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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-03791
Asked by: Paul O'Kane, West Scotland, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 15 October 2021


To ask the Scottish Government how death, dying and bereavement education will be supported in schools, in light of it not being included in the report on the review of personal and social education in Scotland.

Current status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 2 November 2021


In Scotland's curriculum, Curriculum for Excellence, learning about health and wellbeing is a specific curriculum area and is one of the three core areas that are the responsibility of all school staff. Schools are encouraged to develop the curriculum to suit their local context and meet the needs of children and young people, which can include delivering learning on bereavement. It is good practice for schools to consult with children and young people and respond to their views appropriately, to ensure this meets the needs of all children and young people in the school or educational setting.

Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes make clear that, in addition to the Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes, children and young people will also experience certain aspects of health and wellbeing through focused programmes such as Personal and Social Education (PSE) programmes. Learning on bereavement is supported through resources on Education Scotland’s national improvement hub which can be accessed at and .

The PSE Review report recognised that secondary schools are using an increasing range of approaches to support mental health and build resilience, including dealing with bereavement. The report also recognised the use of targeted support in special schools where pupils benefit from a range of proven programmes to alleviate bereavement and loss or to promote mindfulness.