Chiswick Schools Get Guidance on Bereaved Child Support

"Youngsters desperately in need of this help," says charity

Related Links

Schools wanting to request a copy of the book should contact The Co-operative Funeralcare on 020 8994 0056.


Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Teachers in Chiswick are to be given free guidance on how to support suddenly bereaved children.

Teachers in schools throughout Chiswick will be among 11,000 in schools across the UK being offered the help, following a study highlighting a desperate lack of resources in this sensitive area.

The research – carried out by the Amy & Tom project, an initiative by road safety charity Brake and the UK’s leading funeral director, The Co-operative Funeralcare – shows that only one in five schools in the UK have a written policy on helping bereaved children in the classroom.

The two organisations have taken a lead by launching a professional guide “Helping suddenly bereaved children” that is aimed at teachers, parents and carers of children who suddenly and unexpectedly lose a close family member. It will be distributed free to Chiswick schools via The Co-operative Funeralcare in Chiswick High Road.

The survey was conducted in almost 100 UK schools attended by about 40,000 pupils aged from four to 18. It revealed an average of two children bereaved per school every year and found that out of the one in five schools with policies, half did not include information on how to obtain bereavement literature and three-quarters did not provide comprehensive advice for teachers.

The guide for teachers published this week is designed to give teachers and other carers an insight into children’s understanding of sudden death, how they may react and express their grief and how teachers and carers can provide help.

Many bereaved children face difficulties on their return to school, such as mood swings, under-performing in schoolwork and finding it difficult to interact with their friends, making them more vulnerable to bullying.

Mary Williams OBE, author of the guide, said: “A suddenly bereaved child always needs love, support and care to enable them to grieve and have the best chance of a full and happy life. We hope that this guide will empower teachers and other adult carers to provide suddenly bereaved children with the support and understanding they need.”

Jane Clark, Manager of The Co-operative Funeralcare commented: “We’re at the heart of the community in Chiswick and we often meet families who are struggling to help their children come to terms with the sudden bereavement of a loved one. Clearly there is a desperate need for this publication.”

The book also provides a step-by-step guide to the thinking behind the contents of the accompanying children’s book Someone has died suddenly, published by the Amy & Tom project in November 2009 … for which demand was overwhelming.

Schools wanting to request a copy of the book should contact The Co-operative Funeralcare on 020 8994 0056.

May 31, 2010