Frequently Asked Questions

Who do we contact to find out more?

Please contact Catherine Barnett at


Who is best to be our Wellbeing Champion?

It is best to identify a member of staff who is able to attend the cluster meetings each term. This member of staff also needs to be someone who can link in with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure Wellbeing is given a high priority within the school. 

What are the Mental Health Cluster Meetings and when / where are they held?

The Mental Health Cluster meetings are termly meetings for the Wellbeing Champion to attend and share good practice with others. They are a form of peer-to-peer support.

The staff from Community CCAMHs organise the cluster meetings in the first half of each term. These meetings are held in Sunderland schools, usually on a basis of someone volunteering a space. The date of the meetings will be displayed on this web page each term.


How do we register our interest in the Charter?

Please contact Catherine Barnett at

In addition, Your Wellbeing Champion in school should be regularly attending the termly Mental Health Clusters. At these cluster meetings there is an opportunity to register your interest and ask advice at the end of each meeting.


We are ready for our accreditation visit, who do we tell?

Your Wellbeing Champion in school should be regularly attending the termly Mental Health Clusters in order for you to be ready to be accredited. At these cluster meetings there is an opportunity to register your school at the end of each meeting. 

What evidence are you looking for at Bronze / Silver / Gold level?

An electronic copy of the Charter is available to download.

In addition, there are Word documents for each level to record your evidence. These can be downloaded from this site.


How do we demonstrate this evidence? Do we have a file?

A file is necessary to show the paper-based evidence you will gather for your accreditation. The Charter Mark document provides schools with lots of examples of typical evidence you could supply. This list is not exhaustive, however, and you may feel you have evidence of something that really demonstrates a category but isn’t listed in the suggested evidence.

Attendance at the cluster meetings is supportive, as the Champion can ask others about their evidence files, or can bring along their evidence files to be looked at by others for advice.

Some evidence will be seen by the moderators on the visit too - you might want them to speak with pupils/parents/staff/governors, you may want them to observe an event / celebration / activity etc.


What does the accreditation process look like?
The process involves the following steps;

  • Register your school at a Mental Health Cluster Meeting
  • In the following half term you will hear from the team with a date for your accreditation visit.
  • Your visit will usually last a minimum of a half day (depending upon the size of the school)
  • At the end of the visit you will be informed verbally of whether or not your school are successful. This will be followed up with a copy of the moderators’ notes for your records.

Who are the moderators?

The moderation team are made up of professionals from different agencies who sit on the Thriving and Coping Group (who are responsible for the Charter). Moderators also include school staff who have been through the process themselves. This is because peer-to-peer support for other settings is an excellent form of evidence for Silver and Gold level accreditations in your own setting.
Typically there will be 3 moderators for a visit (possibly more in large schools).

What does the school get in recognition of the achievement?

The school will have a copy of the notes from the moderation team to share with Governors and Staff.

You will then receive a certificate and a Sunderland Mental Health Charter Mark logo to display on your website, letter heads etc.


How long does it take to achieve Bronze / Silver / Gold?

Everyone must apply for Bronze level – it is not possible to apply for a higher level at your first accreditation.
You are eligible to go forward for Silver level at least one academic year from the date of your Bronze level accreditation.
You are eligible to go forward for Gold level at least one academic year from the date of your Silver level accreditation.
Therefore, it will take a minimum of three years to achieve Gold level.



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