Bereavement Counselling: Teachers

Department for Education written question – answered at on 30 January 2024.

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Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she plans to introduce bereavement training for teachers.

Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department provides on bereavement support for children in educational settings.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Minister of State (Education)

Losing a loved one can be a devastating experience for a child. Schools can play an essential role in supporting children with bereavement by providing effective pastoral support and ensuring there is a supportive school culture.

Schools are best placed to decide what pastoral support each pupil needs, including for children who have experienced a bereavement. To help schools make informed decisions about what support to provide, the department is offering every state school in England funding to train a senior mental health lead who can oversee a whole-school approach to mental wellbeing.

This training equips mental health leads to identify pupils or groups of pupils, which could include children affected by bereavement, in need of mental wellbeing support and to put in place effective support, working in partnership with specialists and families as needed. The training also supports leads to identify the training needs of other school staff, ensuring all staff can recognise and respond to pupils’ mental health concerns.

The department has recently launched a mental health lead resource hub and a targeted mental wellbeing support toolkit, both of which signpost mental health leads and other school staff toward resources and guidance, including support for bereavement.

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