Asking to leave earlier than your contractual leaving date

18th December 2014 at 00:00

Asking to leave earlier than your contractual leaving date


Sometimes, for different reasons, people sometimes have missed the resignation date yet still want to leave at the end of this term rather than waiting for the next official leaving date (see Missing the resignation deadline ) .  Here we are looking at what happens if you actually want to leave before the official leaving date after the end of term.  You may wish to leave at half term, or another date, which strictly speaking is not allowed..

N.B.  for starting a new job in another school in the summer term, the 30 April leaving date is variable.  


See the article : Easter resignations - different term dates old school new school  


At other times of the year, you are supposed to stick rigidly to the official leaving dates, even if you are moving outside teaching.  These official leaving dates are December 31, April 30 and August 31, with presence in school required until the end of the student term.


However, sometimes you may have a good case for requesting to leave earlier than the end of term.  In particular if you are moving to another part of the country for personal reasons (partner and children need to move for partner's job; your mother is seriously ill and needs support, etc) or for medical reasons, in particular stress and anxiety that make it difficult for you to remain in the school.


In such circumstances you can write to the Headteacher to request early release.  You may be advised to consult with your Union over this, but here is my suggestion for a letter requesting this release.


I would like to emphasise that it is a request, and the Head can deny this, so don't feel that it is a right. And as for everything that I suggest, you should only write it if it's truthful and honest.


For someone hoping to get early release on medical grounds, an appropriate letter would be something on these lines:


Dear X                                                                                          (Date)


Request for early release from my contract as teacher at YY School

I am addressing this request to you as Headteacher, but would wish it to be submitted formally to the Governors if this is the procedure to be followed.

As you know, my health is being severely undermined on a day-to-day basis by the pressures of carrying out my job as teacher of EYFS/KS2/History/Biology at YY School, where I have worked for ?? years.

My GP has confirmed that I have high levels of stress and anxiety, levels which are exacerbated when I am on school premises or even at home thinking about school.  For the sake of my health and wellbeing, leaving employment at Y School as soon as possible would be the best option for me.

I am aware that I have missed the resignation date for leaving at the end of this term on (31 December/30 April/31 August - put in the right date).  I am also aware that having a member of staff leave at short notice poses the school with an operational problem in covering teaching.

However, I believe that an early departure for me, instead of waiting untl after next term, would not only be beneficial to my health and wellbeing, but also benefit the school, as I feel that I would be unable to carry out my duties to the appropriate standard whilst suffering poor health.

I am therefore formally requesting that you release me from my position of teacher of  EYFS/KS2/History/Biology at YY School as soon as possible.  My ideal leaving date would be  (you put in  31 December/30 April/31 August - see below) , but I might  consider other possible dates. (Leave this out if you wouldn't consider earlier).

Yours sincerely,

A N Other


Obviously here you get the right dates in, get the right role description in - I assume that you are not teaching both EYFS and A-level Biology.  And, of course, the statement about your GP must be correct - amend as necessary.

Think hard about the leaving date.  It's best to leave on one of the official dates  (31 December/30 April/31 August), both to get paid as long as possible, and to make it easier in the future to apply for other posts as a teacher. Obviously if you are moving to the Hebrides with your partner and 7 children, this may not be the right date for you.  But do think about the date.


If you are leaving on medical grounds, asking to leave officially on the leaving date, and continuing your sick leave (and sick pay) until then is the best option.


When you send or deliver the letter to the school, get a receipt for it.  Take in two copies and hand them to the secretary, asking her to sign one copy Received on ??? date, signed ...............  which you take home and put in your files.  


If you send it by post, get a next day signed-for service, but remember that in school holidays there may be nobody there to sign, so it will not be delivered.


Best wishes