Anxiety Based School Avoidance (ABSA) is sometimes known as Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA). These terms are used to describe when a child or young person has severe difficulty in attending school due to anxiety and emotional upset, often resulting in prolonged absences from school. ABSA is a priority area of need for many Local Authorities and has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guidance for schools and documents for children and young people and the adults that support them have subsequently been produced by Cardiff Educational Psychology Service, in consultation with a number of schools in the local authority.
The guidance for schools is based on factors that are associated with positive outcomes for pupils experiencing ABSA. These include (Baker & Bishop, 2015):
• intervening early
•working collaboratively with pupils and the adults supporting them at school and home
• 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
In light of these changing times the Educational Psychology Department have put together these two packs for you.
One pack offers a range of psychological advice/activities for families in the current lockdown situation and the other is for families who have experienced a bereavement.