What’s behind the rise in school absence rates?

Posted: 11th September 2023

Phil Revels blames a school system that induces anxiety, another reader says schools practise coercive control and Dr Ian Cunningham advocates self-managed learning

While there are a number of reasons why school attendance has crumbled, perhaps a fundamental issue is being overlooked (‘Children are holding a mirror up to us’: why are England’s kids refusing to go to school?, 2 September). When children have experienced freedom of mind and choice during closures, why would they wish to return to police states, largely administered by privatised mini-corporations that control everything from clothes to how to think and express yourself?

The fact that 40,000 teachers left the profession for reasons other than retirement in the last year suggests many adults find the stress-inducing conditions and a curriculum that is dull, completely test-orientated and largely irrelevant to the pressing needs of being alive in 2023 unbearable too.

It may not be a conscious rebellion among children, but refusal is a reaction to a system that induces anxiety when your individuality is denied. Even the children’s commissioner, after running a hardline academy, has had a rather late epiphany: fun, play and community are vital aspects of education.
Phil Revels
West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire

Source: What’s behind the rise in school absence rates? | School attendance and absence | The Guardian

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