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Resignation matters

Your job and career questions answered.

Must teachers wait until the end of term before leaving?

The Burgundy Book that details all national conditions of service for England and Wales states that teachers, including deputy heads, must give two months' notice and,in the summer term, three. However, headteachers have to give longer notice: three months in the autumn and spring terms and four in the summer.

The operative dates are:

* Autumn term. Covers September 1 until December 31 inclusive. Resignation date: no later than October 31 (heads: September 30)

* Spring term. Covers January 1 until April 30 inclusive. Resignation date: no later than February 28 (heads: January 31)

* Summer term. Covers May 1 until August 31 inclusive. Resignation date: no later than May 31 (heads: April 30).

Unless your contract states otherwise, you will be paid up to and including the last day of term as defined above. If you resign at the end of the spring term to take up another post in a different authority, you will be paid up to the day before the new school opens for the summer term, if earlier than May 1.If you resign at the end of the spring term and are not taking up another post, you must be available for work up to April 30, and will be paid for that month. Schools may waive rules by agreement. I am unclear what will happen with the new six-term years.

If you have a question for John Howson, please email susan.young@tes.co.uk

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