Back in June 2020, Manchester City Council published an Anxiety-Based School Avoidance (ABSA) guidance for schools, recognising that increased awareness and understanding of anxiety and how it affects access to education is of paramount importance.

The document was co-produced with parents and carers in Manchester and “describes the factors that play a part in what used to be called ‘school refusal’, as well as sharing best practice in identifying and supporting those at risk of not attending school as a result of anxiety.”

The document has since been updated, adding a section on racism, case studies, and a flowchart describing how/when to get advice, get help, “get more help”, and risk management. The latest version that we have here is from September 2021 and we’ll aim to update this page as and when new versions of the document come out. Please visit Manchester City Council’s ABSA web page for more information.


You can view the document below or download it using the button above.

The document is meant as a guidance for schools but it also contains plenty of information that could be useful for parents and carers. For example, there’s a section called “Helping children cope with anxiety, a resource for parents/carers” (please tap an image to view it in full):