About this seminar

The 2022 Attendance Audit from the Children’s Commissioner found that in Autumn 2021, 1 in 4 children were persistently absent. In 2018/2019, this figure was 1 in 9 – meaning that persistent absence has more than doubled in this time period.

Join us for our first seminar of the academic year, where we will introduce and explore the topic of emotionally-based school avoidance.

We'll also look at the current national picture for school-aged children and explore the role of schools and parents and carers in supporting those who are affected.

This seminar ties in with launch of our free resource on addressing emotionally based school avoidance (which will be published in September 2022) and our new training, mental health and attendance.

The seminar will be chaired by Natalie Merrett, Head of Knowledge Dissemination at the Anna Freud Centre. 

She will be joined by two expert panelists Vicky Saward, Head of Training in the Schools Division at the Anna Freud Centre; and Brenda McHugh MBE, Consultant Psychotherapist and Co-Founder of Pears Family School.


Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this seminar are:

  • to increase understanding of the term ‘emotionally-based school avoidance’ (EBSA)
  • to summarise the current national picture for school-aged children
  • to explore the role of schools in supporting those affected
  • to be informed of further development opportunities and resources on EBSA
  • to understand the importance of working with parent and carers in the best way to help CYP who are experiencing emotionally based school avoidance.
Who is this seminar suitable for?

All school and FE college leaders, teachers and school staff particularly those with a responsibility for mental health. This seminar is also open to educational psychologists, and any allied professionals interested in supporting mental health in schools and FE colleges.

Registration and accessibility

This seminar will take place online via Zoom, a registration link will be sent to you closer to the date.

Before booking, please ensure you meet the system requirements.

This seminar will have automatic subtitles available.

Contact us

Please contact for any queries relating to this seminar.

Related resource

Our free resource looks at the topic of emotionally-based school avoidance (EBSA) and shares ideas to help education staff address the issue.

This resource:

  • introduces the topic of EBSA
  • explores some of the potential risk factors
  • provides strategies and tips to help education staff tackle the issue.

29th September 2022
  • Online – live via Zoom (Joining instructions will be sent to the email address you booked on with at least one working day before the event)
  • 1.5 hours
  • 16:30 - 18:00 (UK time)


The Anna Freud Centre brings together those with a stake in the mental health of children and young people. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter and occasional updates about the Centre's training and events. 

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