The inclusion of pupils perceived as having social and emotional behavioural difficulties in mainstream schools: a focus upon learning

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This article focuses upon the relationship between social and emotional behavioural difficulties (SEBD) and learning. It argues that, while inclusion is desirable in principle, it can be highly problematic in practice. Further, it explores the contested nature of the concept of SEBD and the nature of support for pupils categorised as such. The article draws upon a case study which evaluates a group work approach devised by the author to support pupils experiencing SEBD within a mainstream secondary school, within a deprived area. The study (N = 69) established benchmark measures relating to pupil attendance, discipline sanctions, attainment and pupil attitudes and followed the progress of the pupils until one to two years after completion of the intervention. The findings indicate that the intervention did not reduce the differential in performance in National Tests between the Support Group pupils and comparator groups but it did impact positively upon dispositions towards learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-169
Number of pages11
JournalSupport for Learning
Issue number4
Early online date16 Nov 2009
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • inclusion
  • learning dispositions
  • learning
  • social and emotional behavioural difficulties

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