Research in the UK has shown that as many as 92% of children and young people experience a significant bereavement before the age of 16 and one in 29 will be lose a sibling or parent. These numbers equate to at least one child in every school class who is bereaved. A survey recently undertaken by Final Fling and Cruse Bereavement Care shows that as much as 80% of school staff have had no bereavement training in order to provide the necessary support for these children. The survey also showed that teachers feel ill-equipped to help children and young people who are coping with loss.
To address this need, Child Bereavement UK, a national charity that supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child has died or when a child is bereaved of someone important in their lives, offers an online training course for teachers.
According to Julia Lawrence, DIrector of Training, Child Bereavement UK trains over 5 000 professionals a year across the UK, including those working in the school community. They have recently launch an innovative e-learning programme specifically for schools, which is named ‘Supporting Bereaved Pupils’.
When asked about the course in an article written by Final Fling, Julie said that the course had been developed with input from families and teachers, and aims to increase confidence and offer practical skills for those supporting bereaved pupils.
“Although we train hundreds of teachers and learning assistants each year we realise that his is just scratching the surface, and so to by developing an e-learning module, it makes learning much more accessible for schools staff – both financially and in time.
“We know that appropriate, sensitive support can have a huge impact on the future well-being and long term outcomes for bereaved children. Schools are well placed to provide this, and with some training the capability to do so will be greatly enhanced.
“We know that it’s difficult for schools to find time and funds to release staff for traditional training , which is why we have developed this low cost, time efficient solution. It’s easy to use, highly interactive, a continual resource that can be accessed at any time, for as many school staff as want to use it. It also has downloadable resources and CPD certificate on completion.”
More information about the e-learning package can be accessed through the Child Bereavement UK website