An explanation of the education staff wellbeing charter and the benefits of using it.
Applies to England
The education staff wellbeing charter is a declaration of support for, and set of commitments to, the wellbeing and mental health of everyone working in education.
The charter is for education staff in England. This includes temporary and support staff. All state funded schools and colleges are invited to sign up to the charter, as a shared commitment to protect, promote and enhance the wellbeing of their staff.
Sign up is voluntary and there is no deadline to sign up.
The charter was co-created by:
- members of the education sector including:
- unions (NEU, ASCL, NASUWT, NAHT, Voice Community, Unison)
- the Association of Colleges
- Local Government Association
- Education Support
- Tapton School
- Learning in Harmony Trust
- Charles Dickens Primary School
- Kensington Primary School
- Meadow High School
- Reaseheath College
- the Department for Education (DfE)
About the charter
- was created by the education sector to highlight staff wellbeing in the education sector
- is a tool for schools and colleges to create, and publicly commit to, their own wellbeing strategies
- is a declaration to protect, promote and enhance the wellbeing and mental health of everyone working in state education
- includes commitments on education staff wellbeing by DfE and Ofsted
- sets out principles of shared understanding on the meaning and importance of wellbeing and everyone’s roles and responsibilities
- sends a message to everyone working in schools and colleges that their wellbeing and mental health matters
- aims to improve wellbeing in schools and colleges by encouraging debate and accountability
Use the charter to:
- show staff that you take their wellbeing seriously
- open a conversation with staff about their wellbeing and mental health
- create a staff wellbeing strategy
- create a wellbeing-focused culture
Download the charter posters:
Why you should use the charter
Signing up to the charter is a public commitment to actively promote mental health and wellbeing through policy and practice. It is a way to show current and prospective staff that your school or college is dedicated to improving and protecting their wellbeing.
Protecting the wellbeing and mental health of staff is:
- essential for improving morale and productivity
- critical to recruiting and retaining good staff
- a legal duty: employers are required by law to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees
- taken account of as part of Ofsted inspections
Signing up to the charter
Signing up to the charter is voluntary. All state funded schools and colleges, including maintained nursery schools, school-based nurseries, special schools and pupil referral units are invited to sign up to the charter, as a shared commitment to protect, promote and enhance the wellbeing of their staff.
All other education institutions, such as universities, independent schools and early years providers, are free to make use of the principles and organisational commitments, but they cannot sign up. The charter was co-created by an expert group with schools and colleges in mind, but the principles and organisational commitments will apply to most education settings.
Deciding to sign up
The decision to sign up should be made by your school or college senior leadership team.
If you are a local authority or trust, you can sign up for schools, colleges or academies on their behalf, but you should consult with the senior leadership team of each setting.
How to sign up
To sign up as a school or college, you should obtain consent from your senior leadership team, then email firstname.lastname@example.org with your:
- school or college Unique Reference Number (URN) - you can find your URN by searching for your establishment on Get Information about Schools
- establishment name
- confirmation that you have read the privacy notice (see below) and give permission for your personal data to be used by the department
There is no expectation for your school or college to sign up to the charter now. You should sign up when it is right for your organisation and when you will get the most benefit from it.
How your information will be used
Please read the
Monitoring and evaluation
The Department for Education will:
- conduct user research on the impact of the charter in organisations that sign up
- add questions on the impact of the charter to departmental surveys with schools and colleges
- evaluate progress in 2023
The charter encourages measuring staff wellbeing to monitor and respond to any changes. Some resources to help this include:
- What Works Centre for Wellbeing: measuring wellbeing in schools
- Department for Work and Pensions: workplace wellbeing tool
- Thriving Places Index
The Measures of National Well-being Dashboard monitors and reports on wellbeing of the UK.
Supporting staff wellbeing and mental health
- Promoting and supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools and colleges
- Education Support: resources to help your organisation with mental health and wellbeing including free counselling for education staff
- Mentally Healthy Schools
- Anna Freud: Supporting Staff Wellbeing in Schools
- Mental Health at Work
- Headspace for Educators
- Wellbeing guide for staff working in schools and trusts – Local Government Association (under ‘NEOST well-being guide’)