Major increase in school avoidance since lockdowns
Schools have noticed an increase in pupils struggling with 'school phobia'
There are major concerns about increases in school avoidance in Ireland.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, more pupils are suffering from mental health issues, including 'school phobia'.
Others are dealing with both depression and anxiety.
But what are the signs of school avoidance?
- Avoidance of school-based situations that provoke anxiety and/or other uncomfortable feelings.
- Avoidance of social situations that provoke anxiety or other uncomfortable feelings.
- Gaining attention from significant others such as parents.
According to The Irish Examiner, over 100 children were unable to attend the first half of the school year because of these issues.
114 children availed of the home tuition scheme.
According to gov.ie, home tuition can be granted for children with special education needs, as well as on medical grounds.
The scheme is for children who are unable to attend school because of a chronic illness. Children with special educational needs who are seeking an educational placement can also avail of the scheme.
It is also offered as an early educational intervention for children with autism.
Pupils suffering from mental health issues will be granted home tuition in "exceptional cases".
However, home tuition is not a long-term solution.
It is not possible to just tell them to 'get over' whatever they're going through. They need, and deserve, full-time support and care.
We will only cause more damage by expecting them to return to school when they're dealing with mental health issues.
The Government needs to act now.
The impact the pandemic has had on children's mental health is a problem that won't disappear by telling them to go for a walk.