Emotionally Based School Avoidance

Emotional Based School Avoidance is a broad umbrella term used to describe a group of children and young people who have severe difficulty in attending school due to emotional factors, often resulting in prolonged absences from school. The impact of EBSA on young people and schools is far reaching. Outcomes for young people who display EBSA include poor academic attainment, reduced social opportunities and limited employment opportunities. EBSA is also associated with poor adult mental health.

We know that the earlier difficulties are identified and support put in place the more successful we are at developing children and young people’s ability to cope with their anxiety and develop their resilience to cope with life's challenges resulting in improved attendance and ongoing life opportunities.

This guidance has been produced by the Educational Psychology Service and is based on the current evidence base of the factors which are associated with positive outcomes. These include:

  • intervening early
  • working with parents and school staff as well as the young person
  • working in a flexible manner paying attention to the individual case and function served by non-attendance
  • emphasising the need for rapid return to school alongside good support
  • and adaptations within the school environment

    The Educational Psychology service has also produced information booklets for parents, children and young people and are holding a series of training events for school staff and other professionals to supplement this guidance with a practical tools enabling them to work effectively with children and young people and their families. Dates for these will be promoted in the coming months.


    Download Appendix Documents

  • Appendix 1 Profile of risk of EBSA
  • Appendix 2 Information gathering from school
  • Appendix 3 Information gathering and integration
  • Appendix 4 Example Support Plan and Support Plan with visuals
  • Appendix 5 Whole school audit
  • Appendix 6 Strategies for Young People with ASC

  • Related pages