Supporting pupils through bereavement

Get advice on how to manage the first few days following the death of a pupil or staff member. Learn how to speak to the family, communicate the news and support pupils as they grieve.

Last reviewed on 28 February 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 39988
  1. Consider your communication strategy
  2. Supporting pupils through the death of a classmate or staff member 
  3. Take care of yourself
  4. Further resources for schools
  5. Resources for parents

Our thanks to Diana Stubbs of Winston's Wish and Tracey Bosely of Child Bereavement UK who advised us on this article.

Consider your communication strategy

You need to plan ahead for how to communicate while:

  • Remaining sensitive to the needs of your pupils 
  • Protecting the privacy of the affected staff member/pupil and their family
  • Controlling the potential spread of rumours or misinformation on social media

You'll also need to consider when to communicate with pupils and parents. Our guidance in the sections below presume that:

Keep in mind that there's