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school attendance

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school attendance

Hi i am really worried about my teen she is in the 3rd year of secondary school and for the last 2 years she hasn’t been going to school.
she will go for a couple of days then miss a few weeks
some time she will set of for school but doesn’t arrive she will be in the local park

Re: school attendance

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Hi there @sandy99 

Thank you for sharing your concerns about your daughter and her school attendance. It sounds like she might be avoiding school on purpose because something might be overwhelming her there. A lot of teens avoid going to school for many various reasons, so it might be a good idea to try and speak to her or the school about what might be going on during school hours.

Have you tried to ask her why she is not wanting to go? Or has the school provided you with any insight that might be happening during the school hours? Sometimes it is best to try and have an honest conversation about it, but I know it can be hard with teens sometimes. You are doing such a great thing for reaching out on our ReachOut Forums for some advice. 

We have an article on School Refusal here that might be helpful to read through. If you click here, there are some further resources that you can explore in our 'EveryDay' section that might be helpful too. 

Feel welcome to keep us updated on this, thank you for reaching out about it. 


Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: school attendance

Hi Sandy 99,

Sorry to hear about your difficulties getting your daughter to attend school. I am Mum to a 19 year old son and 17 year old daughter. You didn't say which state you live in, but we're in NSW where we had a few lockdowns over the last couple of years with covid and from what I can see for some maybe even many kids it's upset the apple cart. I know our kids were in a pretty solid routine with going to school and doing homework in primary school and we had scheduled all my son's assessments prior to covid and then everything stopped. Kids who didn't like going to school, felt uncomfortable or were struggling there in any way, were able to stay home and liked it. They got out of the swing of having to be there every day and there was an out. For some, it's been hard going back and they have missed slabs of critical learning making it hard to pick themselves up 2-3 years down the track. 

Years 8 and 9 have traditionally been a bit of a tough time too. 

If she isn't comfortable at school, maybe TAFE could be an alternative. My friend's son really switched on doing year 10 at TAFE and he might even have done year 9 as well. 

Trying to get her to talk about what's going will probably be no easier than getting her to school, but you never know. My daughter occasionally makes some big admission and completely surprises me. One of the places which is good to talk is in the car where you have that sideways communication without direct eye contact. It's less confronting. I also try and stay connected to my daughter via text and might send her photos of funny things. I love been grounded at home with my health lately and love checking out salvos online and I text through photos of funny outfits I find and I have bought her a few treats. 

Lastly, I probably should've mentioned this before but touching base with the school and working with them to try to get her re-engaged would be a first step. The school is used to dealing with school avoidance and all sorts of things teens throw at us and I've found them very helpful.

Best wishes,


Casual scribe

Re: school attendance

I'm genuinely sorry to hear about your concerns for your teen. It must be challenging to see her struggle with school attendance. As a fellow student, I believe that understanding her perspective is crucial.