School attendance is a high profile issue at both national and local levels, and links have been made between poor attendance and low attainment, poor employment outcomes and antisocial behaviour (Reid 1999, 2002). This small scale research study focuses on a group of young people referred to as school refusers, who experience difficulties attending school associated with anxiety and emotion. This small scale, case study based research revolves around five young people who have been reintegrated into mainstream school following a period at a Short Stay School (PRU) for key stage 3 and 4 pupils with mental health and medical needs. In addition to the young people, participants include their mothers, the learning mentor from the Short Stay School and a mentor from the receiving mainstream school. Findings underline the heterogeneous nature of cases and an experience of school refusal associated with intense emotions for the young people and their parents. Change associated with school and home factors are implicated in school refusal as are factors including social anxiety, bullying, the child/parent dynamic and characteristics of the young person. School refusal is a long term matter requiring ongoing support even after reintegration
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