Welcome to my blog which features aspects of my current PhD research into Family Experiences of School Anxiety and Refusal.
I will also be sharing relevant articles, posts and information that could be relevant and helpful for the families and professionals supporting children and young people experiencing school-based anxiety and attendance difficulties.
If you are seeking advice and support from other people who are, or have, experienced this situation I am involved with a number of support groups and pages on Facebook (most people find it a huge help when they find they are not alone and that we really understand what it is like!) – if you would like to join us here are some links:
My Interest in School Refusal
Families of school refusing children are often in a particularly complex and emotive situation created by conflicts between personal, educational and legal needs and requirements.
Many school refusing children and their parents care deeply about their education. However, when they struggle to overcome their attendance difficulties, instead of being offered help and support they often encounter hostile and critical responses, leaving them feeling isolated and frustrated.
I experienced this situation myself as a parent when my eldest son began to school refuse in 2008. This experience, combined with the contact I have had online with so many other families who are struggling within the system, inspired me to enrol on my Education Studies degree, as I was determined to find a way to help families and to highlight this mostly hidden and ignored problem.
I wrote my BA dissertation, Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Parents Experiences of School Refusal, Within the Education System, with the input of some lovely parents within the School Refusal Facebook group who shared their experiences and opinions with me. I am proud to say my dissertation was assessed as ‘outstanding’, ‘hugely impressive’, ‘original research’, ‘well-conducted’ and ‘an important contribution to scholarship’. My aim is to continue this research which is now possible as De Montfort University have awarded me funding to begin my PhD study, School Refusal: Investigating a New Model of Interventions based upon the experiences of Children and Families. (You can find out more about what I am doing on the ‘RESEARCH’ page).