School refusal – new ebooklet

February 13, 2022

While many students will settle into school routines with ease, two psycho-social issues currently confront a number of Australian children in primary and junior secondary years – school refusal and separation anxiety. While adjustment to school can take time, the pandemic has also contributed to increased feelings of uncertainty, stress and anxiety for some children.

It is not unusual for children to be reluctant to go to school from time to time, however the effects of poor school attendance are cumulative, can impact engagement and lead to a decline in achievement. More serious than separation anxiety, school refusal is often associated with complex personal, family and school factors.

The new revised Psych4Schools ebooklet Working with children who school refuse (revised) provides a brief overview of why children school refuse and strategies that teachers and other professionals can use to assist the child in the classroom and at home. In addition to helping with School Attendance Plans, four appendices accompany this resource:

  • Early intervention strategies for parents/carers of school refusers.
  • Teacher strategies to help chronic school refusers cope with common barriers to returning to school.
  • Script suggestions for speaking with parents of a child who is school refusing.
  • Chronic school refusal – an intervention plan for psychologists.

Separation anxiety

To assist the child who is hesitant about beginning or attending school, the Psych4Schools ebooklet Working with children who experience separation anxiety (revised) describes separation anxiety and offers strategies to help teachers and parents assist the child to gain confidence and adjust to school.

As separation anxiety and associated worries and fears can be experienced in adolescence, interfering with attendance, learning and well-being, strategies are offered to help prevent and reduce escalating separation anxiety for teachers and parents.

To access an excerpt of the above ebooklets, and other ebooklet excerpts, click here.
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If you wish to contact us please email:

Murray Evely, Psychologist/Guidance Officer