Professional Models of School Absence Associated with Home Responsibilities

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It has been estimated that 10% of all school absence is due to children undertaking duties associated with their homes. Despite this, the phenomenon remains under-researched. In this study, qualitative interviews with three groups of professionals concerned with absence due to home responsibilities (teachers, education welfare officers and educational therapists) are reported. The discourses of these professionals were analysed in terms of their perspectives on prevalence, models and solutions to absence due to home responsibilities. Teachers saw a solution in educating parents concerning the value of schooling Education welfare officers saw a need to address the wider problems faced by some families. The therapists identified underlying psychodynamic issues which need to be resolved. It is hypothesised that this disagreement has led to a failure to create a ‘master discourse’ on this phenomenon and how it might be resolved ’ and consequently it has not been constructed as a ‘social problem’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-242
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


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