Etiquette for resigning

12th May 2013 at 01:00

Etiquette for resigning



I’ve got a job offer! How do I go about resigning from my current school?


Congratulations on that new job! There is no formal resignation etiquette that you have to follow, but the sensible and courteous thing to do is to talk to your Headteacher as soon as possible, warning that a resignation is in the pipeline. Giving the Head more time to prepare for getting your replacement means a better chance for the school to appoint the right person.


Don’t leave it until the last day to resign just to be awkward.


Formal acceptance 


Once you have formally accepted the post, you can hand in your notice. By formally accepting, I mean writing a letter in response to a written offer from the new school. Yes, your verbal offer and acceptance of the job over the phone actually counts as a contractual agreement, to which both sides can be held.


But it is difficult to prove anything, so you should wait until you have the offer in writing. This letter from them and a copy of your acceptance will form the first two documents in the new section of your personal employment file at home.


Get yourself organised


Resignation letter


Write a brief but courteous letter saying that you are resigning. Give the official resignation dates of 31 August, 31 December or 30 April, not the end of term. You will want to get paid for the holiday! The exception here is an Easter resignation; the convention is that if you are moving to another post in education, your old school pays until the day before the new term starts in the next school, who starts paying you from then, even if it’s still in April. If the two schools have different holiday dates, you could find yourself with a shorter or longer holiday than normal that Easter, but that’s just the luck of the draw.


Easter resignations - different term dates old school new school  


For the wording of the letter, look at my article called  How to resign - get that resignation letter right!  You can base yours on that; it’s pretty standard stuff.


A far-sighted Head may actually advertise your post before you have handed in your resignation officially. Don’t panic! If you then decide not to resign, the school can just not interview.


And if they do, and appoint someone else and you don’t resign, that’s their problem not yours; your job should not be at risk.


Best wishes