The Little Book of Bereavement for Schools by Ian Gilbert

The Little Book of Bereavement for Schools is written by best-selling author Ian Gilbert together with his three children.

It is a very personal account of the way educational institutions tried and succeeded, tried and failed, and sometimes didn’t try at all to help William, Olivia and Phoebe come to terms with the death of their mother. Several months after their mother s death BBC s Newsround aired a brave and still controversial programme in which four children talked about their losses.

This prompted Ian and his children to sit down and think about their own experiences and draw up a list of dos and don’ts that could help steer schools – and indeed all professionals working with children – towards a better understanding of what is needed from them at such a difficult time.

The warmth of reception of this initial fifteen-point handout led the family to expand their advice and suggestions into what has now become The Little Book of Bereavement for Schools, the proceeds of which will go to Nicky s Way in Suffolk.

Be inspired by their courage. Be brave and make death and bereavement in your school something that can be acknowledged and talked about. It would be really something if a child in your care could one day say, When my Mum died, there was a teacher in my school who really helped me.



Ian Gilbert is one of the UK’s leading educational innovators, speakers and writers with over twenty-five years of experience working with young people and educators around the world.

He is the founder of the unique educational organisation Independent Thinking, the editor of the Independent Thinking Series of books, and the author of a number of titles including ‘Why Do I Need a Teacher When I’ve Got Google?’.

His book The Little Book of Thunks won the first education book award from the Society of Authors for ‘an outstanding example of traditionally published non-fiction that enhances teaching and learning’.

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