In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA) has become an even bigger challenge for schools – but it can be a difficult issue to address.

This webinar will seek to offer practical solutions, advice, and ideas for schools to help them engage effectively with students and successfully bring them back into school, while at the same time protecting their wellbeing and mental health.

We will consider common barriers to attendance, effective support plans, how to involve students in the solutions, and what early intervention looks like.

Our panel will include mental health expertise, a virtual school headteacher, and leaders from an alternative provision and a large secondary school.

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    Pete Henshaw (Host)
    Editor SecEd & Headteacher Update
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    Dr. Pooky Knightsmith
    Director, Creative Education Limited
    An internationally respected face of child and adolescent mental health, Pooky works tirelessly to ‘be the change she wants to see’. A prolific keynote speaker, lecturer, trainer and author, she develops and shares practical, evidence-informed approaches to promoting mental health – arming health, social care and education staff with the skills, understanding and knowledge they need to support the children in their care.

    Pooky has a PhD in child mental health from the Institute of Psychiatry, is the author of many books, is the research and development director at Creative Education and is a former chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. She lives in South London with her two daughters, husband, mother-in-law and three dogs. She’s a keen climber an amateur knitter and a tenor in her local choir. She lives with PTSD and autism.

    Twitter: @Pookyh
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    Clare Brokenshire
    Head of Academy21
    Clare has degrees in modern languages, artificial intelligence and TESOL and has taught a wide variety of students throughout her career. She has spent several years teaching ICT in secondary schools at KS3, KS4 and A level. During this time, she developed an interest in helping vulnerable youngsters develop literacy and ICT skills in order to equip them for their next steps in work, training or education.
    She has been Head of Academy21, an alternative online provision for vulnerable youngsters, for four years and is passionate about improving the life chances of students for whom mainstream schools are not working.
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    Sarah Clarke
    Curriculum Engagement and Safeguarding Lead, Wilmslow High School, Cheshire
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    Laura Juniper
    SENCO, The Reach Free School, Hertfordshire
    Laura is a SENCO, Mental Health Lead and Autism Lead. Having taught in mainstream secondary schools for more than 10 years, Laura has recently joined the supervision team for the National SENCO Award and has a particular interest in cognitive psychology and psychobiological perspectives, which she uses to inform her practice.