Part of White Woods Academy Trust


Approved by Governors: September 2019

Review Date: September 2020

Statement of intent

Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School recognises that regular attendance is essential for raising educational standards and for ensuring that all pupils fulfil their potential.

The school understands that there are instances when pupils who have mental health issues may find it difficult to attend their classes or the school altogether. We are committed to valuing, respecting and understanding pupils with emotionally based school refusal (EBSR), and will provide continuous, professional support to these pupils.

The main aims of this policy are:

  1. Legal framework

  1. This policy has due regard to the following legislation, including, but not limited to:
  1. This policy also has due regard to the following guidance:
  1. What is emotionally based school refusal (EBSR)?

  1. For the purpose of this policy, EBSR is the manifestation of internal problems, such as fear, anxiety, misery, and feeling ill without obvious cause, which affects a pupil’s willingness to leave their home and/or attend an educational environment.
  2. EBSR differs from truancy such that there are underlying emotional and anxiety issues which cause the individual to be absent from school. Contrastively, truant behaviour displays anti-social behaviour and an unwillingness to learn.
  3. It is important that schools are able to identify instances of EBSR and can differentiate this from truancy; however, three potential overlaps between EBSR and truancy have been identified for reasons of non-attendance. These include:

  1. Though some instances of EBSR are not always clearly identifiable, it can be commonly recognised by:

  1. All schools should understand that EBSR is a serious mental health issue, and should ensure all staff and pupils are also understanding of this.
  2. Bullying incidents relating to EBSR can be emotionally harmful and must be dealt with as seriously as other bullying incidents within the school.
  3. All schools should ensure they have appropriate measures of support in place which are readily available to EBSR pupils.
  1. Support

  1. Curriculum and staff training:

  1.  Monitoring and communication

  1.  Pastoral care in the school:

  1.  Day-to-day school environment:

  1. Bullying incidents

  1. The school has zero tolerance for any bullying incidents towards pupils with EBSR.
  2. Teachers have the power to discipline pupils who engage in misbehaviour inside or outside the school premises.
  3. Any occurrence of bullying will be reported to a member of school staff, who will then issue disciplinary action against the pupil once he/she is on school premises.
  4. These incidents will be dealt with following the process in our Anti-Bullying Policy. The headteacher will decide whether it is appropriate to notify the police or the anti-social behaviour coordinator in their LA of the action taken against a pupil.
  1. Monitoring and review

  1. The headteacher, in conjunction with the pastoral care team, will review this policy on an annual basis and make any necessary changes.
  2. All members of staff are required to familiarise themselves with this policy as part of their induction programme.

Indicators of EBSR

Though EBSR may be difficult to recognise in some instances, the following are common signs that you may notice and should look out for: