If an employee dies in service

Checklist of what a school needs to do if an employee dies in service



  1. Notify Headteacher and Julie Lewis of death in confidence immediately if Headteacher was not first to be informed. If Headteacher has deceased then recipient of the news to immediately inform Chair of Governors (CoG), Julie Lewis and Robert South.

Whoever received notification of death

  1. Headteacher/CoG to notify School’s HR consultancy team to seek advice and check through actions required to be taken by the school.

Headteacher, Chair of Governors

  1. Headteacher to notify CoG and agree to write a letter of condolence to the next of kin/family of the deceased member of staff. CoG, Julie Lewis, Robert South to write a letter of condolence if Headteacher has deceased and also for any school staff deceased.
    Refer the family to the GLA resources and support and Cruse bereavement services and anything else that the school can offer.

Headteacher, Chair of governors

  1. Headteacher (CoG for Headteacher death) to notify School Business Manager (SBM) of date of death as advised to them. SBM to update itrent and advise Payroll and make the employee a leaver. Any pay owed to the employee including holiday pay should be paid. The leaving date should be the date the member of staff died which will be confirmed/ updated once school receives the death certificate.

Headteacher, SBM, Chair of governors

  1. Headteacher to agree with CoG how the Governing Board, staff/pupils/parents are informed of the death and to consider how they can be supported. Particular attention should be paid to those who the deceased worked closely with. If Headteacher has deceased CoG to confer with Julie Lewis as to how notification of death is communicated.

    It is important to respect the wishes of the family and keep the news confidential until they have expressed how and when colleagues are notified about the death although in a school setting some colleagues may already know.
    Here is support information on managing a sudden death in the school community
    Any further general communication about the death, should be agreed with the next of kin/family. Any internal communication about the death should be kept simple, sharing only what the family is comfortable letting others know.

Headteacher, Chair of Governors, Julie Lewis

  1. If deceased was a teacher. Headteacher (CoG for Headteacher death) to advise family to contact the Teachers Pensions. contact Teachers Pensions to inform them of the death on 0345 606 6166 (8.30am – 6pm, Monday to Friday). They will ask for completion of an Application for death benefits form and for it to be returned to Teachers’ Pensions. This form can be downloaded from https://www.teacherspensions.co.uk

Headteacher. Chair of Governors

  1. If deceased was a member of support staff. Headteacher to advise the Pensions Monitoring Team of the death so that any appropriate death in service benefits process can be undertaken if the employee was a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme. pensionsmonitoring@ealing.gov.uk


  1. Once the Pensions monitoring team are notified of the death (when the person is made a leaver in iTrent), they will submit an e leaver form to the London Pension Partnership (LPP). The LPP will then write to the next of kin. All correspondence on any benefits will be with the LPP.

Headteacher/SBM/ Pensions Team

  1. If the employee had working relationships with clients/suppliers, the Headteacher or nominated person (CoG for Headteacher death) should inform them in a timely, simple and respectful manner.

Headteacher, nominated person, Chair of Governors

  1. The Headteacher/SMB (CoG for Headteacher death) should identify any school equipment e.g. laptop, mobile, tools, equipment, keys, credit card, vehicle, access pass, IT fob etc. and stop access.

School to agree with family about return of property and collection of any person belongings of the employee at an appropriate time.

Headteacher, SBM, Chair of Governors

  1. Headteacher to discuss work tasks with the deceased’s manager and agree how to cover or re-distribute any work.

Headteacher, SLT

  1. If Headteacher has deceased, CoG to consider acting up/interim/secondment arrangements for Headteacher post whilst progressing permanent recruitment.

Chair of Governors

  1. Out of respect, consider appropriate timing of advertising for external recruitment to a vacancy, and be sensitive to other co-workers.

SLT, Chair of Governors

Important note -

If a death takes place in the workplace, it must be reported to the police and corporate health and safety who will report it to the Health and Safety Executive in line with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

Here is support information on managing a sudden death in the school community

Was this page useful? 
Last updated: 21 Aug 2023

Human resources