How to resign from a teaching post

Tes Editorial

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Leaving your school is a very difficult decision to make and it’s not a choice to be made lightly. However, sometimes, as much as you may not want to, moving on is the best option.

How to resign as a teacher

This largely depends on your situation. If you have a job lined up, you can afford to be a little more candid than the teacher who has yet to secure the next position. However, if you intend on staying in the profession for the long haul, and, even more pertinently, in the same area, diplomacy is the best tactic.

Kevin Bates, president of Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU), recommends being cautious before taking the final step and handing in your resignation letter. “From our perspective, the matter of a resignation is a very serious decision and teachers in Queensland state schools should seek advice (from the QTU for QTU members) prior to submitting a resignation letter.

“Rash decisions and actions can have significant consequences. While there are some circumstances where a resignation can be withdrawn after it is submitted, this is largely at the employer’s discretion.

“There are often other possibilities to be considered in lieu of resignation, such as leave. As a large education system, the Queensland DET can provide good support to teachers and school leaders dealing with issues such as resignation.”

What to include in your teacher resignation letter

In terms of what goes into your resignation letter, the Victoria Department of Education says your resignation notice should include the date when the employment will end, contact details for future communication, and “any other information the employee wishes to provide, such as a reason for the cessation.”

When should you resign?

There are set deadlines for when you can resign as a teacher in a government school. The amount of notice you have to give before your resignation differs between each of the states and territories.

Bates explains: “As Australian teachers are employed by state or territory authorities, there is no one process; rather, each state or territory jurisdiction will have its own processes for appropriate notification of resignation (notice of intention to cease employment).

For Queensland and ACT teachers in government schools, the required notice period is two weeks, while in New South Wales it’s a month and in South Australia it’s four weeks. In Victoria, there is no minimum notice period, except for principal and “executive class employees” who have a 12-week notice period.

If you are employed by a private school, check  the schools policy as to how much notice period you need to provide as each school may differ.

For more information on what the policy is in your school, see the links below.

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