They are required to provide two months’ notice, so to leave on the previous dates the deadline for notice is respectively the 31st October, 28th/29th February and 31st May. Teachers who provide their notice for resignation during these dates have the right to leave their posts on the dates previously mentioned.

  • Autumn Term: Day of departure - 31st December; Last day of notice - 31st October 
  • Spring Term: Day of departure – 30th April; Last day of notice -  28th/29th February 
  • Summer Term: Day of departure – 31st August; Last day of notice – 31st May 

However, for senior teachers, four months’ notice should be given during the summer term (31st March) and three months’ notice for the Autumn and Spring terms (31st September, 1st December). 

When you’re ready to begin looking for your next teaching position, read our step by step guide to finding your next job in education.

Pay during notice.

If you’ve provided appropriate notice for your absence, you can expect pay up to the last day of the current school terms, including holidays.

Leaving without giving notice.

There are some circumstances in which teachers must resign from a position without the correct notice. A sudden change in circumstances can happen and if you discuss the situation with your employer, they may be understanding and it’s possible to work out a new arrangement.

However, it’s worth being aware that resigning without giving appropriate notice is a breach of contract, which will not only lead to you receiving a bad reference, making it more difficult for you to find another position, but legal action could be taken by the school. 

Always discuss your reasons for wanting to leave with your headteacher before quitting without notice, as they may be open to discussion. If you feel you are not able to discuss the issue with the school, but you need to leave, you can also contact your union for more advice.