Vic Goddard is one of many school leaders daunted by the burden of supporting pupils and staff through their grief.
By Donna Ferguson, July 4, 2020 Vic Goddard is trying not to cry. The headteacher of Passmores academy in Harlow and star of the 2011 TV series Educating Essex is thinking about the 23 pupils and two staff at his school who have been bereaved during the coronavirus pandemic.
His greatest fear, a fear that keeps him awake at night and is making his voice tremble, is what could happen to them if he does not manage to support them adequately when they return to school. “I’m going to get upset, I’m really sorry…” he stops. “You feel dreadfully … dreadfully … There is an element of responsibility.”
He explains: “I’ve seen the impact of losing a teenage lad to suicide, and it was massive. It’s the thought of suicide. That’s really difficult for me.” He breaks off again. “What’s the impact going to be of so many parents and grandparents dying? I’ve never existed in a space where a community has lost so many people."