School anxiety and school refusal

School refusal or school anxiety may start for any number of reasons: it might be because of worries about school work, friends, or bullying or it can easily be triggered after a period of illness or absence from school. 

For Parents

It may be hard for your child to express why they feel the way they do and they may be worried about telling you if it involves others. Encourage them to talk so you can make a plan together and try not to jump in with judgements or solutions too quickly. While avoiding school is understandable when it causes anxiety, it becomes very hard to go back to school once you’ve been off for a while. Parents need to try and tread the very fine line between being sensitive to their child’s needs and worries (and not dismissing them) and being aware that avoidance tends to make the problem worse. We’ve picked some really great resources to help you manage your child’s anxiety, and your own emotional needs and find some practical advice. 
See also the section on anxiety and the general primary page for some resources on building confidence and resilience.

You may also like to speak to your child’s school.  Find out from the school who is the best person to talk to. It may be the Special Educational Needs worker (SENCO), the Headteacher, the class teacher or the Head of the Year.


Anxiety after time off school 

General school anxiety?