Bereavement Policy

1. Overview
Ashbourne is committed to the health and wellbeing of all its community, especially in times of bereavement. Each bereavement is unique and may affect a variety of people in addition to the family concerned. We believe those affected should be given the space and time to grieve in their own way without fear of judgement and offered support to help deal with the bereavement.
2. Aim
This policy sets out a framework for our staff to use to develop a bereavement plan that is specific to each individual case and which offers appropriate practical and emotional support in a professional, sensitive and compassionate manner.
3. Bereavement situations
This policy applies to the following bereavement situations:

Death of a student’s close family member or friend
Death of a student
Death of a member of staff or contractors’ close family member or friend
Death of a staff member or contractor

Note: this policy does not cover deaths that occur on College premises or during College trips.
4. Designated Safeguarding Lead
Anyone informed of a death should contact Ashbourne’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) as soon as possible. The DSL will develop an individual bereavement plan in consultation with other senior members of staff and the family. The DSL will be the main contact and will coordinate the bereavement plan. They may also delegate responsibilities to other members of staff or external agencies where appropriate.

Designated Safeguarding Lead
Ms. Frances Burns
Safeguarding Mobile: 07578 548 537

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mr. Lee Kirby
Safeguarding Mobile: 07951 510 224

4.1 Media
All enquiries from the Media relating to the bereavement will be dealt with by the DSL in consultation with the Director of Studies and the Principal. Any enquiries must be referred to the DSL.
5. Bereavement plan
5.1 Initial measures
The DSL will first contact the bereaved person or family to express condolences on behalf of the College. They will also discuss what practical and emotional support may be appropriate and how to proceed. This may include:

deciding who will be the main contact (usually the DSL) and how often they will communicate
setting a timeframe for returning to College
agreeing how to inform others about the bereavement
making arrangements to return personal items
addressing any administrative, academic, legal and financial issues

5.2 Further measures
The DSL will put in place plans to implement the initial measures. They will then consider what other measures are needed. This may require:

assessing who will be affected by the bereavement and to what extent
informing Ashbourne community members and others about the bereavement. This involves deciding who should be informed, when, how and by whom, and may include parents, external agencies or other colleges. Guidelines should be set out on how the news will be delivered in terms of content, tone and response
making immediate provisions in order to maintain the running of the College, e.g. teaching cover, transferring job responsibilities, bridging skills and leadership gaps, team support
making provision for emotional support: staff awareness consultations, setting up support networks, peer support groups, designating grief spaces, counselling, training and external agencies
making provision for practical support: academic support (e.g. absence agreements, extra tuition, extensions, mentorship, exam dispensations, deferment); employment support (cover, teacher replacement, bereavement/sick pay)
other considerations - assessing training requirements, funeral arrangements and absence, commemorations, discussing bereavement in PSHEE or Personal Tutor sessions

5.3 Review
The DSL will establish a timetable for review of the Bereavement Plan and make adjustments where appropriate.

Authorised by
The Principal

September 2021

Effective date of the policy
September 2021

Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request

Review date
September 2022

Appendix A - Support agencies and organisations
Winston's Wish
Child Bereavement UK
Cruse Bereavement Care
Childhood Bereavement Network
Grief Encounter
Hope Again

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