If your child is refusing to go to school, this is known as “school refusal” or “school phobia”. If your child won’t attend school, it can often be because of fear and anxious feelings. This may be connected to the coronavirus pandemic. Or they may be worried about about schoolwork or relationships with friends or teachers.
Some children who have liked school in the past are finding it difficult to go now. School refusal can be more common among children with additional or special educational needs (SEN). The way to support them is very similar.
The ways to respond to school refusal are very similar for children with additional or special educational needs. Structure is key, as is taking things slowly.
You can also use a visual timetable. This will help your child to understand the journey they’re on to returning to school.
Don’t be afraid to break down the challenge into smaller parts. Instead of going from just doing the morning routine to travelling to school without going in, add in some stages. For example, if you child usually catches the bus to school, you could try the following:
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