School Phobia and School Refusal: Research into causes and remedies

Caroline Filmer-Sankey, Felicity Fletcher-Campbell, Tamsin Archer

06 November 2003

This NFER research considers what are commonly known as school refusal and school phobia. It found that these pupil responses were triggered by a number of factors in the school and home environment. It concluded that it was important to identify the particular factors operating in individual cases so that the most effective support could be offered to the young person and his/her family.

The study, sponsored by the Local Government Association (LGA), considered the causes of school phobia and school refusal and what Local Education Authorities (LEAs) and schools can do to support affected pupils. It focused specifically on identification and assessment, causes of school refusal and phobia, provision for pupils who appear to be school refusers and school phobics, and training and monitoring structures.

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