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Future Leaders' Conference

Future Leaders’



Absenteeism and Bullying at Schools


School attendance matters School attendance is an essential element of a child’s intellectual, emotional, physical, social and cultural development. Progressive absence from school disrupts development with adverse long-term consequences for the child and the social and economic capital of the community.

Every day absent counts.


There are a variety of reasons for missing school. The absence might be approved by the school, for example in case of illness or a natural disaster. Alternately, the child might be absent without school approval for four broad reasons.

  1. School refusal due to severe emotional upset and fear about attending school where the child stays at home with the parent’s knowledge. These young people suffer from emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression and are often socially shy. Parents are also likely to have their own mental health problems or relationship difficulties. Being bullied or teased or being in a dangerous intimidating school environment where the child feels unsafe are other causes. School refusal can also be a consequence of the anxiety associated with neurodevelopmental problems such as autism or intellectual disability.
  1. Truancy is when youth skip school and try to conceal this from their parents. Their absence is often in the company of other young people and they are at risk of engaging in antisocial and delinquent behaviour. They may also suffer from depression and low self-esteem particularly if their truancy is solitary. Generally, these young people have learning difficulties and experience teacher criticism, a lack of parental support and family poverty.
  1. School Withdrawal occurs when the young person misses school because the parent keeps the child away for another purpose, such as to care for a sibling, or does not value education and the school system. There may be economic or cultural reasons for this disregard.
  1. School Exclusion where the school illegally excludes the child perhaps because of difficult behaviour or a lack of resources or willingness to manage physical, social or emotional learning needs. In Australia 10% of children experience school exclusion, particularly those with disabilities usually associated with emotional and behavioural disturbance.


The Importance of learning about the repercussions of school absenteeism

Students will learn about:

  • How bullying is a leading contributor towards school absenteeism;
  • To gain an understanding as to how bullying can contribute to a student not feeling safe or welcomed at school;
  • And learn about how the implementation of anti-bullying programs can help to lower the rates of school absenteeism in Australia.

We highly encourage schools to nominate students from Year 10, 11 and 12 to attend this event. Schools who nominate in excess of 10 students will have the opportunity to be listed as a “Proud Supporter” of this event

The event guest speakers include:

  • Emeritus Prof. Bruce Tonge, Psychiatry at Monash Health
  • Prof Baseer Jeeawody, Founder and President at Emotional Wellbeing Institute

When: Saturday 12th October 2019, 9:00AM - 3:00PM

Where: Swinburne University, John Street, Hawthorn VIC 3122

FREE Registration:

(Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided)


For more information, please contact us on 03 9826 1422 or