School avoidance – sometimes called school refusal or school phobia – is not uncommon and occurs in as many as 5% of children. These children may outright refuse to attend school or create reasons why they should not go. Many of these children have anxiety-related symptoms over which they have no conscious control. Perhaps they have headaches, stomachaches, hyperventilation, nausea or dizziness.
When school-related anxiety is causing school avoidance, the symptoms may be ways to communicate emotional struggle with issues like: fear of failure; problems with other children (for instance, teasing because they are "fat" or “short”); anxieties over toileting in a public bathroom; or a perceived "meanness" of a teacher.
American Academy of Paediatrics