Key Points – Support for bereaved pupils in school

  • Offer simple choices for a bereaved pupil to give them a little control in a world which feels very confusing and muddled.
  • A time-out option can help a bereaved pupil feel more secure in case their grief overwhelms them in school.
  • Support for a bereaved pupil’s friends will help to reduce issues with their friendship group.
  • Explanations should be clear and honest, using age-appropriate language which avoids the confusion of euphemisms.
  • Acknowledge the person who died and offer opportunities for the bereaved pupil to share or collect memories.
  • Be mindful of significant dates and curriculum areas which may cause upset.
  • Offer information and signpost the family/carers to support if necessary.
  • Check in with the pupil regularly and check to make sure that they are managing their grief.

Reflective practice – Role of the school

Using the adapted SWOT analysis tool, consider the impact of:

  • Receiving news that a pupil in your care has been bereaved of a parent.
  • Hearing that a friend and teaching colleague at your school died suddenly over the weekend.