Notice periods for school staff

Find out how much notice teachers, headteachers and support staff must give in maintained schools and academies.

Last reviewed on 22 August 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 1876
  1. Maintained schools
  2. Academies

Maintained schools

Notice periods for teachers and headteachers are set out in the Burgundy Book, while notice periods for support staff are set out in the Green Book

The terms of these documents apply to:

  • All community and voluntary controlled schools
  • Voluntary aided and foundation schools that have decided to adopt them (most do)

If your staff aren't employed under these terms, check what their contracts say about notice periods.

Take a look at our summary of the Burgundy and Green Books for more support.


The Burgundy Book outlines the term dates and minimum notice periods. Even if your actual terms have different end dates, you should still use the following dates:


Term end date

Minimum notice period

Notice deadline

Autumn term

31 December

2 months 

31 October

Spring term

30 April (see exception below)

2 months

28/29 February

Summer term

31 August

3 months

31 May

Exception: teachers leaving in