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Last reviewed on 21 May 2018
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School types: All · School phases: All

Find out how much notice headteachers and heads of school must give in maintained schools and academies.

Statutory and contractual notice periods

Statutory notice periods for headteachers of maintained schools are set out in the Burgundy Book (The Conditions of Service for school Teachers in England and Wales, hosted on the National Education Union's [NEU's] website). Academies and voluntary-aided schools don't have to follow this, but most do. You should check your headteacher's specific contract. 

Most headteachers' notice periods are longer than the minimum legal notice, as they're required to give 3 months notice in the autumn and spring terms and 4 months in the summer term. This is known as the contractual notice period. 

The usual deadlines are: 

Term when notice is given

Term end date

Minimum notice period

Notice deadline

Autumn term

31 December

3 months

30 September

Spring term

30 April

3 months

31 January

Summer term

31 August

4 months

30 April


1 week if the employee has been employed by the employer continuously

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