If you wish to resign from your job you will have to give notice to your employer. Advice on the rules, dates and notice periods required are below.

If you need further advice on this, please contact us.

England and Wales

Under the Burgundy Book, there are three periods in any academic year in which teachers in maintained schools are allowed to exit from their contract:

  • to leave by 31 December, notice must be given before 31 October;
  • ​​​​​​to leave by 30 April, notice must be given before 28 February;
  • ​​to leave by 31 August, notice must be given before 31 May.

Teachers resigning their posts and giving the appropriate notice will be paid up to and including the last day of term as defined above even though school holiday periods will start earlier than these dates.

However, a teacher who resigns at the end of the spring term to take up another teaching post in a different local authority will be paid up to the day before the new school opens for the summer term if this is earlier than 1st May.

Teachers employed on a temporary basis as substitutes for teachers absent for reasons such as secondment, prolonged illness or maternity are exempt from the statutory notice periods.

Northern Ireland

The contract may be terminated by either party giving notice in writing of at least three calendar months for termination on the last day of any month, except for termination on the last day of August or September when at least four calendar months' notice is required.


Teachers on the main grade scale, teachers on the Chartered Teacher spine, music instructors, Education Support Officers, Quality Improvement Officers and Education Psychologists must give a minimum of four working weeks' notice to terminate their employment.

All other teachers, Quality Improvement Managers, Principals and Depute Educational Psychologists must give a minimum of eight weeks, which includes four working weeks.

A working week comprises any week in which a school/establishment is open on any day for pupils and/or any employee covered by the terms of the SNCT Handbook, regardless of the number of hours that the school/establishment is open or that employees work in said week.