School Refuser - The Blog

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Is there such a thing as school phobia? - BBC

Writing in the BBC Magazine, Finlo Rohrer asks 'Is there such a thing as school phobia?'

Most adults can remember days when they vehemently didn't want to go to school, he writes.

There would be protestations of illness, and of the danger of passing on an unpleasant disease, before the eventual acceptance that the journey into school was inevitable.

So many might react with scepticism to the idea that there is such a thing as "school phobia".

But, says Nigel Blagg, author of School Phobia and Its Treatment, (Available in our Book Store) it is a condition that has been recognised since the 1960s.

"They will experience extreme anxiety. They are off school, typically with their parents' knowledge and approval. And they often have symptoms like tummy aches, head aches and nausea. Some of them suffer severely with depression.

"Any attempts to get them to school, when they are at their worst can lead to quite extreme behaviour - temper tantrums, screaming, kicking. It is very distressing for the adults."

Ann Newstead, a spokesperson for the home tuition charity Education Otherwise, says school phobia is a "very real condition".

"I see a lot of families where they are in that situation - you only have to meet the children and families to see that it's not a made up condition. It's genuine. Not sending your child to school is something parents can be prosecuted for. You don't risk prosecution lightly."

"You wouldn't dream of forcing an adult to engage in an environment that wasn't beneficial to them. So why do we think it's ok to treat children in this way?"

You can read the full article here>>>