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How to support bereaved children: a comprehensive guide

Bereavement is always difficult, but children may be struggling even more during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reena paused for a moment to compose herself. She took a few deep breaths, held back the emotions that threatened to overwhelm her, and steeled herself for the next difficult conversation. 

Someone in the school community had died as a result of Covid-19 and it was up to her to support the pupil and their family, manage the communication of the news, and ensure that every staff member and child had access to the help they needed. 

News of death is something headteachers like Reena deal with regularly, but it never gets easier: one in 20 children will lose a parent before their 16th birthday

 But in the Covid-19 pandemic, we know more people are dying than is normal at this time of year. And with schools closed, and families in lockdown, all the things schools usually put in place will need to be adapted, if they are possible at all.

How to support bereaved children: a comprehensive guide 

(TES, 10.05.20)

Coronavirus: How schools can support bereaved pupils

TES and Grief UK vodagogy webinar on supporting children with grief. 


Think Piece 

A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our children and schools post pandemic.

  Barry Carpenter, CBE, Professor of Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University.
Matthew Carpenter, Principal, Baxter College, Kidderminster, Worcestershire.

“When will they actually go back to school?” This is the cry from many parents, as we write and
there is no answer. But that does not stop us thinking about what it will be like for each and
every one of our children, at whatever age, stage or ability level on the day they walk through
the classroom door.

It would be naive of any Headteacher/Principal to think that the child will pick up the Curriculum at exactly the same point at which they left it on the day their school closed. Too much has happened. Listen to what the children are saying. Look at what the children are experiencing. None of this follows the usual pattern of a school year with all of the annual cycle of events. It feels like a period of true social disorder. Compassionate Leadership is crucial at this time.


Has someone important to you died?

With thanks to young people and Seasons for Growth trainers at the Notre Dame Centre in Glasgow.
Published by the Childhood Bereavement Network at the National Children’s Bureau reg. charity 258825
For more ideas and local and national support organisations, visit


Preparing students for the return of a grieving classmate

When a classmate has experienced a death it is usual for children and young people of ages to be
anxious about what they should say and how they should treat them. Class teachers are often
themselves apprehensive about how to support all the children in their care.


Elephant's Tea Party - an activity workbook for ages 5 to 11

Helping pupils to develop coping skills for loss and bereavement.


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