Pupils with SEND

"When a pupil with additional needs is bereaved, there can be a whole new range of experiences, language and sensory experiences that they have not dealt with before."

SEND settings are educating young people with a wide range of needs which may or may not impact the pupil’s ability to understand, to communicate, to process their emotions, and/or to seek support when bereaved.

Some pupils may themselves have life-limiting conditions and SEND settings are more likely to experience the death of a pupil than mainstream schools.

A death can bring about a range of new and unfamiliar feelings and experiences. For young people who rely on routine and/or take time to adjust to any changes, a bereavement can be overwhelming. This might be observed in their behaviour, which could include some regression. This can be particularly challenging at a time when the adults around them may also be dealing with their own grief.

We know that everyone grieves in their own way and, within the context of pupils with additional needs, pupils may display a wide range of reactions, emotions, and behaviours. It is therefore important to adopt an individual approach when supporting pupils with a bereavement.