On 27 October 2022 the Senate referred the inquiry into the national trend of school refusal and related matters to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 22 March 2023. On 9 February 2023, the Senate agreed to extend the committee’s reporting date to 21 June 2023.
The national trend of school refusal or 'School Can't' – as distinct from truancy – that is affecting primary and secondary school aged children, who are unable to attend school regularly or on a consistent basis, with specific reference to:
- the increasing number since the COVID-19 pandemic, of young people and their families who are experiencing school refusal;
- how school refusal is affecting young people and their families and the impacts it is having on the employment and financial security of parents and carers;
- the impacts and demands of the increasing case load on service providers and schools to support these students and their families;
- how relevant state, territory and federal departments are working to monitor and address this growing school refusal challenge; and
- any other related matters.