The notes here were intended to provide headteachers in Somerset schools with brief background information on the possible needs and requirements of families suffering a bereavement where matters of faith or belief may have an impact. In each case, in relation to death and grieving, brief comments are made about the tradition’s relevant beliefs, practices and attitudes so these are very useful for anyone who is supporting or working with people of all ages from different faiths.

There is huge variety within all religious traditions, and families will often contain members of different faith and belief communities, so it will always be important to take individual concerns into account. Nevertheless, these general notes may help in showing sensitivity to individual cases and in personal discussions with bereaved people in any setting or attending a funeral.