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How to tell my Headteacher?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by thetapdancingteach, May 14, 2020.

  1. thetapdancingteach

    thetapdancingteach New commenter

    Hi everyone, me again! (last one for now I promise)

    I'm looking at applying for two jobs starting in September. Loads of different reasons why, but fundamentally I feel I need to get out of my current school and try teaching somewhere different.

    I know I need to tell the head of my current school as I'll need him to be a reference, but I'm not sure how to go about this? I've had my issues with the school, but I do really like/respect the head and if I don't get either of these jobs I'm applying for I'm potentially going to stay there, so I feel a bit unsure of what to actually say to him at this stage.

    My preference would definitely be to go into school and speak to him in person about it, but I'm not sure that's advisable in the current lockdown situation. He's not in when I'm in, so it would mean an extra trip out. But I've no idea how to even begin wording an email about it! How do I say I want to leave without saying I want to leave??? Hahaha.

    Thanks guys :)
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    People move on constantly and Heads are used to it. Just word a quick email to say something like 'I've enjoyed my time and experience at XXXXXX School enormously but after xxxx years I feel I need to widen my experience/ have opportunity to experience a different school/ whatever you think appropriate and trust you will support me in my efforts by agreeing to provide a reference.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, well done about that, you most certainly need to tell your Head at an early stage; you don't want him or her learning about your plans via an email from the other school requesting a reference!

    Perhaps rather than just talking about enjoying your time in the school, you could include something about how you have appreciated the opportunities for development that you have had there.

    Best of luck!
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    can you ring him when he is in school?
    steely1 and harsh-but-fair like this.
  5. thetapdancingteach

    thetapdancingteach New commenter

    Thank you- I will definitely do that too. I've got a draft of an email now at least; by the end of the day I should be sorted!
    steely1, TheoGriff and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  6. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Established commenter


    Dear Head

    Please note that I am resigning and will be leaving on **/**/****.

    Kindest regards

    Harry Potter

    No one is remotely interested in why you are going. No one needs carefully crafted reasons, a history of grievances or high points, waffle about broadening experiences etc etc. A simple one line resignation email or letter to the Head, CC Head's secretary, with the date you will get paid up to is all that's needed (check with HR or union for the dates).
  7. thetapdancingteach

    thetapdancingteach New commenter

    except as I’ve said, I’m not going to be resigning if I don’t get one of the jobs I’m applying for? It’s not a resignation at this point.
    Piranha likes this.
  8. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Senior commenter

    Don't overthink it - as @Lara mfl 05 says, heads are more than used to this. Your email shouldn't be much more than "Dear HT, I just wanted to let you know that a couple of posts have come up in other schools which I'm interested in and plan to apply for. I've really appreciated the opportunities for development I've received while at [current school] and wouldn't want to apply elsewhere without letting you know ahead of time. Please may I name you as a referee? Kind regards etc."
  9. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    There is an important difference
    between "Ive enjoyed my time, (but I guess I'm stuck here now)"
    "I'm really enjoying this job, but at the same time can see other opportunities which would help me develop in other ways.
    It's not a subtle difference. "I've..." implies that something is now ending.
    "I'm..." means that something is ongoing.

    You need to consider that fact that you might be applying for stuff now, but you may not get the first thing, or the second,or the third, which you apply for. It happens.

    Make sure you tell your HT that your job is great BUT bla bla bla. Not that it "has been great..."
  10. Caity52

    Caity52 New commenter

    Totally agree with sbkrobson. You enjoy the job, but you are ambitious and keen to broaden your experience, both of these are good things and the head is not going to be upset if you tell them. I might also mention that you would, of course, have preferred to discuss this in person, but as circumstances prohibit this you hope they don't mind an email.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Just wondering how many years of experience as a Headteacher, and thus recipient of letters of resignation, our friend Luvsskiing has . . .

    (Apologies for the error posting above. TES needs to allow the poster to delete posts!)
  13. Catjellycat

    Catjellycat Occasional commenter

    I do think letters of resignation need to be fairly stark - some people think an impassioned speech will have some sort of sway one or another. They won’t.

    I always tell current bosses I’m looking. I try to do ‘in person’ but currently, I’d do it by phone if possible. Usually it’s ‘I’m not necessarily looking to move on, but I’ve seen a job/jobs I like the look of’
  14. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Fairly stark yes, but a single positive line about the school can't do any harm. But although we hope that the OP will need advice on resignation sometime soon, it is perhaps a touch premature to start discussing it now.
    thetapdancingteach and TheoGriff like this.
  15. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    I have always done the resignation in two ways: an informal conversation with my HT (or my boss in non-teaching and voluntary work) and a simple, formal letter for the file, on the lines of, "as we discussed, ..... this is to confirm my resignation as chief assistant to the assistant chief's deputy's assistant with effect from...."
    TheoGriff likes this.
  16. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    And make sure that you get your dates right, there are specific leaving dates in England and Wales.

    Keep safe, everyone
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Noooo they don't! :D:eek::D

    Imagine the nightmare of reporting a post only for it to be deleted before the mods get there?

    Or I quote you and then you delete your post, so I have to delete mine, but don't get round to it until someone has already quoted mine, etc, etc.

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