Managing your headteacher’s departure

Be clear on how to make sure your headteacher has a smooth departure and how you can help maintain effective leadership following their exit. Use our template letter to share the news with parents and carers.

Last reviewed on 19 June 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 4923
  1. You can’t postpone your headteacher’s departure
  2. Notify your local authority or trust
  3. Inform key stakeholders
  4. Download our template letter to parents
  5. ‘Bridge the gap’ between headteachers
  6. Questions to consider as a board

You can’t postpone your headteacher’s departure

Your headteacher decides when they want to resign.

As long as they’ve complied with the correct notice period, you can’t prevent them from resigning or retiring, and you can’t intervene by taking a vote on their departure date.

Chair: speak to your headteacher privately about other departure options Do this before you tell the rest of the governing board about the headteacher's departure to avoid confusion. You could ask your headteacher to: Delay their departure and stay in post slightly longer, for example 1 further school term, to give the governing board more time to recruit a replacement Undergo a phased retirement, slowly reducing their hours, and/or responsibilities to allow someone else to gain experience in the headteacher role This is a type of flexible working,