Absence from school
Social Services can provide help and support to families where a child has a poor school attendance record
Parents may need support and advice on how to respond to a child who won’t go to school. It can be difficult and frustrating for parents if they are not able to get their child to go to school.
Home therapists can support parents in their own home to identify solutions. A child can have individual counselling to try to find their own solution to the problem.
There are several different possible solutions, ranging from practical support for the actual journey to school to motivating conversations and other relevant types of dialogue.
Social Services works closely with schools on these issues. This enables us to put together a joint plan, together with the family, to address this specific problem.
Under the terms of the Education Act, any pupil resident in Sweden must attend school but also has the right to education. A child must start school in the autumn term of the calendar year that he or she turns seven. The guardian of a child of school age is responsible for ensuring that the child attends school.
When a school becomes aware of a child’s absence (truancy), it is important to decide whether or not there is a valid reason for their absence. If a child is regularly absent, it is important that the teacher communicates this to the head teacher at an early stage so that the matter can be investigated as quickly as possible.
The head teacher is responsible for ensuring that the matter is investigated. The scope of any investigation must be determined on an individual basis.
The aim of the investigation is for the school to gather sufficient evidence to enable it to understand why the pupil has been absent. A more comprehensive investigation might also show whether a pupil’s unhappiness at school or resistance to attending stems from what they see as an unsatisfactory learning environment or whether special support is needed.
The head teacher must also assess whether a case of absenteeism requires disciplinary action or other special measures. In some cases, the Pupil Health Service may need to be involved in the investigation into the reasons for a pupil’s absence.
A Pupil Health Service investigation may cover both school-related issues and other causes. It has been shown that early detection and action in cases of very regular absenteeism are the key to success in getting the pupil back into the classroom.
It is important for the school to take concrete measures to encourage the pupil to participate in learning. It is essential that the pupil is listened to and is able to express their own views on the reasons for their absence.
Skolverket (Swedish National Agency for Education)
Denna sida uppdaterades 2018-09-17 av Yvonné Wennberg Öhrnell