Support and guidance for schools during COVID-19 (Death and Bereavement)

Purpose

To provide support and advice to schools in dealing with death and bereavement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure that pupils, families and staff receive the support they need.

Advice

Previously existing LA ‘Critical Incident’ support

The LA Educational Psychology Service have long provided support, advice and guidance for schools in dealing with critical incidents including death and bereavement. This suite of support has been greatly valued by staff, pupils and parents in the past. Most of the materials and approaches remain relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19 specific support

The Milton Keynes Educational Psychology Service (EPS) have also created a wider offer of support for schools during the Coronavirus Outbreak.

Support is offered at three levels – Universal (level 1), Targeted (level 2) and Critical (level3). The Universal level of support includes a collection of online resources and guidance for education settings.

We encourage all schools to use the support available at levels 1 and 2. Please be mindful that the EP team are small so will be unable to provide level 3 support to several schools at once.

Many school communities will be affected by bereavements. It would be beneficial for schools to prepare for this by developing their own plans. There is a specific document in the universal offer to help with this.

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New Traumatic bereavement resources from the UK Trauma Council

In a traumatic bereavement, how the child or the young person experiences or understands the death – the meaning they make of it – results in it being experienced as traumatic.

The UK Trauma Council (UKTC), hosted and supported by the Anna Freud Centre, has collaborated with leading bereavement charities, Child Bereavement UK, Winston’s Wish and the Childhood Bereavement Network, to create a new portfolio of resources on traumatic bereavement.

This new portfolio of free, evidence-based resources is for school staff, bereavement services and NHS mental health services, and include:

  • Resources for schools and colleges: featuring a comprehensive written guide with supporting tools including videos, plus a 4-minute animation.
  • Clinical resources: featuring an extensive practice guide and supporting videos to support those working therapeutically with children and young people.

Visit the UK Trauma Council website to access the resources

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Additional support for individuals, families, schools and communities

The advice and support on the following websites may also be helpful

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Books for children about bereavement

Here are some links to websites with books about bereavement. Further examples can be found in the EPS Universal Offer resources described above. The Little Parachutes page also includes a short summary of the different texts so that you can easily see which books may be appropriate.  

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Wellbeing for Education Return

As part of the Wellbeing for Education Return project, a webinar is available on the topic of bereavement and loss. More information can be found on the Mental Health and Wellbeing page. Places can be booked via MKPDC online using the keyword search ‘wellbeing.’

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Last Updated: 14 June 2021