Did you know that there are more than 600,000 teachers in the UK?

Being a teacher is different to many jobs; the lengthy paid holidays are an obvious benefit of the position.

The way teachers resign is also different to most other professions. Recruiting in the middle of a term can be challenging, so teacher resignations are designed to cause the minimum of disruption to students. That includes having set dates by which notice must be given.

Read on to learn seven things you should know about teacher resignation dates in the UK.

1. Teachers Need to Give at Least Two Months Notice

The majority of teachers in the UK will need to give at least two months notice if they intend to resign.

That's because most publicly funded schools in the UK follow the rules set out in the Burgundy Book. This is the handbook of conditions of service for teachers in England and Wales. It includes details on notice periods, retirement, sick pay, and more.

As you can imagine, if a teacher were only required to give a week's notice, this would lead to a lack of continuity in students' education, which could have a negative impact on their learning. The lengthy notice period ensures that schools have plenty of time to find an adequate replacement.

2. Teachers are Expected to Leave at the End of Term

The academic year is split up into three main terms: Autumn, Spring, and Summer.

Leaving in the middle of a term is also detrimental to learning, so the expectation is that teachers will work up until the end of term. In other words, even if a teacher gave in their notice on the first day of term, with the end of term more than two months away, they would still be expected to see out the full term. 

3. The Last Dates to Give Notice Each Term

The combination of the two points above mean that there are cut off dates each term by which you must have handed in your resignation if you want to leave at the end of that term. 

These teacher resignation dates come two months before the end of each term. This ensures that a full two months' notice can be served before leaving at the end of that term.

School term dates vary from year to year, but the end dates of each term are usually accepted to be as follows:

  • Autumn Term: 31st December
  • Spring Term: 30th April
  • Summer Term: 31st August

This means that the last teacher resignation dates for each term are as follows:

  • Autumn Term: 31st  October
  • Spring Term: 28th/29th February
  • Summer Term: 31st July

As long as a teacher hands in their notice by these dates, they have the right to leave their position at the end of the same term. 

4. The Notice Period is Longer for Senior Teachers

The rules above apply to the majority of teachers, but different rules are in place for senior teachers and headteachers.

Since these roles are more complex and time-consuming to fill, the notice period is longer. Senior teachers must give at least three months notice if they want to resign at the end of the Autumn and Spring terms, and four months notice if they wish to resign at the end of the Summer term.

This ensures that schools have enough time to find suitable replacements for these senior positions.

5. The Teacher Resignation Dates for Senior Teachers

All of the above means that the teacher resignation dates for senior teachers and headteachers are as follows:

  • Autumn Term: 31st September
  • Spring Term: 1st December
  • Summer Term: 31st March

As you may have spotted, this means that if you wish to resign in the Spring or Summer terms, as a senior teacher you must tender your resignation in the previous term.

6. The Great Teacher Resignation is Coming

Lockdown and the pandemic have forced many people to reevaluate their working lives. The great resignation is a phenomenon that is occurring across multiple sectors, with large numbers of people leaving their jobs.

Teachers have restricted resignation dates, which means that the biggest impact of the great teacher resignation may be about to strike. Since many teachers prefer to resign at the end of the Summer term, which gives them the long summer holidays to prepare for their new job, therefore the 31st May could see a significant number of teacher resignations.

On the flip side, many people who have left jobs in other sectors are considering teaching as a possible alternative.

7. The Great Resignation is a Great Opportunity

If you're someone who is already in teaching, or wanting to get into teaching, then the great teacher resignation could be a huge opportunity.

If a large number of teachers do leave their positions, there will be a high demand for good quality recruits to take their place. If you're a qualified teacher, or have a teaching qualification from abroad and are thinking of working in the UK, then this potential labour shortage puts you in a strong position.

If you're not a qualified teacher, there are still many positions within education that are likely to become available due to the great resignation. These include:

There has never been a better time to find the perfect job in education.

Are You Ready to Start Anew as a Teacher?

Whether you're a teacher looking for a fresh start at a new school, a qualified teacher who has worked abroad looking to start teaching in the UK, or just someone who is interested in a new career, we're here to help.

We have thousands of teaching posts on our site, from supply teaching to senior teacher positions. We also have hundreds of teaching assistant positions available if you're thinking about dipping your toes into the water of working in education. 

Working in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, our teams are focused on matching the right candidate with the right workplace. We've been helping teachers and support staff just like you find temporary and permanent jobs in education for more than 20 years.

Contact one of our education-focused branches today.