Ange McMillan: Reducing Emotionally Based School Avoidance

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This online workshop runs 10am – 4pm.  

Join us for this brilliant day with the wonderful Ange McMillan, who will be exploring ways to best support and understand children and young people who struggle with school attendance, a prevalent presenting issue currently that has been all the more heightened by the pandemic.

Content Summary: 

We all know how tough the last few years have been for the young people in our care.

In and out of school, having to wear masks, change in routines, fears of catching Covid and the impact on loved ones.

Going to school has become more of a struggle, and when they are there the people and the environment can feel unwelcoming and unsafe.

Missed lessons, missed days and, for many, missed weeks or even months are not only negatively impacting their mental health but making it more difficult for them to even think about returning to a school routine. Many are still struggling.

In fact, the number of young people failing to attend school has increased from 10.8% in 2018/19 to 12.1% and is still on the rise. It’s an issue that we need to tackle, but not through fines and blanket punishments. Instead, through working with young people to understand the issues they face and how we can support them to succeed in education.

In this one day training accredited counsellor and anxiety expert Ange McMillan will explore with you:
  • What emotionally based school avoidance is
  • Risk factors and causes of school based anxiety
  • The impact of separation anxiety
  • Understanding anxiety responses
  • Therapeutic approaches to reduce anxiety including ways to assess
  • Using a community based approach; working with groups

This practical and creative session is based on research from recent projects that saw a significant increase in young people who had been out of school for a year beginning to return to education.

This session is suitable for therapists, educators and anyone with a young person in their life who is struggling to attend. You might like to have some creative tools to hand – pens, paper, clay, scissors, pastels, paints – anything you might wish to use to express yourself when invited (you won’t be pressured to share with the group – this is just an alternative way for you to explore the subject area on the day).

CPD Access Pass

This workshop counts as 6 CPD hours as part of the CPD Access Pass 12 hour allowance. The Access Pass is a key part of The Sunflower Network’s commitment to providing affordable and accessible high quality CPD to our peers, and can be bought by individuals who have joined our free Sunflower Hub multi-disciplinary resource.

About Ange: 

Ange has her own organisation Elemental Health, which she set up in 2015 after running counselling services for young people in schools and sixth forms.​ She has her my own lived experiences of systemic trauma, leaving home as a young teenager and experiencing anxiety herself for many years.

She realised with many young people, there was a lack of knowledge about what might be happening physically, emotionally and in their connections to others, so began to teach PHSE sessions on emotional literacy to year 9’s. Ange’s aim was simple; to help young people help each other and in doing so help themselves.

Ange then went on to train as a Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid and began to write and develop her own training programmes for the adults in young people’s lives. She believes that with the understanding and support of calm, regulated and connected adults it becomes easier for every young person to thrive.

Ange’s training is trauma sensitive and focused on creating an inclusive space for all. She has delivered workshops, training, therapy and coaching to thousands of people across the world using evidence based strategies proven to work. She is also an NLP coach for parents and carers of anxious children and offer counselling sessions to help teenagers overcome anxiety.


The ticket price includes any handouts the trainer may wish to share with you which will be sent out AFTER the event has taken place – and a CPD certificate.


It is a requirement that all participants adhere to ethical conduct in the context of events including:

  • Respect for Sunflower staff, trainers and other attendees
  • Adherence to policies and procedures
  • Maintaining confidentiality and privacy
  • Sensitivity to complex issues being discussed

Anyone in breach of these threshold requirements may be removed from an event and could be unable to attend further events in the future. This is to safeguard the staff and participants as well as to enable quality assurance for the safety and wellbeing of all attendees.

In booking an event these criteria are agreed to in principle and committed to in practice.


Therapeutic trainings can work with complex and emotive topics that may be deeply personal for some delegates, depending on their lived experience. There will be breaks included on the day and one to one support will be available if needed, but please do reflect on whether you feel able to attend.  Your safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance.


Please note – The Sunflower Network does not record events for purchase or view at a later date. All our events are ‘as live’. This is to safeguard the nurturing and contained environment we create online in order to maintain our culture of safe, private and supported interactivity and sharing.


On behalf of the trainers we work with, we do not allow content shared during our CPD events to be replicated or used in any way without due credit to the copyright owner. Doing so without previous consent may result in exclusion from further Sunflower events.


It is possible to arrange payments for tickets to our events in instalments on the condition that the full balance has been received no later than two weeks before the chosen event takes place. We also offer discounts for groups / teams of 3+, discounts for individuals booking multiple events, and to arrange invoices for your place of work to way for you (advance payment required).  To discuss or arrange any of these ways to pay, please email [email protected]


All bookings to be paid in full except where private arrangements have been made to pay in instalments and agreed by us. Tickets &/ or any instalment payments are non-refundable once payment has been made. You can re-sell or transfer your ticket to another attendee up to 24 hours before the event opens – as long as we have notice in writing with their name. On request The Sunflower Network Ltd. may be able to help advertise and/or facilitate any re-sales but this will incur an admin fee of £15.00 to cover our costs including subsequent charges we receive from the ticket providers. Please note The Sunflower Network Ltd. cannot ever guarantee a successful re-sale and responsibility for finding a new purchaser remains with the original ticket holder at all times. No transfer or refund will be considered for a ‘no show’ on the day of the event for whatever reason.

If you are booking a ticket as part of a discount offer, only ONE discount can be applied to a ticket at any one time.

The Sunflower Network Ltd. reserves the right to make changes to the booking terms and conditions, the timetable, content and/or any events at any time due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event of cancellation by us and if we cannot offer an alternative date, we will refund the cost of the ticket price for the event in full. We will not be responsible for any further cost incurred by you in relation to your booking.


22 April 2023