Emotionally based school avoidance occurs when a student feels genuinely unable to attend school because of stress or other wellbeing barriers. How should we respond? Darren Martindale advises

It should go without saying that regular attendance at school is a prerequisite for pupils’ learning and achievement.

With the exception of pupils who have access to a good quality and effective home education, if they are not in school, they are not going to be learning.

This will obviously have serious implications, not only for their academic progress, but also their social development, mental and emotional wellbeing and physical health, as well their future chances of progressing into further education, employment or training.

It is no wonder, then, that pupils who become persistently absent are a major worry for schools, as well as parents and other adults with responsibility for supporting them.

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