Define is a parent/carer-led organisation set up in response to the growing number of children and young people who experience school attendance difficulties. This is sometimes referred to as ‘school refusal’, or emotionally based school avoidance however these phrases may not explain the full picture of the barriers to attendance which may be due to any number of complex reasons such unmet Special Educational Needs & Disabilities including physical or mental illness, either suspected or diagnosed, bullying or issues relating to academic pressure, or even the school environment*.
We are also keen raise awareness of attendance difficulties and work with professionals and decision-makers, locally and nationally, to reduce the numbers of children experiencing attendance difficulties, and ensure they are able to access a suitable education.
School attendance difficulties are complex but all too often these children are described as being “fine” when they are in school. Define Fine has produced resources based on relevant government policies and guidance, to help parents and their families to work with professionals to assess and then plan appropriate and timely support.