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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

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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 ...

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