Helpline

6th June 2003 at 01:00
A teacher claimed that she submitted her resignation by email on May 31. We did not receive it. Should we have accepted the resignation or insisted that she serve a further term?

By the time this is published, you will have resolved the question and I expect that you decided to accept it. It is clearly not going to profit anyone to have an "Oh yes I did", "Oh no you didn't", kind of argument, or to engage in a dispute over whether an email message constitutes formal written notice or not.

The fact is that this teacher wished to go, probably having secured another post at the 11th hour. If you were to insist on the rigid interpretation of the contract, she would be obliged to serve for a further term, but it would probably be counter-productive for your pupils to have a teacher who may be resentful and unco-operative, even if you cannot easily find a replacement in the time available.

Although the contractual obligation is quite specific, an employer has the right, in any case, to waive the requirement of notice. In a case like this, it makes practical sense to exercise it, however much it goes against the grain.

If a parent wishes to withdraw a child from the school, must this be done in writing?

Ideally, yes it should, but it is difficult to force people to do the right thing, if they are not inclined to do so. What matters here is the pupil's future and, if the parent announces that the child is being withdrawn, one needs to know where he or she will go in future. If the parent will not provide that information, the school should alert the education welfare service, which is in a position to follow up by a home visit.

Questions for this column should be addressed to Archimedes at The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX orletters@tes.co.uk.

The writer's confidentiality will be respected.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now