Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is an incurable brain tumor of childhood characterized by histone mutations at lysine 27, which results in epigenomic dysregulation. There has been a failure to develop effective treatment for this tumor. Using a combined RNAi and chemical screen targeting epigenomic regulators, we identify the polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) component BMI1 as a critical factor for DIPG tumor maintenance in vivo. BMI1 chromatin occupancy is enriched at genes associated with differentiation and tumor suppressors in DIPG cells. Inhibition of BMI1 decreases cell self-renewal and attenuates tumor growth due to induction of senescence. Prolonged BMI1 inhibition induces a senescence-associated secretory phenotype, which promotes tumor recurrence. Clearance of senescent cells using BH3 protein mimetics co-operates with BMI1 inhibition to enhance tumor cell killing in vivo.