We understand that teachers will want to support pupils as much as possible if they are dealing with family bereavement in relation to Covid-19 on the return to school. We are developing lessons on change, loss and bereavement for the new school year, however they will be designed to be taught in the classroom as part of a planned programme of PSHE education and not for home learning during school closures. Pupils should engage with this complex and sensitive topic in discussions and activities facilitated by a teacher, within a safe classroom environment.
However, at this time — and especially in the event of a bereavement in the school community — the priority is for pastoral care rather than preventative education, so we would direct teachers to Child Bereavement UK, Winston’s Wish, Hope Again and Grief Encounter. All offer excellent guidance relating to Covid-19 that you might find useful to forward to parents and pupils, as well as helpline options. You can find out more information about each organisation below.
Child Bereavement UK helps children, parents and families to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies. They support children and young people up to the age of 25 who are facing bereavement, and anyone affected by the death of a child of any age.
They have a dedicated area on their site which brings together relevant guidance and information to help support young people during this challenging time.
Hope Again is Cruse Bereavement Care's website for young people. Cruse is a national charity that provides support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone close to them dies. They also work to enhance society’s care of bereaved people.
Their advice for parents and guardians — outlining practical ways to support your child/young person after the death of a loved one — is especially relevant at this time.
Grief Encounter is one of the UK’s leading bereaved child charities, providing free, pioneering services and support to bereaved children, young people and their families.
During this challenging period, they will be updating their advice regularly, and using their social media channels to offer additional support with counsellor-led activity suggestions to help parents and carers support their children at home.