The menus below were updated in December 2022. If you have information to share with others in your country, please contact your country’s hosts: David Heyne ( or Marije Brouwer-Borghuis (  

  • People, groups, and organizations

    Not for Profit

    • The national 'Expertise Network for School Attendance' [Kennisnetwerk Schoolaanwezigheid] was established in 2015. It meets three times a year, to share and create knowledge. The group is open to all professionals with an interest in school attendance. The meetings have a practical focus (e.g., presentations and discussions about clinical and educational interventions for school attendance and absenteeism) and a research focus (e.g., generating research topics; reviewing results from recent studies). To find out more about the network, see the Engish-language or Dutch-language flyers. You can also access an overview of the activities of the group during the last 5 years. 
    • INGRADO is the national association for school attendance officers and related professionals. 
    • Dutch Youth Institute [Nederlands Jeugdinstituut] offers web pages on early school leaving and absenteeism.
    • The ‘Youth Not Attending School Pact’ (‘Thuiszitterspact’) was signed in 2016. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport made a pact with the Secondary Schools Council and the Primary Schools Council, as well as the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Association of Dutch Municipalities, and INGRADO, to reduce the number of youth not attending school. The pact specifies that Collaborations (‘Samenwerkingsverbanden’) and City Councils will determine how best to provide support for a young person at risk of not attending school. Parents and youth (where possible) will be involved in the process.
    • ‘Behavioural Work’ (‘Gedragswerk’) is commissioned by the Ministry of Education. It focuses on young people who have been absent from school for long periods. The education and support they need is not there, and these young people require a different way of learning, which can only be found if everyone looks at their situation differently. It is the mission of ‘Gedragswerk’ to get the entire system around the young person moving and to keep it moving. 
    • The academic platform ‘Together at School’ (‘Samen op School’) wants to ensure that as few youth as possible drop out of school, and to reduce the need for heavier forms of support. ‘Together at School’ focuses its activities on two main questions: (1) Which types of management and cooperation contribute most to the achievement of the transformation goals?; (2) Which working methods contribute to improved cooperation between parents, young people, education, and youth care? 
    • David Heyne is Associate Professor in the Developmental and Educational Psychology Unit of Leiden University. His scholarly and research interests include classification, early identification, and intervention for school attendance problems. Contact:
    • Rene Halberstadt is employed as project leader with INGRADO and is an external PhD candidate in the Erasmus University Department of Sociology. His PhD research includes a multi-level analysis of the interplay between parents, adolescents, peers, and school policy on authorized and unauthorized absenteeism.  Contact:
  • Current and upcoming activities and achievements
    • 2023 June 14: Another meeting of the Dutch Expterise Network for School Attendance will be held on June 14 in the afternoon. Information about the time, location, and topic will follow later. 
    • 2023 March 8: Launch of the online magazine PRESENT!?, made by young people, for young people and all professionals in the education field (developed by the JongPIT foundation and the Support Centre for Appropriate Education). With 40 valuable tips. 
    • 2023 January 23: On January 25, 2023, there is a meeting of the Dutch Expterise Network for School Attendance, in Utrecht. The meeting will target the concept of school attendance: what do we exactly mean with that and how can it be conceptualised within the Multi-Dimensional Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MD-MTSS) framework for school attendance. After a plenary introduction by Dr. Patricia Graczyk (USA) and Dr. Gil Keppens (Belgium), three workshops will be offered. Workshop 1 will be about Tier 1 in practice. In workshop 2, a practical example of Tier 2 will be shared. Workshop 3 will  be hosted by Gil Keppens and will be aimed at collecting data within schools. Click here to register. 
    • 2023: In 2023, Patricia Graczyk, Irma de Wit, and Marije Brouwer-Borghuis will keep supporting primary and secondary schools in the region Noord Kennemerland and Twente with the implementation of the MD-MTSS (Multi-Dimensional Multi-Tiered System of Supports) framework for school attendance. If you are interested in their experiences you can contact either Marije or Irma. If you want to do similar work in you region you can also contact Bea van Heukelom from Steunpunt Passend Onderwijs, who is collecting requests from other regions with the aim of getting an overview of the questions in the field and to think about ways to support other regions.
    • 2022 November 15: On November 15 there was a spin-off meeting for Duthc participants at the 2022 INSA Conference. This meeting was hosted by organisations represented in the national discussion forum for school absenteeism ['thuiszitterstafel']. The aim was to share ideas about school attendance; what do we mean when we talk about school attendance? And what do we need to promote school attendance for all youth and to support youth with school attendance problems? At the end of the meeting all participants wanted to meet again and it was decided that this new group will be named the A-team, referring to attendance, but also to the power of joint forces and taking unorthodox steps. 
    • Ongoing since 2019: The 'Cross-cultural knowledge sharing project' is funded by INTERREG. It focuses on school refusal in child and adolescent psychiatry. This is a collaboration between Dutch and German child and adolescent psychiatric hospitals Karakter, GGNet, LVR Essen, and LVR Viersen. The project investigates the problem of school refusal among children and adolescents with pre-existing mental health problems. Also as part of the project, knowledge is shared on school refusal interventions, differences in school systems and governmental education policies. Results from this project have been presented at the symposium 'Groundbreaking Innovation in Youth Care' [Grensverleggend innoveren in de Jeugdzorg] in December 2019. The goal for 2021 is to publish the results from the research in a scientific journal. The knowledge generated from this collaboration can be used to develop targeted interventions for school refusal. Contact Bas de Veen, Project Manager Innovation & Development, Karakter Academy.
    • Ongoing since 2019: INSA members from Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, and the USA are collaborating on a study with the working title 'On the Frontline / Proeftuin'. Please see the brochure for details. This is a feasibility study of the implementation and evaluation of a school-based framework for promoting school attendance, efficiently responding to emerging and mild-to-moderate school attendance problems, and addressing severe and chronic school attendance problems. A key component of the school-based framework is to help schools establish an 'attendance team' and to support the team in their work. Another key component is the use of attendance data to track progress as schools work to promote attendance and reduce absenteeism. For further information, contact Jo Magne Ingul at  
    • Ongoing since 2018: ‘De Berkenschutse’ Centre of Expertise for Special Education in Heeze launched the project All Students To School [Leerlingen Allemaal Naar School, or LANS]. One of the LANS activities is the evaluation of the effectiveness of a CBT intervention for school refusal when applied in a naturalistic setting. Other activities include early identification and response for absenteeism. Contact: Evelyne Karel
  • Past activities and achievements


    • 2022 December 6: On December 6, the 'development group working on attendance' [ontwikkelgroep werken aan aanwezigheid] had its last meeting. This group started as the Learning Community for (the Prevention of) Long-Term Absenteeism' [Leergemeenschap (Preventie Van) Thuiszitten], but changed its name in October 2021 to "ontwikkelgroep werken aan aanwezigheid". Most meetings were streamed and can be viewed via this link
    • 2022 October 5-7The 2022 INSA Conference, an international event, took place in Egmond aan Zee from 5th to 7th October. This conference is for everyone who addresses school attendance and school attendance problems. 
    • 2022 September: Report by Paul Boekhoorn and Ton Eimers titled 'Insight into tackling unauthorised school absenteeism: The application of the Methodical Approach to School Absenteeism in practice [Zicht op aanpak ongeoorloofd schoolverzuim: De toepassing van de Methodische Aanpak Schoolverzuim in de praktijk]. 
    • 2022 July 15: A letter from the Minister about the elaboration of the absenteeism approach [Uitwerking verzuimaanpak] in which attendance is named for the first time, and there is reference to the Multi-Dimensional Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MD-MTSS) framework and the Proeftuinen.
    • 2022 July to Sepember: There was an opportunity for internet consultation on a legislative proposal to reduce absenteeism [Wetsvoorstel terugdringen verzuim]. 
    • 2022 April: A new article by Jennifer Roseval-Splinter and colleagues titled 'Time for a new notification standard: Worrying amount of missed education time in primary education in Almere' [Tijd voor een nieuwe meldingsnorm: Zorgwekkend gemiste onderwijstijd in het primair onderwijs in Almere]. 
    • 2022 March 9: Online launch of the NRO sponsored project 'Knowing what works: A roadmap for school refusal interventions based on the views of stakeholders', from 13:00 to 16:00. Register here


    • 2021 November 30: The Final Report for the 'Knowing What Works' project [Weten Wat Werkt] is available via this link
    • 2021 November 30: An initial launch of the Knowing What Works project [Weten Wat Werkt] was held online with professionals from the 21 organisations participating in the project. The report is accessible via this link. The originally planned 'in person' launch has been re-scheduled for March 2022. 
    • 2021 October: Jacolien Kaljouw prepared a thesis titled: 'Does MDFT Help With School Refusal? An exploration of the effective elements of integrated treatment in school refusal' [Helpt MDFT bij Schoolweigering? Een verkenning van de werkzame elementen van integraal behandelen bij schoolweigering].
    • 2021 June 16: The ‘National Expertise Team for School Refusal’ [Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering] met to hear and discuss findings from the Team's project ‘Know What Works’ (Weten Wat Werkt). Know What Works was undertaken by a consortium of four partners: (1) Leiden University, (2) the National Expertise Centre for Special Education [Landelijk Expertise Centrum Speciaal Onderwijs], (3) SWV 23-01, and (4) at.groep zorg. Via interviews with professionals in Dutch organizations providing programs for school refusal, as well as questionnaires administered to a sample of parents and youth participating in the programs, the research team has prepared a roadmap for program components. This will reduce the need for schools, youth services, mental health settings, and communities to ‘re-invent’ the wheel when they want to provide an intervention for school refusal. At the meeting on June 16th, David Heyne and Marije Brouwer-Borghuis will present the first results of the research. After a plenary presentation, there was room for discussion about the 'roadmap to school attendance' which summarizes the building blocks for school refusal interventions, drawn from the results of the research. For information about Know What Works or the meeting that was held on June 16th, contact Marije Brouwer-Borghuis.  
    • 2021 March 31: Online symposium - The School Psychologist in Corona Times, 'Well-being and Resilience' [De Schoolpsycholoog in tijden van Corona 'Welbevinden en Veerkracht'].
    • 2021 March 24: The ‘National Expertise Team for School Refusal’ [Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering] met to discuss ‘The importance of peer relations in preventing school refusal, and how to build relationships when school refusal is established’. Dr Trude Havik from Norway gave a presentation on this topic, followed by a selection of workshops. The notes from discussion during Workshop 1 with Trude Havik can be found via this link. 
    • 2021 March 18: The second meeting of the 'Learning Community for [the Prevention of] Long-Term Absenteeism' (Leergemeenschap [Preventie Van] Thuiszitten) took place on March 18. After an opening speech by Mike Jolink of the 'Support Center for Appropriate Education' (Steunpunt Passend Onderwijs), Femke Zoggel of JongPIT and Marieke Boon of 'Parents & Education' (Ouders & Onderwijs) spoke about cooperation between pupils, parents, and school. The webinar is accessible via this link
    • 2021 February 4th: The first meeting of the 'Learning Community for [the Prevention of] Long-Term Absenteeism' (Leergemeenschap [Preventie Van] Thuiszitten) took place on February 4th. After an opening speech by Mike Jolink of the 'Support Center for Appropriate Education' (Steunpunt Passend Onderwijs), Peter Hulsen of the NCJ discussed research into absenteeism, prevention of long-term absenteeism, and the attendance policy checklist. Laura Thomassen then spoke about the approach used in the city of Amsterdam, and Marije Brouwer and Dr. Patricia Graczyk spoke about the approach in SWV Almelo. The webinar is accessible via this link.
    • 2021 January: 'Present! Een online magazine over preventie en aanpak van schoolverzuim' [Present! An online magazine about prevention and intervention for school absenteeism]. The Support Point for Appropriate Education [Het Steunpunt Passend Onderwijs], in collaboration with the NJi, has taken the initiative to publish the online magazine Present! You will find an introduction to the RtI model, and five examples are used to show how interventions can be used to prevent absenteeism.
    • 2021 January: 'Zicht op thuiszitten. Geschillen over toelating, verwijdering of ontwikkelingsperspectief van (dreigende) thuiszitters' [Perspective on Long-Term Absenteeism: Disputes About Admission, Removal or Development Prospects of (Imminent) Long-Term Absentees]. A report by E. Krijnen, A. Vaessen, C. J. Pater, & G. Ledoux. Amsterdam: Kohnstamm Instituut.
    • 2021: The Netherlands Youth Institute [NJi] and INGRADO have prepared a resource 'From Home to School' [PRAKTIJKKAART ‘VAN THUIS WEER NAAR SCHOOL’]. This resource offers schools and municipalities a practical guide to support school students who are (at risk of) long-term absenteeism, to find a suitable solution to pursue education. Just as absenteeism from school is a process that often proceeds insidiously, returning to school is also a process that often takes a longer time and does not succeed in one go. This often requires customization and cooperation between those involved. Attendance is based on a shared responsibility of all those involved (parents, students, and education professionals). The resource is primarily intended for secondary education professionals such as mentors, class teachers, and care and absenteeism coordinators who deal with (imminent) long-term absenteeism. But is also applicable in primary education, special education, and secondary vocational education. It can provide support for partners such as the youth doctor, compulsory education officer, consultants from partnerships, youth care workers, and policymakers. 
    • 2021: A new website about attendance at school [] where you can find building blocks for a preventive approach to absenteeism. This helps to lay a strong foundation, including all the conditions via which students can and want to be at school.


    • 2020 December 15: 'Customization for Change' (Maatwerk Voor Verandering), the 3rd 'School Absenteeism Congress' (Thuiszitterscongres) in Bussum.
    • 2020 November 19: 'We Are Glad You Are Here' (Wij Zijn Blij Dat Je Er Bent), a presentation by Henrie Mastwijk (Nederlands Centrum Jeugdgezondheid) and Rene Halberstadt (INGRADO) at 'For Youth Day' (Voor De Jeugd Dag), accessible via this link
    • 2020 November 11: The ‘National Expertise Team for School Refusal’ [Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering] met online to discuss ‘autism and school absenteeism’, with presentations by teams in the Netherlands and UK. The Powerpoint slides from the workshop by Dr Vaso Totsika from the UK can be found via this link. For more information about the meeting, contact Marije Brouwer-Borghuis
    • 2020 November 4: A live webinar was hosted by 'Berkenbrein' on Wednesday 4th November, with three speakers on the topic of preventing and managing school absenteeism. The webinar was called 'To school? Yes, of course!' (Naar school!? Ja toch!).  Click here to view the video.
    • 2020: Smooth Transition to Work is a project to help youth in a vulnerable position make a successful transition from vocational education to work (e.g., youth with disabilities, learning problems, difficult home situations). The project is managed by INGRADO and runs until December 2020. To learn more, contact project leader Henrie Mastwijk.
    • 2020 June 18: A webinar of the 'Development Team For (the Prevention of) Absenteeism' [Ontwikkelgroep (Preventie van) Thuiszitten]. The webinar started with an opening speech by Mike Jolink of the Support Center for Appropriate Education. Peter Hulsen of the Netherlands Center for Youth Health then gave a background sketch based on the questions submitted by the participants. Sylvia Philippa and Kim Peer of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science discussed the laws and regulations surrounding absenteeism. The webinar concluded with a presentation on absenteeism registration and preventive work, by René Halberstadt and Henrie Mastwijk from Ingrado.
    • 2020 June 11: The National Expertise Team for School Refusal [Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering] met online to share experiences and ideas surrounding COVID-19, school attendance, and absenteeism. 
    • 2020 April 16 and May 26: 'Getting started with the Methodological Approach to School Absence (MAS)' [Aan de slag met de MAS voor leerplichtambtenaren en ketenpartners]. More information is found via this link.
    • 2020 April 10: The Sociaal Planbureau Groningen prepared a summary of the study on 'Authorized Absenteesim' [Geoorloofd Verzuim]. 
    • 2020 January 30: INGRADO meeting titled ‘Inspiration Meeting: Chronic Absenteeism and Other Vulnerable Youth’ [Inspiratiebijeenkomst: Thuiszitters en andere kwetsbare jongeren]. 
    • 2020 January 16: A meeting of a sub-group of the ‘National Expertise Team for School Refusal’ [Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering] to discuss group-based work with parents of youth displaying school refusal. Contact Elske de Kanter.
    • 2020: ‘The Dutch Youth Institute’ [Nederlands Jeugdinstituut] released a resource titled ‘Addressing school absenteeism: A scientific basis' [Schoolverzuim aanpakken: Een wetenschappelijke onderbouwing]. 


    • 2019 December: This issue of the Ingrado Magazine has responses to ’10 Questions’ about school refusal.
    • 2019 November 29: Het Congres ‘Gewoon DOEN’ in Arnhem, about education for students who need extra guidance and support. 
    • 2019 November 13: The ‘National Expertise Team for School Refusal’ [Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering] hosted a gathering on ‘mapping school attendance problems’ [in kaartbrengen van schoolverzuim], incorporating recent international research and practice gleaned from the 1st INSA Conference in Oslo, Norway. The group also provided feedback on the forthcoming document from ‘The Dutch Youth Institute’ [Nederlands Jeugdinstituut] titled ‘School absence among young people: What works?’ [Schoolverzuim onder jeugdigen: Wat werkt?]. Feedback indicated: the document provides clarity around the topic of absenteeism; include research on gaming and absenteeism, and more information on socio-cultural factors and absenteeism; future versions can distinguish between ‘international’ and ‘Dutch’ research; qualify the research-based findings by emphasizing that practitioners need to attend to case-specific issues not represented in the research results; practitioners need to take care to refer to ‘school refusal as a type of absenteeism’ as opposed to labeling a young person as ‘school refuser’; there is scientific value in retaining the term because of its use in the international literature; there is also practical value for parents who are able to search the internet for information using the term, they often feel relieved to understand that it is indeed a type of attendance problem taken seriously by the field; 1/3 of the group was in favor of changing the term ‘school refusal’, 2/3 in favor of retaining the term.
    • 2019 October: INGRADO’s participation in the inaugural INSA Conference in Oslo is described in a short report
    • 2019 October 18: Rene Halberstadt (INGRADO) presented ‘Parents, adolescents, peers, and school policy: A multi-level analysis on the effect of their interplay on authorized and unauthorized absenteeism’ at the inaugural INSA Conference in Oslo, Norway. INSA Members can access the video by logging in via the Members menu
    • 2019 October 17: Marije Brouwer-Borghuis (SWV 23-01 VO) presented ‘The Link Program for school refusal: An educational facility and its mental health care spouse(s).’ at the inaugural INSA Conference in Oslo, Norway. INSA Members can access the video by logging in via the Members menu
    • 2019 October 17: Cynthia Defourny, Evelyne Karel, & Hilde Hermes (De Berkenschutse Centre of Expertise for Special Education) presented ‘The highs and lows of translating a research-based treatment protocol for school refusal to a real-world setting’ at the inaugural INSA Conference in Oslo, Norway. INSA Members can access the video by logging in via the Members menu
    • 2019 October 17: Fatima Tatahi-Post (Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science) presented ‘Does government policy impact grassroots work? Dutch examples of dilemmas and progress’ at the inaugural INSA Conference in Oslo, Norway. INSA Members can access the video by logging in via the Members menu
    • 2019 October 16: Floor Sauter (De Banjaard/Youz) presented ‘Supporting school-refusing adolescents with (mild) intellectual disability via a research-based treatment protocol’ at the inaugural INSA Conference in Oslo, Norway. INSA Members can access the video by logging in via the Members menu
    • 2019 October 9: ‘Together at School Conference’ [Het Congres Samen Op School
    • 2019 September 13: A short opinion piece in the nederlandsdagblad titled ‘We are youth who have been away from school and we are not lazy – five tips to help us out’ [Wij zijn thuiszitters en we zijn niet lui - vijf tips om ons te helpen]. 
    • 2019 July 9: ‘Impetus for addressing long-term school absenteeism: Research into the story behind the figures and the ambitions of the Thuiszitterspact’ [Impuls thuiszittersaanpak: Onderzoek naar het verhaal achter de cijfers en de ambities van het Thuiszitterspact]. A report which focuses on the kind of national support that can be offered to reduce the number of youth with long-term absenteeism and/or  accelerate achievement of the ambitions of the Thuiszitterspact. 
    • 2019 June 27: The ‘School Absenteeism Congress’ [Thuiszitterscongres] in Bussum.
    • 2019 June 3rd – 7th: National Action Week for School Absenteeism [Landelijke Actieweek Thuiszitters]. 
    • 2019 May 23: The National Expertise Team for School Refusal [Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering] hosted its quarterly meeting, this time focusing on ‘The Voices of Youth’. Presentations were made by Mariette Mariëtte van Hemert and Marianne van Etten (Thuiszittersteam Fritz Redl School) and Griet De Nys (HOGENT in Belgium). Contact Marije Brouwer-Borghuis
    • 2019 April 12: A follow-up meeting in Deventer, building on the November 2018 meeting organised by the Autism Knowledge Network in Overijssel [‘Autisme Kennisnetwerk Overijssel‘] and titled Autism and Youth Not Attending School [Autisme & Thuiszitter]. 
    • 2019 February 15: A news item indicating that Minister Slob (Minister for Primary and Secondary Education and Media) is disappointed with the number of young people absent from school for an extended time. In response, each region will have a director who determines how best to deal with this, on a case-by-case basis. 
    • 2019 February 15: Letter to the Chairperson of the House of Representatives, titled State of Affairs regarding School Absenteeism [Stand van zaken thuiszitters], signed by the the Minister for Primary and Secondary Education and Media, the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, and the Minister for Legal Protection. 
    • 2019 February 6: The ‘National Expertise Team for School Refusal’ [Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering] hosted its quarterly meeting, this time focusing on ‘Tier 2 Interventions for School Refusal’ with presentations by two organizations in the Netherlands (OZAPP and LANS).


    • 2018 December 17: The team from the MOVING project prepared a newsletter with updates on their work. MOVING is a project evaluating the effectiveness of a program that helps schools guide youth with autism spectrum traits through the transition from primary school to secondary school. 
    • 2018 November 30: “The Congress” (HÉT CONGRES) is a national education congress organized by LECSO, the SBO work association, and The Education Specialists. The central focus is on education for students who need extra care and attention.
    • 2018 November 23: The Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science and The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport released a letter describing the measures that will be taken to ensure that health and education work together in the interests of youth in need. One of the measures related to school attendance is Measure 6: An ‘activator’ will be used to improve the connection between the action groups for youth not at school, and the regional expert teams [“Maatregel 6: Een aanjager verbetert de aansluiting van de actietafels voor thuiszitters en de regionale expertteams”]. Another measure related to school attendance is Measure 9: Adjusting the Compulsory Education Act to include educational perspective in exemptions from education [“Maatregel 9: Aanpassen Leerplichtwet om onderwijskundig perspectief te betrekken bij vrijstellingen van onderwijs”]. 
    • 2018 November 7: The Autism Knowledge Network in Overijssel [Autisme Kennisnetwerk Overijssel] organised a special meeting with the theme: Autism and Youth Not Attending School [Autisme & Thuiszitters]. There was great interest, with 400 participants. 
    • 2018 September 21: The National Expertise Team for School Refusal [Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering] hosted a symposium. Visitors from Australia (University of Melbourne and the Royal Children’s Hospital) shared their work on the In2School program, a wrap-around model of care for youth displaying school refusal. A report of this meeting is available.    
    • 2018 June 28: The ‘School Absenteeism Congress’ [Thuiszitterscongres] was held in Bussum. Multiple organisations in the Netherlands that are working with youth with school attendance programs presented their approach.
    • 2018 June 4: The ‘School Absenteeism Event’ [Thuiszitterstop] was organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The event focused on what is needed in the near future to prevent school absenteeism and reduce the number of youth who are currently not attending school. 
    • 2018 June: The National Action Week for School Absenteeism [Landelijke Actieweek Thuiszitters]. This was a week full of activities organized by ‘Steunpunt Passend Onderwijs’ of the Secondary Schools Council and Primary Schools Council, together with the Secondary Vocational Education and Training Council, the Association of Dutch Municipalities, The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, The National Expertise Centre for Special Education, and numerous other organizations. 
    • 2018 March: The city of Leiden was host to the Lorentz Workshop titled: School Absenteeism - Universal Problem Seeks Gold Standard Solutions. Twenty-one academics and clinicians from 11 countries engaged in a week-long workshop with the aim of developing consensus for the international community with respect to the operationalization and classification of school attendance problems. Topics included: major bottlenecks in research and practice; operationalizing absenteeism; registering problematic absenteeism; key issues for classification; best practice in identifying school attendance problems. Click here for the poster
  • Helpful links and other resources


    • 2023: The online magazine PRESENT!?, made by young people, for young people and all professionals in the education field (developed by the JongPIT foundation and the Support Centre for Appropriate Education). With 40 valuable tips. 





    • 2018: A report on programs for school refusal as presented at the National Interest Group for School Refusal [Landelijk KennisTeam Schoolweigering] in September 2018.
    • 2018: Fact Sheet about school refusal, published in December 2018 by the Dutch Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy (VGCT).
    • 2018: An interview in ‘Kind & Adolescent Praktijk’ with David Heyne and Floor Sauter covers topics such as ‘what is school refusal’, ‘how can it be efficiently identified’, and ‘what does treatment involve’. The article is title ‘Afraid of school’ [Bang voor school].
    • 2018: The book ‘SCHOOLbeLEVEN’ (School Life/Experience) by Mariëtte van Hemert and Marianne van Etten contains 10 inspirational stories about youths' life at school. Contact:
    • 2018: ‘U-can-act’ project group prepared a final report: Intervention for early school leaving and young people in a vulnerable position [Aanpak van voortijdig schoolverlaten en jongeren in een kwetsbare positive: eindrapport].
    • 2018: This is Me – Portraits of Youth Not Attending School [Dit ben ik. Portretten van thuiszitters]. It presents the stories of ten teenagers who had been away from school for an extended time. The youth share ‘what went wrong’ and ‘what helped me get back to school’.


    • 2016: Ministerial letter about youth with chronic absenteeism [thuiszitters].
    • 2012: A book titled ‘School anxiety and school refusal in children’ [Schoolangst en schoolweigering bij kinderen] by Bieneke Nienhuis describes how the school, parents, and mental health services can work together to effectively address school refusal.
    • 2010: An article about the prevalence and functions of school attendance problems among youth in primary schools in Rotterdam: Vuijk, P., Heyne, D., & van Efferen-Wiersma, E. (2010). @school project: Prevalentie en functies van problematisch schoolverzuim in het Rotterdamse basisonderwijs [@school project: Prevalence and functions of problematic absenteeism in primary education in Rotterdam]. Kind en Adolescent, 31, 29-40.
    • 2010: A chapter called 'School refusal' [Schoolweigering] by Carla Charree and Brigit van Widenfelt in the book 'Kind & Adolescent', Bohn Stafleu van Loghum, Houten. In: Spraak, taal en leren. Reeks Kinderen en Adolescenten. Problemen en risicosituaties. Bohn Stafleu van Loghum, Houten
    • 2007: An article in ‘Kind & Adolescent Praktijk’ by Carla Scharree describes how parents can be motivated to play a key role in helping their school-refusing child attend school. The article is titled ‘School refusal? Parents get started!’ [Schoolweigering? Ouders aan de slag!]
    • 2004: An article in ‘Systeem Therapie’ by Martin van Geffen and Hub Engelen is titled ‘A systems approach to school refusal’ [Systeembenadering bij schoolweigering]. It describes school refusal, how it differs from other school attendance problems, and the role of family factors and organizations.


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