Contractual & statutory notice periods for teachers and support staff

HR Team

January 31 2020
When considering the timescales required for a school redundancy process, it’s important to be aware of both the contractual and statutory notice periods required for the employee. The notice period required to terminate employment differs according to whether the employee is a teacher or a member of support staff. In either case, the notice period is based on the longer of either the contractual or statutory notice period.

How much notice do we have to give support staff?

Contractual notice period
  • This will be outlined in their contract of employment
  • This can differ between staff, depending on the length of service and the grade of the role that they are in
Statutory notice period
  • Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, the statutory minimum notice periods the employee is entitled to are as follows:

Continuous service Period of notice
One month or more, less than two years No less than one week
Two years or more, less than 12 years No less than one week for each year of continuous service
12 years or more No less than 12 weeks


For support staff, notice can normally be given at any point during the year to terminate the employment.

How much notice do we have to give to teachers?

  • All teachers are subject to a minimum of 2 months’ notice, except during the summer term when 3 months' notice must be given
  • All Headteachers are contractually entitled to a minimum of 3 months’ notice, unless during the summer term when this is four
  • Notice periods should normally conclude at the end of the notional term:
    30 April 
    31 August 
    31 December
  • The exception is at Easter when, if the teacher has another teaching job to go to, the contract should terminate on the last day of the Easter holidays
  • Where a teacher has been continuously employed for more than 8 years, they are entitled to receive an additional notice (as per the Employment Rights Act 1996) in line with the above table.

As a teacher's contract can only terminate at three points during the year, it’s essential to check the redundancy policy to understand the process fully. Where required, this should allow sufficient time for a complete redundancy process, including the dismissal hearing, should a voluntary solution not be found. If the date by which notice is to be issued is missed, there are likely to be additional and unnecessary costs incurred.


If you need advice and support with school redundancies or understanding the contractual differences between support staff and teachers, talk to us today. We also have model policies, templates, and letters available for use, plus specific training sessions delivered by our HR experts.

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