Dr Aoife O’Brien, who works on the primary education programme (PMEP) at Hibernia College, has been successful in securing research funding for a cross-border research project with Stranmillis University and Trinity College Dublin. The research is entitled: “BeSAD (Bereavement, separation, and divorce): The response of pre-service teachers to pupil wellbeing”. This research will provide statistical and qualitative results to ascertain the confidence, competence, experience, and training received by pre-service teachers in the North and South of Ireland regarding their support of pupils who have experienced loss.
Data collection will include a mixed method approach in two phases: (a) survey including quantitative and qualitative questions; and (b) focus groups. A ‘Loss in School’ Audit Survey (online survey) will be developed. The Systematic Literature Review will directly influence the questions being posed whilst previous surveys (Mc Guckin & Lewis, 2008; McGovern & Barry, 2010; O’Brien & Mc Guckin, 2014) will be adopted and amended to provide a template for the development. Based on the data collected, it is planned to identify key strategic priorities and recommendations for how the provision for supporting pupils who have experienced loss can be developed in ITE.