Growing Aspirations to reach Potential

EBSN - Good practice guide for schools

It is recognised that a high proportion of children and young people (CYP) that are struggling to attend school may be experiencing underlying emotional needs such as fear, anxiety, unhappiness and despair, which result in them feeling unable to attend school. Emotionally Based School Non-Attendance (EBSN) is a term used in Cheshire West & Chester (CW&C) to describe the needs of this group of CYP. These CYP may be reluctant to leave home and can present high levels of distress in response to parents’ attempts to get them to attend school.


The Emotionally Based School Non-attendance (EBSN) Good Practice Guide for schools has been developed by colleagues from across CW&C services including Child and Educational Psychology Service, Education Access Service and Education Welfare Service as well as school representatives from primary, secondary and specialist settings. EBSN is recognised to be complex and multi-faceted as such the aims of the EBSN Good Practice Guide are to support schools in the process of early identification and intervention for CYP who may be at risk of/are experiencing EBSN and ensure that support plans are informed by assessments, pupil and parent voice, are person centred and holistic to support CYP and their parents/carers.


The EBSN Good Practice Guide includes –

  • Theory of anxiety, contributory factors of EBSN
  • A 5-phase approach to early identification and intervention for children/young people who are struggling to access or remain in school for emotional based reasons
  • An assess, plan, do and review framework: holistic approach to assessment and intervention; SMART plans and regular reviews.
  • Tools to elicit child/young person views
  • Support and Attendance Plan template (inc review plans)
  • Advice for teachers
  • Information around transition
  • Signposting information 
  • Parent support leaflet


The EBSN Best Practice Guidance and accompanying word documents for schools to use can be found below. In addition, EBSN Best Practice Guidance training for schools can be booked on the following link - eCWIP for Education - Cheshire West Industry Professionals

Files to Download

Cheshire West and Chester Virtual School Wyvern House, The Drumber, Winsford, CW7 1AU
Claire Bradley | Senior Business Support Officer 01244 976172