The Department for Education has recently released the education staff wellbeing charter, but what is it, and what are the benefits of using it?
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.
All state-funded schools and colleges are invited to familiarise themselves with the charter, and to sign up when it is available in the autumn, as a statement of shared commitment to protect, promote and enhance the wellbeing of their staff. It is voluntary and there is no deadline to sign up.
The charter was co-created by:
- Members of the education sector including:
- teaching unions (NEU, ASCL, NASUWT, NAHT);
- the Association of Colleges;
- Education Support;
- Tapton School;
- Learning in Harmony Trust;
- Charles Dickens Primary School;
- Kensington Primary School;
- Meadow High School;
- Reaseheath College;
- the Department for Education;
- 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 12 commitments on education staff wellbeing by DfE and Ofsted;
- sets out five 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.
Schools should 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.
Why you should use the charter
Protecting the wellbeing and mental health of staff is:
- essential for improving morale and productivity;
- critical to recruiting and retaining quality professionals;
- a legal duty – employers are required by law to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees;
- part of Ofsted’s inspection handbook.
Signing up to the charter
There is no expectation that your school or college should sign up to the charter now – the DfE will publicise how to sign up in the autumn.
You should sign up when it is right for your organisation, and when you will get the most benefit from it. If you would like to feedback on the charter, or to tell the DfE how you have been, or intend to, use it, email [email protected].
Download the education staff wellbeing charter here.