Education staff wellbeing charter: what do schools need to do?


As a teacher, you might not be familiar with the education staff wellbeing charter.

The Department for Education (DfE) explains that 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. 

It has been created in collaboration with the DfE, Ofsted, mental health charities, schools and education organisations.

All state funded schools and colleges in England are invited to sign up to the charter, as a shared commitment to protect, promote and enhance the wellbeing of their staff.

All school and college employers have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees. This includes their mental health, and taking reasonable steps to prevent work-related stress. 

If you are an Edapt subscriber, you can contact us for support and advice when your employment is having a detrimental impact on your health and wellbeing.

In this support article, we explain what the education staff wellbeing chart is, what schools and colleges need to do and link to further information on the charter

Education staff wellbeing charter: what do schools need to do?

The DfE explains that the education staff wellbeing charter is voluntary and there is no deadline to sign up. The charter can be used by schools to:

  • Show staff that schools 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

The DfE notes that the charter:

  • 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

Education staff wellbeing charter: commitments from schools and colleges

Organisational commitments in the charter include:

  • To prioritise staff mental health
  • Give staff the support they need to take responsibility for their own and other people’s wellbeing
  • Give managers access to the tools and resources they need to support the wellbeing of those they line manage
  • Establish a clear communications policy
  • Give staff a voice in decision-making
  • Drive down unnecessary workload
  • Champion flexible working and diversity
  • Create a good behaviour culture
  • Support staff to progress in their careers
  • Include a sub-strategy for protecting leader wellbeing and mental health
  • Hold ourselves accountable, including by measuring staff wellbeing

Education staff wellbeing charter: signing up

The DfE explains 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.

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.

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 [email protected] 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
  • Postcode
  • 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.

Education staff wellbeing charter: further information

The following links below provide more information on the education staff wellbeing charter

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