Truants on truancy - A badness or a valuable indicator of unmet special educational needs

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


Neil Southwell states that he was, himself, a persistent truant from school. He returned to education as a mature student via an access course and he now lectures in education studies at the University of Northampton. He is currently researching into truancy, its causes and its management and brings to his work an unusual but highly illuminating 'truantist perspective'. In this article, Neil Southwell reviews the literature on truancy and reveals a complex and contradictory picture. Policy and practice to date have, however, tended to be united in locating responsibility for truancy with truants and their families. Drawing on his own experience and his research into the perspectives of truants, Neil Southwell makes a case for a radically different approach. He argues that truancy can be seen as a key indicator of unmet educational needs and that the issue of truancy will not be addressed effectively until policy makers, practitioners and researchers learn to listen to the voices of truants themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Journal of Special Education
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

Publication series

NameBritish Journal of Special Education


  • Policy
  • Pupil perspectives
  • Special educational needs
  • Truancy


Dive into the research topics of 'Truants on truancy - A badness or a valuable indicator of unmet special educational needs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this