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How much notice do I need to give my school?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by bealeybiology, May 23, 2019.

  1. bealeybiology

    bealeybiology New commenter

    I currently working at an independent school on a fixed term contract from Jan 2019 to Jan 2020. I have just been offered (23rd May) the permanent job that I want at a great state school which starts in Sept 2019. I signed a fixed term contract with my current school that states I need to give them one whole terms notice. Does anyone know how I stand legally? Can I free myself from my current job to take up this permanent role?
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Indies generally require a full term's notice, so I doubt you'll manage to leave earlier. Is your present school aware you've been on interview? If they are, you may like to explain your predicament, but if they weren't aware I doubt you'll find them accommodating.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You signed a contract. So you will have to ask them very nicely if they'll let you go. That contract is legally binding.
  4. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Too late now, but it would have been wise to discuss this with your current school before interview, especially given the timing relative to half-term. You'll be lucky to get a reply out of them tomorrow, and you can't really accept the new post until you do.

    Did you tell the new school that there might be a problem with your notice period? If their second choice candidate is in a state school, they need to give notice by 31st May, so they're going to want a decision by tomorrow. If you accepted the post before you realised your notice period, they're going to be somewhat annoyed if you pull out too late for them to get someone else.

    I think you need to do your best with asking nicely tomorrow, and then you probably have to be honest with the new school - if you mess them around now, they're less likely to consider you the next time they have a vacancy. It's not unknown for a school to wait until January for the right candidate, but you'd have to be a lot better than the runner-up.
  5. bealeybiology

    bealeybiology New commenter

    Thanks for the clarification. Very helpful.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    But what made you think that, having signed a legal document, you could just break the terms because it suited you better?

    I understand what you wanted but not why you thought anyone would advise you it was OK to break contract?

    It may still be OK if the old school agrees to it but you have no right whatsoever to leave in July. And I'm pretty sure you knew it.

    We could tell you to go ahead anyway and that your old school probably won't bother to sue you. I bet they probably wouldn't but you shouldn't plan to conduct your working life along those lines.
    JohnJCazorla and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    No you can't take up the new role in September, but they may wait until January for you. Did the application form not ask when you'd be free to take up the post?

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