Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties

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  • “Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties” are often abbreviated to “BESD”, “SEBD” or “EBD”. BESD vary in severity and affect students of all abilities.
  • The conduct of students with BESD is a barrier to learning that persists even when the school implements an effective behaviour policy and delivers an appropriate curriculum. Such students may be withdrawn, isolated, aggressive, hyperactive, compulsive, inattentive, challenging or present low motivation, poor self-esteem and immature social skills.

Classroom Strategies

  • Ensure that students know exactly what they have to do, establishing expectations and rules.
  • Post the established rules in a place where students can easily see them.
  • Agree in advance with students what happens when rules are broken and apply these consequences consistently.
  • Praise and/or reward appropriate behaviour whenever it occurs.
  • Ensure that any tactic used to encourage acceptable behaviour is age appropriate and motivating for students.
  • Help students to develop social skills, self-control and self-esteem.
  • Find out from the student’s educational history what is likely to trigger undesirable behaviour.
  • Keep a record of what encourages appropriate behaviour in individual cases and share your findings with colleagues.
  • Establish procedures for students requiring “time-out” to regain composure.
  • Maintain, as far as is practicable, a structured routine during lessons.
  • Use ICT to reinforce and develop appropriate behaviour, good work habits, social interaction and intellectual skills.
  • Let parents know when their children’s behaviour exceeds expectations, not just when their conduct is inappropriate.

Further Reading

Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties Association