About this course

This evidence-based course has been developed by experts from the UK Trauma Council, and is delivered by the Clinical Co-Lead of the Traumatic Bereavement resource portfolio.

Traumatic Bereavement

The way that a child or young person experiences or understands the death - the meaning they make of it - can result in it being experienced as traumatic.

The trauma gets in the way of the typical process of grief and blocks the child or young person's ability to process the loss. This can result in difficulties that can be severe and long lasting. 

Traumatic bereavement may be easily missed or misunderstood, meaning that children’s difficulties are not recognised.  It is vital that these children are identified and given appropriate help and support. 

The global pandemic has resulted in more than 100,000 additional deaths in the UK. Many of these will have been sudden and unexpected. Children and young people may not have been able to visit people who were ill in hospital and may not have had a chance to say goodbye. This, combined with restrictions on normal grieving rituals such as funerals, and less social support, means that there is likely to be many more traumatically bereaved children and young people.

Course overview

This course is for SENCOs, mental health or pastoral leads and for those who have a role in school or colleges directly supporting children and young people’s mental health.

Delivered online, the course will introduce traumatic bereavement, explain how it differs from more typical grief, and explore practical approaches to support children and young people in education settings who may have experienced a traumatic bereavement.

The number of delegates is intentionally limited to ensure that there is time and space for discussions and scope to tailor the content to the specific needs of the group. 

Who is this course for?

The course has been designed for SENCOs, mental health or pastoral leads and for those who have a role in an education setting directly supporting children and young people’s mental health.

Aim of the training

The aim of the course is to train SENCOs, mental health leads and pastoral leads in education settings to recognise and support children and young people who may have experienced traumatic bereavement. 

The course outcomes are to:

  • Understand what traumatic bereavement is and how to recognise children and young people at risk.
  • Develop confidence in having difficult conversations with traumatically bereaved children and young people. 
  • Understand how to develop support structures around those adults' supporting children and young people experiencing traumatic bereavement.
  • Understand when and how to refer children and young people struggling with traumatic bereavement to specialist bereavement and NHS mental health services. 
  • Know how to support your education setting's response to a bereavement.
Our expertise

This evidence-based course has been developed by experts from the UK Trauma Council (UKTC), drawing on the latest research and their own experience of working with traumatically bereaved children and young people in education and bereavement service settings.   

The UKTC is a group of leading experts, drawn from a variety of disciplines across all four nations of the United Kingdom (UK). It is the first UK-wide platform bringing together expertise in research, practice, policy and lived experience in the field of childhood trauma. The UKTC is hosted and supported by the Anna Freud Centre.

The course is delivered by Beck Ferrari, a UKTC expert in traumatic bereavement:

Beck has her own independent bereavement service working therapeutically with children and young people, and supporting education settings, and is the Clinical Co-Lead for the UKTC’s recent work on traumatic bereavement. Beck’s early career was as a teacher and SENCO.  She completed her MSc in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy at Anna Freud Centre/University College London, specialising in Trauma-Focused CBT. Read Beck Ferrari’s full profile here.

Course structure

The course follows the following outline.  Please see the timetable of the day for specific timings.   

  • Traumatic bereavement – what is it and how it compares to more typical grief
  • Recognising traumatic bereavement – signs, difficulties and measures
  • Supporting pupils – support structures, challenges and barriers
  • Having difficult conversations – with pupils and their parents or carers
  • Referring – monitoring the pupil and working with specialist services
  • Holding the hope – for the bereaved pupil and your setting

Places on this course have been funded by Health Education England.

If you are based in London or South East England, and have received an invitation from The UK Trauma Council or The Anna Freud Centre, you are eligible to attend this training at no cost to yourself.

If you would like to book more than one place on this training course, for example for your eligible colleagues, please contact Rhys Owen at

System requirements

The training will be delivered via Zoom.

Before booking, please ensure you meet the system requirements.

Contact us

Please do not hesitate to contact us at the UK Trauma Council if you have any questions:

The Anna Freud Centre brings together those with a stake in the mental health of children and young people. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter and occasional updates about the Centre's training and events. 

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