Managing a sudden death in the school community.

Child Bereavement UK are experts in supporting schools within the context of bereavement within a school community.  Through their work they have identified some of the key barriers for schools in responding appropriately and quickly to the needs of those affected by a bereavement. By working in partnership with LGfL, Managing a sudden death in the school community has been produced. This open access resource has been designed to bring the key information in both a video and text format with a quick and accessible interface.

Grief is a normal and natural response to loss, yet how pupils are supported can have significant impacts on long term outcomes. Young people tell us that how their school responds is something they never forget. This resource aims to provide an accessible support gateway to the effective response to death within school community. Simple, short guidance through quotes, external inks and video interviews with experts helps provide the information you need at the right time to ensure the whole school community can work together to support each other.

There are two ways in which this resource has been designed to be used.

  • General Staff CPD – Preparing in advance
    Raising awareness through staff CPD in advance of a predicted (or unpredicted) death within the school community ensures that when an event occurs staff know where to go immediately to receive appropriate guidance.
  • Use in a time of need
    The portal is designed to provide immediate support for schools that find themselves unexpectedly managing a sudden unpredicted death within their community. The resource is structured to make the guidance clear and accessible for fast assimilation of immediate actions for staff members.

The Support Gateway includes

  • The first 30 minutes
  • Breaking bad news
  • Supporting a bereaved family
  • Supporting the school staff
  • Traumatic deaths
  • Social media and media relations
  • Looking to the future

Video clips, information packs and external links are provided for staff to deliver comprehensive support.

‘This resource development has been an important piece of work to undertake in partnership with Child Bereavement UK. In times of need and extreme pressure following a sudden death within the community, we have utilised the power of online technology to provide invaluable and time critical guidance for different members of school communities. Sadly, recent events in London and Manchester, featured in the media highlight the impact of loss of life and the impact on local and school communities. In reality, many school communities are managing complex situations at short or no notice every day. We hope the format of the guidance through the use of short format video answers to key questions and relevant links and simple guidance can help manage the pressures for school leaders.’

 Bob Usher – LGfL Content Manager

‘From our experience of running a national helpline for over 15 years, Child Bereavement UK is acutely aware of the very real challenges schools experience when they are faced with the sudden, unexpected death of a pupil, a parent or a member of staff.  Many head teachers have shared with us that they feel ill-equipped to respond in the immediate aftermath of these sudden and often traumatic incidents; they are concerned to do their best, but are unsure as to how they should inform staff and pupils and what support to offer. 

Child Bereavement UK has therefore greatly valued the opportunity to work with London Grid for Learning, drawing on their experience in online technology, to create a resource that can enable schools to access information and guidance simply and quickly around the key considerations when responding to a death in the school community.   How schools manage these events is so important; bereaved children and young people tell us that the way their school responds at such a difficult time is something they never forget.’

Dr Ann Rowland – Director of Bereavement Support and Education

16th-22nd November is Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK, this  is designed to raise awareness of bereaved children and young people in the UK, and how providing those affected with free, professional support can make the world of difference to their future. More resources to support schools can be found on our blog.

 

 

 

 

Children’s Grief Awareness Week 16th – 22nd November 2017

Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK runs from 16th – 22nd November 2017 starting with Children’s Grief Awareness Day on the 16th November, a global day designed to help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children — and of the benefits they obtain through the support of others.

1 in 29 school age children in the UK have been bereaved of a parent or a sibling. The week is designed to raise awareness of bereaved children and young people in the UK, and how providing those affected with free, professional support can make the world of difference to their future.

Children’s Grief Awareness Week UK 2017 will be an opportunity to acknowledge the painful impact that the death of a loved one has on the life of a child, and an opportunity to make sure these children receive the support they need. The theme for the week is #YoureNotAlone.

LGfL have partnered with Child Bereavement UK to produce a series of advice videos, guidance and links to support schools in managing a sudden death in the school community, these videos and resources are open access and are available to all schools, they also include sample Bereavement policies for school to use.

 

There are lots of resources to support schools in dealing with grief within the school community, we have listed them below and we hope that you find some of these helpful in supporting children, parents and staff in the event of a death.

Child Bereavement UK: The death of a pupil, a parent or a member of staff can have significant impact on the school community. Schools have a unique role in helping grieving children and young people. Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement, and has a wide range of information, resources and training for schools. They have also launched a video campaign #onemoreminute what would you say if you had one more minute:

Children’s Grief Awareness Day: Posters and fact sheets, suggestions for bulletin or newsletter announcements, and logos and other graphics are all available.

Childhood Bereavement Network: Has key messages for staff, parents and young people and ideas of how to support within school.

Cruse Bereavement Care: Cruse offers face-to-face, telephone, email and website support including information on: what you can do to help a child or young person who is grieving, how to understand the concept of loss in children and young people of different ages, how to recognise potential complicated grief. They have a Freephone national helpline and local services, and a website (hopeagain.org.uk) specifically for children and young people.

BBC: The BBC have a range of articles and videos that can be used within school, Talking about Bereavement details the work that Children in Need have supported.  Talking about death with your little one is an excellent video from Cbeebies that looks at the fact that when someone close to you dies, there will always be some difficult questions asked by your little ones regarding death. The video shoes how one parent has learnt to talk openly about why ‘Mummy’ died, in a way that makes sense to his two young children.

Winston’s Wish: Is the first charity that was set up to support bereaved children, their support for schools is extensive and includes a charter for bereaved children, an information pack and information on helping children create a memory box.

Please let us know what you are doing for the week, you can share via our Twitter and Facebook pages, using the hashtag #You’reNotAlone.