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New report outlines the mental health barriers to school attendance

A new study has been published by Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition and Centre for Mental Health, exploring the drivers of school absence, including the links with mental health, and the measures that can be taken to improve school attendance.

The report called Not in school: The mental health barriers to school attendance is based on a rapid review of current government policy and initiatives and the evidence base.

It finds that certain groups of children and young people, such as those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), those living in poverty, those experience bullying or racism, young carers and care experienced children, can be disproportionately impacted by both school absence and mental health problems.

It reports that, whilst some government initiatives are helping to alleviate some of the problems, most approaches fail to make a real difference to the determinants of school absence.

The study calls for change across the following four areas:

  1. Improving attendance measures
  2. Implementing a whole education approach
  3. Developing wider system support
  4. Addressing the underlying causes

Read the full report here.

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Published on 29th April 2024