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AoC Mental Health Charter

The existing AoC Mental Health Charter has set a great foundation to ensure mental health and wellbeing is a priority issue for leaders and governors in our colleges. The pressures on college services are exponentially higher than ever and it’s important that the charter is updated to remain fit for purpose. The original 11 principles remain but are now embedded across four themes that make up the new Mental Health Charter framework, detailing good practice principles and standards.

The charter is structured across four themes detailing good practice principles, and standards which are marked either core or enhanced. The introduction of standards transparent accountability and consistent practice across the sector.

Core (C) Standards are minimum standards of delivery all colleges should be able to meet as part of their whole-college approach to mental health. To recognise colleges further along their strategy delivery, Enhanced (E) Standards recognise additional practice above the minimum, adding enhanced value to their overall mental health work.

Each theme is clearly linked to the relevant DfE Principles of a whole-college approach to mental health. As well as embedding an annual review into the college business cycle to ensure practice and services remain relevant to current need, the self-assessment should inform the development and delivery of the college‘s mental health strategy. Every college will approach mental health and wellbeing in its own way to meet organisational need.

Sign up to AoC Mental Health Charter here and a member of our team will be in contact.

This framework has been developed by college practitioners and sector leaders, reflecting leading practice and pedagogy in further education. We worked alongside the following members when creating the charter:

  • Barking & Dagenham College
  • Barnsley College
  • Bournemouth & Poole College
  • Chesterfield College
  • Education Partnership North East
  • Hartpury College
  • Inspire Education Group
  • Kirklees College
  • Sheffield College
  • Trafford College Group
  • USP College
  • Weston College

Framework themes

Leadership and ethos: through authentic leadership, model and champion an inclusive culture that meets the needs of the college community. Embed a consistent and coordinated whole-college approach to mental health through effective governance and leadership that ensures wellbeing permeates all aspects of college life.

Support for students: foster a physically and psychologically safe and welcoming environment that promotes wellbeing, proactively supporting students’ mental health throughout their learning journey.

Workplace wellbeing: nurture a culture that supports and invests in people and their wellbeing and create an exceptional working environment where colleagues feel valued, supported and can thrive.

Evidence and impact: deliver and develop services, policies and strategy which are responsive to research and evidence of lived-experience and community need. Provide transparent accountability through consistent and effective mechanisms, regular evaluation and reporting, and have a partnership approach to college activity.

Click here to view the AoC Mental Health Charter framework.


The charter aligns to other legislation and mental health frameworks including the University Mental Health Charter, Keeping Children Safe in Education, Ofsted: Behaviour and Attitudes. Supplementary guidance on how to use the charter framework will be provided to colleges upon registration.