For schools | Cruse Bereavement Care

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These pages are for personnel working in schools and colleges, particularly headteachers, pastoral staff, tutors and other members of senior management teams. We also have extensive information on children, young people and bereavement.

A Schools Pack is available to download.

Our website Hope Again is a website designed for young people by young people. It includes information and forums where young people can share their experiences.


The loss of someone close through death is a traumatic and painful event for the majority of people. For many children and young people the death of a parent, sibling, friend or relative can be extremely difficult because of the child’s inability to understand and articulate their feelings.

Some of the common responses to death and bereavement which children and young people can experience include anger, regression and loss of skills, and high-risk behaviours.

The death of a student can be traumatic for both school staff and pupils. A student’s death can unnerve other pupils and challenge any feelings of security they might have felt before the death.

There is no set time prescribed for when a bereaved child or young person should return to school following the death of someone close.Increasingly, schools themselves are recommending an immediate return. 

A child or young person who has been bereaved through manslaughter or murder may find it very difficult to understand and process the death.

Some thoughts on how to respond when a staff member dies, and how to support pupils and staff.

If a child or young person has been bereaved through suicide this can place them under enormous emotional pressure. 

Occasionally an accident or crisis can occur either on the school premises or on a school trip. A rapid response from school staff will be needed.

Creating a clear and robust policy the school can provide a framework for school staff members to address death and the consequences of death.