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The Burgundy Book national conditions of service agreement for teachers provides that classroom teachers, deputy headteachers and assistant headteachers are under two months' notice and in the summer term, three months' notice, terminating at the end of that school term.
For the purposes of resignations and notice periods, the dates of the three school terms are deemed to be:
Therefore, teachers who wish to leave their jobs should observe the following deadlines when giving their notice:
It is important to note that these provisions only allow teachers to resign their posts with effect from the end of term. There is no right to leave at half term unless this is mutually agreed by the teacher and the school. Headteachers are under three months' notice and in the summer term, four months' notice. They must therefore give notice one month earlier than the above dates.
Teachers resigning their posts and giving the appropriate notice will be paid up to and including the last day of term as defined above, even though school holiday periods will start earlier than these dates. However, a teacher who resigns at the end of the spring term to take up another teaching post in a different local authority will be paid up to the day before the new school opens for the summer term if this is earlier than 1 May. Where any teacher resigns at the end of the spring term and is leaving teaching, the school could, and probably would, expect the teacher to be available for work up to 30 April given that the teacher would be paid for the whole of that month. In some circumstances, however, it might be possible for the teacher to leave at the end of the spring term, particularly if the replacement teacher is starting after the Easter holiday.
If a teacher leaves without giving the correct notice, the teacher would be in breach of contract (unless there is agreement with the employer) and therefore could be subject to legal action. A TEACHER IS THEREFORE ADVISED NOT TO LEAVE A SCHOOL WITHOUT GIVING THE CORRECT NOTICE unless agreement is reached with the employer.
A teacher can be directed for a maximum of 1265 hours over a maximum of 195 days (of which a maximum of 190 can involve contact with pupils) per year. This includes: before school briefings, the pupil day (minus the lunch break, but including morning/afternoon breaks), staff meetings, parents’ evenings, school trips, TAD’s and any other organised activities. We recommend that each headteacher be asked to draw up a time budget to demonstrate that the maximum will not be reached. The time budget should include an allowance of time for contingencies that may arise. Teachers cannot be directed to work during their lunch-time, weekends or holidays. There is no such protection for headteachers, deputies and assistant headteachers (other than the EU Working Time Directive).
All teachers should have 10% of their weekly timetable allocated as Planning, Preparation and Assessment time. This should be in blocks of at least 30 minutes and it is up to the teacher how to use it.
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