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No school please

school; refusal; truancy; homework; truant; school; fear; no; problems; feelings;


I don't want to go to school today

Everybody has days when they don't feel like doing something.

Maybe you feel ill or really tired because you didn't have a good sleep.
starting school Maybe you feel worried about something at home or at school.
Maybe someone is giving you a hard time at school.
Maybe you want to stay in your own house and forget about everywhere else.
Maybe the weather is too hot or too cold or too rainy and you don't want to go out in it.
Everybody sometimes says, "I don't want to go to school today," --even the teacher!
Some children feel like they don't want to go to school on lots of days.

This is very sad because in most countries school is compulsory (that means you have to go),  and because going to school is important for you to learn and to make friends.

The Law in South Australia says you have to go to school until you are 17 years old unless you have permission to be in job training or work for at least 25 hours a week. That's a long time if you are not happy. It might mean that you don't get the most out of your EDUCATION if you are worrying a lot and that is important too!

Why children don't want to go to school

  • familyThey want to stay home with mum. Sometimes children want to stay with mum because they miss her or think that she will miss them. Especially if you haven't been to school before it can be a bit scary at first without your special people there.
  • Worries can make kids want to stay home. Sometimes kids worry that mum might not be there when they get home. Maybe mum and dad have been fighting, or one of your friends has had a parent who left the home. Perhaps there has been a death in the family, or one of the grown-ups is sick. These things can be really scary and make you afraid that it might happen to you. There are lots of reasons why some children don't want to leave mum or dad at home.
  • No friends at school. Maybe you just changed schools or classes and haven't made friends yet. Maybe you find it hard to make friends. (Our topics on Changing schools and Friendship will give you some ideas if you find it hard to make friends.)
    no friends
  • Some kids don’t like the teacher or think the teacher doesn’t like them. (Our topic, Problems with the teacher may help you if you are having problems like this.)
  • The school work is too hard, or too easy.
  • Some children are being bullied or teased. (See our topics Bullying and Dealing with bullies)
  • Having problems with friends. (See our topics Friendship, and Making friends.)
  • You might have been off school for a long time either because you were sick or on holiday and think it will be too hard to catch up.
  • bullyingYou might be having problems in the playground, eg no-one to play with, harassment by other children.
  • You might get into trouble at school a lot, eg for not getting work finished, doing the wrong thing.
  • You might be upset because you didn’t get into a special group that you really wanted to, eg choir, school play, sports team.
  • Some kids just find it harder to do new things than others do. We are all different. Some people jump into new situations and others want to think first, or even think more about the bad things that can happen than the good things, eg something happening to their family, going to other people's houses, trying something new etc.
  • You get behind with work and homework. Maybe you don't want to go to school because you are finding the work really hard and you are afraid you will be in trouble with the teacher and will be behind the other kids.
  • You just don’t know why. You just don't feel you 'belong' in the school and you feel unhappy but when people ask "why?" you just don't know.

Dr Kate says:

Dr KateSo, what if you don't want to go to school? Is it for one of the reasons we just talked about or do you just want to stay home?

Well, everyone has days when they feel like that but unless you are really sick it is better to get ready, get to school and work out the best way to deal with your problems.

If you don't they'll still be there when you do go to school. Our topic 'Problems at school' may help.Talk about your feelings with your trusted adults as soon as possible. Together you can work out problems and make school days as happy as they should be.

There are millions of kids around the world who do not get a chance to go to school - or only have a few years at school. Think about the reasons why they can't.

How lucky are you to live in Australia where there is education for every kid. Our topic 'Your school' will tell you more about the different schools there are in Australia.  

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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