Key Dates In The Calendar

The blog, in a nutshell

June is the busiest month, but vacancies appear throughout the year. Schools often recruit NQTs in April. If a school knows someone is retiring at the end of the academic year, they may recruit in January or February. Don’t discount last-minute vacancies appearing because of unforeseen circumstances, over the summer, for example.

The jobs market in teaching, rather like the school year itself, roughly follows the seasons. Or, more precisely three seasons, autumn, spring, and summer, in that order.

This is because, although institutions differ slightly, teachers have to hand in their notice well in advance.

Many contracts stipulate:

  • Formal resignation by 31st October, for departure on 31st December
  • Formal resignation by 28th February, for departure on 30th April
  • Formal resignation by 31st May, for departure on 31st August

Knowing when staff have to give notice is a good guide to when jobs will appear in the calendar.

Let’s look at the chronology of the year, in reverse, if you’ll allow us.


Because spring is by far the busiest time of the year for vacancies and, therefore, often the best time to find that dream job.


As stated above, teachers need to resign by 31st May – or in many schools May half-term – to give notice for September, which is when teachers are likeliest to join a school. As a result, the market slowly picks up pace over April, May, and June, as schools hurry to fill these vacancies as they arise.

June is the busiest month. It really does seem as if, after a long wait for the right bus, a convoy suddenly appears on the horizon.


Because competition for the best candidates hots up with the spring weather, many schools jump the queue by advertising jobs in April, hoping to snap up the best newly qualified teachers (NQTs).

February/early March

That’s not to discount vacancies appearing in February and early March, this time in line with the notice deadline of 28th February.


If a school knows well in advance that someone is leaving – perhaps due to retirement – they may start recruitment early. This takes the pressure off: if, for instance, the first round of interviews does not produce the right candidate, they will repeat the recruitment process later in the year.

Early winter

Vacancies for Spring Term, which commences in January, are filled in November and early December. The nights may be drawing in, but don’t get caught napping.


Vacancies may appear, often at the last minute, during the summer holidays. This is because of unforeseen incidents leading teachers to declare themselves unavailable to work in September. Their situation may have changed due to illness, accident, or other changes in circumstances.

Final thoughts

Teaching posts appear throughout the year. Be prepared. Readiness is all.

There are a lot of teaching vacancies out there, but competition for the best posts is fierce.

Remember, it’s possible to jump right to the front of the queue simply by sending off your application straight away, and thereby showing you’re keen and efficient – winning qualities in any applicant.

Better still, if you’re looking for jobs in a particular region, why not send off short letters of introduction declaring your interest, along with your CV? Schools will welcome your initiative. Being available is a great help.