Resignation: our legal rights

22nd August 2003 at 01:00
REGARDING your columnist Archimedes' advice to a head about resignation dates (Helpline, TES, June 6), my understanding is that resignation dates are a courtesy and not legally enforceable.

My contract says I have to give three months' notice in summer term and two months' in other terms. No date is mentioned. So if I wished to hand in my notice on August 1 and leave on November 1, I would be legally entitled to.

It would be unpopular but not a breach of contract, I think. It follows that the head who wrote to you has no choice but to accept the resignation.

The option Archimedes gives of "rigidly enforcing the contract" making the teacher serve another term at the school is wrong. They would only have to serve a few extra days.

Moira Usher

Samburu, Bentley

Ipswich, Suffolk

Archimedes replies: Not everyone's contract is identically worded. If the teacher was employed under the terms of the Burgundy Book, which specifies resignation dates, then those terms would apply.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today