New free resource to support SEND pupils facing bereavement


Just launched, the informative, free online resource Bereavement and pupils with SEND, from leading charities, LGfL – the National Grid for Learning and Child Bereavement UK, provides insights and strategies for both mainstream, and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision, for supporting SEND pupils facing bereavement.

Commenting on the launch, Bob Usher, Content Manager at LGfL, said, ‘We have been conscious of the unique challenges in supporting SEND pupils and helping young people understand and manage their responses to death and grief. This resource aims to support all school community members, especially those who work closely with pupils with additional needs.’

The new resource – a blend of video and text-based support, with additional useful links provided in context throughout the structured portal – provides teachers and other professionals with advice and approaches. These include:

  • Understanding death and grief
  • Communication, including non-verbal and pre-verbal pupils
  • Emotions and behaviour – ways grief may be expressed
  • Beliefs, rituals and new experiences
  • Life-limiting conditions – awareness of the mortality of the self
  • Vulnerability and the importance of routine
  • Working with families and care-givers

Rebecca Haycock, Education Development Co-ordinator, Child Bereavement UK, explained, ‘Children’s ideas about the concept of death, develop over time. With pupils with special educational needs, it’s really important to establish their understanding. Their cognitive ability may not match their biological age, nor their ability to communicate what they understand. So we must endeavour to meet each child’s individual needs.’

The resource also features contributions from highly experienced headteachers and support staff from Highfurlong School, Blackpool and Oak View School, Epping Forest. They share their experiences and offer some remarkable examples of ways they successfully supported SEND pupils and their families when facing both unexpected and anticipated deaths within their school communities.

These extraordinary case studies, highlight the complexity and depth of sadness families endure. By providing help for families, friends, and peers, pupils are supported to move on and resume their lives positively with joy and happiness even within difficult contexts.

Since partnering in 2018, the two charities have co-created several successful teacher support resources surrounding bereavement: Supporting a Bereaved PupilManaging a Sudden Death in a School Community and Having Honest Conversations about Death and Grief.

The new resource for supporting SEND pupils facing bereavement  is open to view, to help school communities in both specialist SEND provision and mainstream settings. Please visit