When you work in teaching jobs, moving onto a new position of employment can be a little different than in other careers when it comes to resigning. The school calendar affects when you should hand in your notice and there are certain procedures you should follow. So, if you are thinking of relocating or progressing further in your teaching career, read on to find out what you should know about leaving your current position.
Recruitment dates for teaching jobs
Resigning from your current teaching job is often dependent on finding your next position. If you are continuing in the teaching profession, then it is important to be aware of some key dates in the school year.
Teaching jobs can be available year-round, but the peak time to start a new position is in September, at the beginning of the academic year. When thinking about your next teaching job, the first term (Autumn), from September to December, is a good time to start evaluating your past experience and the next position you would like to find.
The teacher job market hits its peak during term two (Spring). This is when resignations start to come in and schools look ahead to the next school year. Spring is a good time to be looking for your next teaching role.
You have until the May half-term (mid-Summer) to hand in your notice if you wish to leave your job in the summer, so you need to secure your new position before this. If you miss the window for a new permanent teaching job, you could consider a Supply Teacher or Cover Supervisor position while you continue your job search.
What to consider if you are thinking of resigning
Leaving a job is a big decision and there are many things you should consider before taking the step to resign:
- Be honest with yourself about why you want to leave and be sure it is for the right reasons.
- Have a good idea of what you want to do next. Is it to progress in your teaching career, gaining further experience or taking on a more senior role? Or perhaps you want to move into a different aspect of education or pursue a different avenue entirely.
- Consider the pros and cons of moving to a new job.
- Talk to your immediate superior. They may be able to help in your decision, offering solutions to any issues you may be experiencing in your current role or, giving valuable advice on how best to reach your career goals.
- Be aware of Teacher resignation dates and notice periods so you leave yourself enough time to hand in your notice and be ready to start your new job role. Check your contract for the exact requirements of your school.
Notice periods for teaching jobs
When you have made the decision to leave your teaching job, you must give at least half a term’s notice, about 2 months, or if you are a senior Teacher you may have to give 3 months notice. Ideally you should plan to give notice in the first half of the term, prior to the half-term break. You will likely have a contract from your school which will give details of their specific requirements, and full details on the conditions of service and resignation dates for School Teachers can be found in the ‘The Burgundy Book’.
Actual resignation dates and notice periods can vary depending on the school you work in and how long you have been there. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, all schools will require that your last day is at the end of a school term, to help with staff planning and continuity for the pupils. Term dates can be different across the country so you should check the key dates with your school administration team or find the dates for your local area on the government website.
Notice of resignation
Once you are certain that you intend to resign from your current teaching position you will need to let your employer know as soon as you can. This will mean writing a notice of resignation in the form of a professional letter, stating the relevant dates and reason for leaving. This can be as detailed as you like, dependent upon the circumstances behind you leaving.
Whatever future career moves you make, whether it is in teaching jobs or on a different career path, you will want to use your time working at the school as evidence of previous experience. Input from the school administrators or Head Teacher will be valuable when needing a reference, so include some genuine positive comments so you leave on a good note.
Once you have handed in your notice you will need to prepare for leaving. This will mean telling your colleagues, pupils, and parents, and making necessary preparations to hand over to a new member of staff. This is always easier at the end of a school year when classes and timetables mean changes to teaching staff are expected, so the changeover is much smoother for everyone.
Read more about what to include in your notice of resignation here.
As a qualified and experienced Teacher there are many opportunities to further your career. You could move to a different school in a new area to gain further experience, perhaps working with a different demographic. Or you may choose to work in a different type of school such as going from public to private education. It could be that you want to progress by looking for more senior teaching jobs or perhaps a specialised role such as a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Teacher.
Alternatively, you might want to move into a different job role within education. You can use your knowledge and experience from working with young people, along with many transferable skills, to become a School Counsellor or Academic Adviser, a Curriculum Specialist or Exam Board Moderator. You could also use your teaching skills to become a Private Tutor.
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