Teachers communicating about life-limiting conditions, death and bereavement

Robinson, S., Ekins, A., Durrant, I. and Summers, K. (2017) Teachers communicating about life-limiting conditions, death and bereavement. Pastoral Care In Education. ISSN ISSN: 0264-3944. (In Press)

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Abstract

The number of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions in England is double what it was at the millennium. These conditions include cystic fibrosis, cancer, organ failure and severe neurological injuries.

The Teaching for Life project aimed to explore the needs of teachers working in English schools in relation to working with children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions through. Ninety teachers completed a questionnaire and 38 completed individual and group interviews. About half the teachers interviewed had experience of working with children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, and half did not. The teachers expressed a number of anxieties about coping with illness, death and bereavement. They described difficulties in communicating with parents, children and health professionals. They worried about maintaining their professional role whilst needing to contain their own emotions and the emotions of others, within school cultures that did not feel supportive.

The paper concludes that policies and practices that seek to support children with medical conditions need to acknowledge the weight of responsibility for teachers. They need to articulate with a whole school approach that protects and promotes teachers’ emotional wellbeing.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Includes discussion about Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions
Uncontrolled Keywords: Life-limiting illness; death; bereavement; teachers; medical
Subjects: L Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC1200 Inclusive education
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > School of Public Health, Midwifery and Social Work
Depositing User: Dr Sally Robinson
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2017 16:55
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2017 15:26
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/16512

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00