Emotionally-based school avoidance (also known as 'anxiety based school avoidance') is rising and children are beginning to have their voices heard. The children that can’t go to school can be the most courageous children you will ever meet. They are making a stand against a system that they feel does not serve them or their mental wellbeing. They know themselves and what they need emotionally. Children are responding to what their bodies and brains are telling them, but they can't always communicate their needs. They don’t always have the words to explain themselves or sometimes they don't have the support to provide the evidence.
During the pandemic we all experienced a different way of living and working and children especially adapted hugely to how they were learning. Even those of key-worker families that attended school, did so in different classes and had to get used to a different environment and structure to a normal school day. Some children that attended school, thrived in a quieter atmosphere and some felt a little anxious about the home-learners returning to school.
On the other hand, some SEND children were thriving at home and felt anxious about returning to school. It showed children and families that there was another way to learn without being taught in a mainstream setting.
The pandemic taught us a lot about what children need educationally this is potentially one reason why school avoidance is on the rise. When you show people there is more than one way to do something they were originally struggling with, it's natural for them to gravitate towards the option of home-learning or online learning.