CALL FOR GRIEF EDUCATION TO BE PART OF THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM

Written by on 27th February 2024

Nearly all British children experience a bereavement by the age of sixteen and an estimated 16,100 children experienced the death of a parent from COVID-19 associated causes between March 2020 and February 2023.

Through news and social media, young people are exposed to more conversations about death than ever before. Yet, there is currently no requirement for schools in England to provide grief education and research suggests the topics are rarely taught.

On Sunday 3 March, Marie Curie will lead its annual Day of Reflection, where communities across the country come together to remember the people who died during the pandemic, whatever the cause.

Ahead of this, schools across the UK are being asked to mark Day of Reflection within the classroom, acknowledging that school children may still be affected by pandemic grief. There are specific guides for schools available at dayofreflection.org.uk to support parents and teachers.

As part of this, the charity has relaunched its Twinkl educational resources to help parents and children through the difficult times of death and bereavement. The materials range from gentle conversation starters when a loved one is terminally ill, to memory journals for recording precious everlasting memories when someone special dies.

Marie Curie is also calling for grief to be taught within the national curriculum, following the recommendation from the UK Commission on Bereavement (UKCB) that all schools and other education settings must be required to provide age-appropriate opportunities for children and young people to learn about coping with death and bereavement as part of life.

Case studies and Child Bereavement Expert, Rachel Morris, are available for interview to discuss the importance of grief education in schools and share their personal experience with bereavement of a loved one and helping children to process their grief.


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