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Advice about leaving my school

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by hmartha, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. hmartha

    hmartha New commenter

    I am wanting to leave my current school at the end of the academic year. I am so unhappy and have been for a while. I have never had to resign from a job before as I've always been on fixed term contracts, so I haven't had to deal with this before. I have been at the present school for the duration of my career so far (from NQT to 7th yr of teaching). I feel I need to get wider experiences and also take a break from teaching, although I worry that leaving teaching for a while might hinder my job prospects and career as I have managed to move up to a managerial role and I doubt I would get this role again were I to leave and take a year out. I know that as part of leaving and in conjunction with looking for a new job, I need to also inform the head teacher of my intentions (its the 'done' thing in my school), but i'm very worried about what to say. I don't want to say that I'm unhappy, etc, but I know I will be asked why and I need to ensure I have a 'valid reason'.

    I feel like I would be letting down people, in particular my line manager but I feel I cannot continue in my current school.

    How do I go about leaving my current school? What would you advice to say to the head teacher to ensure I leave without drama?
  2. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    You don't owe any employer a detailed reason and it's not for them to declare if they feel it's valid. We all have a right to make decisions that are right for us and don't owe anyone a justification.

    Whilst I'm not an expert, I'd simply say that due to personal factors you are seeking to take a career break. And I'd leave it at that. I find it intrusive that anyone would expect more.
    FrankWolley and wanet like this.
  3. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    agree with @purplecarrot you are overthinking this. People do leave jobs. Of course you will have to tell them, but you don't owe anyone an explanation as such. Course they can ask for one, but they have no right to judge you on it.
    wanet and aspensquiver_2 like this.
  4. JRiley1

    JRiley1 Established commenter

    Make sure you hand your notice in before the deadlines; for summer it is 31st May.

    As said already you don't have to give lots of detail why you want to go, just give basic info like you want to expand your experiences. I know it's easier said than done though!
  5. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Seven years! You have "done your time", especially considering that this is your first post.

    Perhaps your line manager will be a little surprised: after all, when you didn't move on after 3, 4, or 5 years, they probably started to assume - even subconsciously - "ah, hmartha will be here forever".

    But you owe them nothing, really - and your first duty is to your own well-being and happiness. You are also helping them out, in a sense, by making your mind up so early. A member of my department has decided to leave teaching - her job has been advertised, and judging by the number and quality of applications that I'm informed are coming in, she has made things so much easier for us by resigning now rather than on the 31st May deadline! Of course, you are entitled to take up to that date (or whatever's on your contract), to make your mind up, so do not feel rushed.

    And in the very unlikely event that they do show any consternation about you going, by the summer they will have appointed someone (life goes on - harsh, but true), and they will be thanking you for what sounds like a pretty successful stint so far.

    Best of luck with it. :)
    wanet likes this.
  6. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    That is the usual - but it may be different in schools not following standard 'burgundy book' conditions.

    Do check your contract.
    JRiley1 likes this.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Indeed! You need to check your contract.

    When can I resign?

    Best wishes

  8. dibbles00

    dibbles00 New commenter

    Just get your notice in, I handed mine in today after much deliberation :) I am the same as you - did my NQT with this school and this is now my seventh year of teaching too.
    It's got to the point where teaching is an absolute joke! Too much dictatorship - do this, that, the other, while I sit in my office teaching one class per week. Constant fear of failure, constant fear of being belittled. constant fear of getting your name on 'that list'.
    You do not owe your school anything. Trust your gut and follow your heart. You will be a better person for it, but only you can call it.
    Good luck!
  9. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You don't have to give anyone a "reason", much less a "valid" one - it's your job and your life. Be professional and courteous. If you want a 'reason' to give, say that you feel you need a change and time out to decide what you really want to do. That's more or less it, isn't it?
    wanet likes this.
  10. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    When I resigned from the school where I had worked for 36 years, I had to check on Google what to include in a resignation letter. :oops:

    Just a reference to the date I was leaving-last day in August that year.

    Leaving was not entirely my choice. (hollow laugh...........) :rolleyes:
    aspensquiver_2 and Scintillant like this.
  11. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    wanet likes this.
  12. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Lara mfl 05 and marlin like this.
  13. mseerie

    mseerie New commenter

    The sooner you resign, the lighter your burden will feel.

    Showing determination will probably do much more for your career than you would expect.
  14. smartledore123

    smartledore123 New commenter

    Hi Mseerie, I cannot seem to find anyone else online, so I was wondering if you could help? What exam board are you delivering?
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    Dear Headteacher,

    I wish to offer my resignation as from ...

    Yours sincerely,
  16. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite New commenter

    Sorry for posting this on here, but I myself find this idea is looking like the best option for me too, and with family circumstances this might be my only chance to take a year out. Of course after a year I too may need to return to teaching but am concerned about getting another job, ie. would this "career break" be frowned upon by headteachers? I am currently a Head of Year, and would prefer to reenter the profession on a similar role, but accept that it might be more likely to enter as a classroom teacher only.

    Any views from any headteachers or those who recruit teachers would be particularly appreciated
  17. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I suspect your cost to experience/competence ratio is important.

    I made a very clear decision about 12 years ago not to do thresholds or to take on any extra TLRs etc. This was a response to what I saw back then as the creeping monetarisation of education. I figured that if I kept at the top of main pay scale, and had an excellent record of teaching, I would always be in demand as a teacher - as that's all that I've ever wanted to do in the profession. Going well so far...

    If you are getting on a bit and expensive, there seems little hope for people to maintain their salary - and often to even keep their job - these days
  18. WaltWhite

    WaltWhite New commenter

    I accept taking a pay cut on my return if there is not option, just can't be too much! Im currently on UPS 3 and TLR 1b.
  19. install

    install Star commenter

    I would question the reality of someone 're-entering' having made a decision to go entirely. One way might be to do some supply work - or part time work or even on line work - to make yourself a valuable asset with the latest educational thinking.

    Most schools will want someone 'on the way up' that they can mould.Others will rely on 'word of mouth' -contacts and all that experience.
  20. Katie777

    Katie777 New commenter

    I went back in after 2 years by taking a temporary contract, first job I went for, they were short on applicants :) however, I was only M4. After 2 years back in (and part time at that) I am going-over and out this time! I never did get back to a permanent contract (didn't really try though).
    So in my experience getting back in was easy but not sure you will be able to pick and choose.

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