megaphone icon updated on 17 January 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 32478

Telling parents that you're leaving your school is an important message to get right. Use the advice from our expert and examples from schools to help you write your letter to parents.

What to put in your letter 

Let parents know you'll be leaving by sending a letter yourself. Your chair of governors may also want to send one, so you may want to work together to make sure they don't have any discrepancies or too much overlap. 

In your letter, focus on: 

  • The positives of your time at the school, including any achievements and highlights
  • Recognising that this may be sad news for pupils and parents
  • What you're doing next, e.g. moving to a new school, retiring, moving to a new area
  • When you'll be leaving (if you know) and how long you'll be continuing to carry out the headteacher's responsibilities
  • Your confidence in the school community and senior leadership (if appropriate)

If you're leaving under unpleasant circumstances, be diplomatic and keep a positive tone throughout. You don't need to mention specific reasons for leaving if this might cause difficulties or upset staff or parents.

See examples from other headteachers