How your child’s return to school is managed is very important in helping them settle back in with the least possible anxiety and stress.

Here are some tips:

Speak to the school

Before your child goes back, speak to your child’s teacher and any other staff who interact with your child.  Give as much information as you can to the school; they will treat it confidentially.

Tell the school what your child knows

It’s important that the school understands what your child knows about the death and also who else knows.  It may be that other children have heard about the death if it’s been in the media or is known about in the community. This is particularly important if the death was traumatic or the cause of death has not been determined.

Speak to your child

Tell your child that you have spoken to the school.  Reassure your child that they are not being talked about, but that other people need to know because they care and want to help them.    

Come in early on the first day

On the first day back to school, try to come in early so that you can avoid being part of the crowd outside the school. This also gives you a chance to discuss any concerns with the teacher.  

Keep in touch with the school

On your child’s first day back, it can be useful to ask the school to give you a call part way through the day.  They can tell you how your child is getting on (they may behave differently at school than at home) and share any good things that have happened.  

Keep the school informed as time goes on

Let the school know if there are any changes to any circumstances at home, or if your child seems to be struggling more than usual. This way, they can keep a lookout for any changes in behaviour as well as be understanding of your child’s circumstances,

Don’t expect too much

Let your child ease back into school work and don’t expect too much from them in terms of homework. Liaise with your child’s teacher about setting short-term, achievable targets.

Going back to school after someone has died can be difficult for everyone. For more guidance on how to help your child and get the best possible support from your child’s school, contact our Helpline.

Visit our page: How we can support you for more on our services.

You can also call our Helpline 0800 02 888 40, email [email protected], or use Live Chat on our website.