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Covid-19 pandemic guidance – Burgundy Book notice periods for teachers and school leaders

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​Jointly agreed statement between ASCL, LGA, NAHT, NASUWT NEU and NGA

The Easter period and thereafter is typically a very busy time for school recruitment. In light of the current school closures, there may well be disruption to the recruitment and resignation processes for those schools governed by or using the Burgundy Book provisions; in particular the requirement for teachers to provide written notice by 31 May of their intention to leave a school's employment by 31 August of any year. (For head teachers the deadline to provide written notice is by 30 April of their intention to leave a school's employment by 31 August of any year).

The extent of the impact will vary from school to school and therefore we do not believe that there should be any changes to the notice periods. In this difficult period, there will need to be an element of flexibility all round. We would encourage schools to have a flexible response, if it appears that teachers and leaders are impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and submit a resignation outside of the normal time-frame. For those employees that are looking to resign and/or retire themselves, we would encourage you to provide your governing boards and/or senior leadership team with as much notice as possible and stay within the standard notice period dates as far as is possible, as you would do in normal circumstances. It may also be helpful to direct boards to NGA's current guidance on managing the head teacher recruitment process in the current situation.

In terms of recruitment, schools may wish to consider managing applications and interviews virtually while the advice from the government is to remain at home or choose to delay advertising vacancies until later in the year. Schools should not be conducting face to face interviews or encouraging applicants to visit schools during this period. 

We are raising the potential impact of any disruption with the Department for Education (DfE), asking for further guidance and support for schools to ensure that there is not a deficit of teachers and/or leaders, who have been unable to move around the system, ready for the Autumn term. 

First published 30 March 2020