Lisa Jarmin

Tes talks to…Emma Kenny

The TV psychologist knows all about school refusers – she was one herself, and she later helped many as a pupil welfare worker. Too often, they are written off as troublemakers, she tells Lisa Jarmin – but what they need is support and inspirational teachers who treat them as individuals

Magazine article image

I hated school,” admits TV psychologist Emma Kenny. “I felt like I didn’t belong.”

Things were so bad, she says, that she became a school refuser.

“I just didn’t want to be there,” she explains.

Kenny is perhaps the last person you would imagine to have a history of school refusal. Positive, approachable and highly successful both in and out of the media spotlight, it’s easy to imagine that she had a charmed life and a spotless school record.

But like many school refusers, a mix of factors meant that her years in school were incredibly tough.

“I struggled academically and was considered ...

Subscribe to continue reading

Get full access to our magazine to keep up-to-date with the latest education research, insight and analysis – including audio articles and back issues