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Foxton Primary School

Foxton Primary School

Emotion-Based School Avoidance

What is Emotion-Based School Avoidance (EBSA)?

Emotionally based school avoidance (EBSA) is an umbrella term used to describe when a child or young person struggles with attending school, or aspects of school, due to emotional distress, anxiety, or fear. Areas of difficulties that may affect EBSA include:
  • mental health difficulties e.g. anxiety, social anxiety, health anxiety, low mood and obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • social difficulties e.g. bullying, isolation
  • factors in the home/community
  • sensory overload or
  • physical and/or health issues
  • motivational issues (which may relate to mental health).
Children and young people who are described as experiencing EBSA often have prolonged absences from school which usually increase over time. If patterns of EBSA are recognised early, the child or young person may be attending school but avoiding particular people or lessons. Typically, it takes children and young people more effort and time to re-integrate into school when they have had longer periods of time away from the school community. However much of this depends on the nature of support given to children and their families once the child has been recognised as having difficulties relating to EBSA.

(Taken from OAP Cambridgeshire)