More than two-thirds of the public admit they are uncomfortable discussing the issue of dying, according to a poll by Dying Matters, an umbrella group of charities, care homes and hospices led by the National Council for Palliative Care.
Rabbi Julia Neuberger suggested on Radio 4's Sunday Programme that not discussing death from a young age is contributing to this discomfort and that death education should be broached in school.
Shelley Gilbert, founder of Grief Encounter, a charity that deals with child bereavement, told the Today programme that adults and teachers should "safely encourage" conversations about death, but warned that "we need to educate the educators" in order to deal with the questions responsibly.
Children's author Judith Kerr deals with death in some of her books, but says she does not believe the classroom is the right place for discussion.
She recounted how she asked her mother what happened when we die, and was told "nobody knows, but perhaps when you grow up you'll be the first person to find out".
"The fact is, nobody knows," she said.
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