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Turning 'school refusal' around

Although I agree with many of the points in the article "The fearful child behind the 'truant' " (Professional, 6 December), "school refusal" is not actually a medical condition.

Teachers and support staff at medical pupil referral units and hospital schools work specifically with young people who are anxious about attending school and support their reintegration into education. Not only do they provide educational support to prevent these children from falling behind but they also give them strategies on how to manage their anxiety.

Many local authorities, such as mine in Northamptonshire, have produced guidance for schools and leaflets for young people. Ours are freely available at www.asknormen.co.uk

Cath Kitchen, Acting headteacher, Hospital and Outreach Education, Northamptonshire.

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