Emotionally Based School Avoidance

Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA)


Wakefield Educational Psychology Service (EPS) has produced a practical resource for school/setting staff and other professionals to provide information and guidance on how to support children, young people and their families experiencing Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA).



Emotional Based School Avoidance (EBSA) can be used to describe children and young people who do not attend school due to emotional factors. This absence can often lead to long periods of time away from school. EBSA is different from absence for physical illness and truancy. Most young people experiencing EBSA can be highly anxious and show significant distress about attending school. In many instances, they remain engaged with education and want to return to school even though they feel unable to do so. Often, the young person’s anxiety will reduce during weekends or school holidays.



Throughout the documents, reference is made to several appendices that include additional information and tools that can be tailored to the needs of your school, CYP and situation. You may also want to discuss some of these suggestions in more depth with your school’s Educational Psychologist, who will be able provide further support and guidance.



You can now download information guides on EBSA:


EBSA Young Person Booklet

EBSA Parent / Carer Booklet

EBSA School, Setting and Practitioner Booklet



If you need this information in a different format please contact eps@wakefield.gov.uk



Wakefield EPS have also recorded a webinar for professionals / settings to talk them through how to implement an assess – plan – do – review framework (using the practitioner guidance resources) for a child or young person experiencing EBSA.

Last updated: 2/28/2023