A thematic analysis of teachers' perspectives on supporting victims of childhood bereavement in British primary schools

Abraham‐Steele, Maya and Edmonds, Casey (2021). A thematic analysis of teachers' perspectives on supporting victims of childhood bereavement in British primary schools. Review of Education, 9(3), article no. e3297.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/rev3.3297

Abstract

There is a distinct lack of literature considering childhood bereavement within the United Kingdom. There is particularly a lack of age-specific research into childhood bereavement and the types of support schools are providing for this group of children. In light of this lack of research, the aim of this study was to explore the experiences, perspectives and views of teachers on supporting children in British primary schools. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis (TA). Analysis revealed four major themes relating to bereavement support: ‘support available is inconsistent’, ‘systemic limitations’, ‘lack of policy and guidance’ and ‘speaking to children about death’. The research showed that bereavement support in British primary schools is varied and inconsistent, with examples of good practice and areas for improvement. At the same time, both childhood bereavement and the support available to bereaved children are socially biased, with those in socioeconomically deprived areas more likely to experience a bereavement and receive lower quality support. This study indicates that government policy or guidance with regards to childhood bereavement would be advantageous, for staff and children alike.

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