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70 Per Cent Of Primary Schools Have A Recently Bereaved Pupil On their Roll

Bereavement is a major issue in schools: over 350,000 children in UK schools today are bereaved of a parent, brother or sister and 70 per cent of primary schools have at least one recently bereaved pupil on the school roll.

One young person said: ‘If you have lost someone close to you then the fact that you are managing to get into school is an achievement. It’s up to the teachers to make it as easy as possible for you to be there.’ Many bereaved children get excellent support in school, but others feel isolated and some are bullied.

‘Feeling alone and different can affect bereaved children and young people’s health, behaviour, learning and relationships. It’s vital that school staff feel equipped to respond to their diverse needs.’ said Alison Penny, Policy and Communications Coordinator at the Childhood Bereavement Network. ‘We’ve organised this day to give school staff and education advisers an idea of some of the models of bereavement support and curriculum development that are working well in schools.’

Conference delegates will hear young people’s views about what they want and need from schools. Colleagues from schools and specialist childhood bereavement services will present models of pastoral support, peer support groups, curriculum development, training and support for staff.

The Childhood Bereavement Network’s Grief matters for children campaign, based at the National Children’s Bureau and funded by The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, is calling for appropriate information and support to be available to all bereaved children, young people and their families, wherever they live and however they have been bereaved.


  1. The Childhood Bereavement Network is a national, multi-professional network of organisations and individuals working with bereaved children and young people. It involves and is actively supported by all the major bereavement care providers in the UK. For more information visit www.childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk
  1. Statistics are taken from Holland, J (1993) Childhood Bereavement in Humberside primary schools Educational Research 35 (3) and compiled from Green, H et al (2004) Mental health of children and adolescents in Great Britain London: HMSO and Mid-2005 Population Estimates London: HMSO
  1. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund has provided three years funding to the Childhood Bereavement Network to raise awareness of the needs of bereaved children and young people, and to generate support for them. Having previously funded the launch of CBN as a network, the Fund is now helping CBN to establish bereavement as a key issue for the mainstream children’s workforce and to support an expansion of services and opportunities for bereaved children and their families.