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Responding to a death in the school community

For support around a death in the school community - whether a parent, pupil or staff member - contact your local child bereavement service who may be able to help. You can also find helpful information about supporting bereaved pupils from

Child Bereavement UK - Tel 0800 02 88840 Monday to Friday 9-5

Grief Encounter - Tel 0808 802 0111 Monday to Friday 9-9

Winston's Wish Strategy for schools - Tel 08088 020 021 Monday to Friday 9-5

Around one child in every classroom will have been bereaved of a parent or sibling at some point in their childhood. Over 70% of primary schools have a recently bereaved pupil on roll, and the majority of young people will have faced the death of someone close to them by the time they leave school. When a pupil or staff member dies, the whole school community is affected.

Showing that you care about what has happened and how they are affected, and listening to their needs are some of the most helpful things you can do for a bereaved pupil or colleague. Even a simple acknowledgement (‘I was sorry to hear what happened…’) can make all the difference. Read our suggestions for giving choices to pupils and parents/carers about how they will be supported.