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My child has behaviour difficulties

Guidance for parents and carers about help in school.


Schools have a responsibility to make provision for pupils with special educational needs (SEN).

We provide funding through normal school budgets to help schools to support pupils with special educational needs. In Derbyshire we have produced The Derbyshire Descriptors of Special Educational Needs (SEN) Provision.

The descriptors offer guidance and advice to primary and secondary schools about the level and type of support they should provide for pupils with additional needs. They are used by us to monitor provision for pupils with SEN without a statement.

They outline how schools should:

  • assess, plan and review provision
  • arrange teaching groups
  • adjust the curriculum and teaching methods
  • provide resources, such as access to additional support from a teaching assistant for up to 3 hours per week

Identifying problems

Your child may:

  • find it hard to concentrate
  • get frustrated by classroom tasks and routines
  • underachieve because of poor work habits and avoidance tactics
  • be uncooperative, get into trouble and resist adult direction
  • have difficulty recognising that their behaviour is inappropriate
  • have difficulty controlling their temper and feel that school rules and disciplinary arrangements are unfair
  • have difficulty making and keeping friends
  • want their own way and be unable to share and take turns
  • have difficulty seeing things from someone else’s point of view
  • show lack of respect for school or other people’s property
  • have a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • suffer from mood swings
  • be over anxious
  • Suffer from low self esteem

Support from school

Schools can help promote positive behaviour by:

  • finding out what situations your child finds difficult
  • recording examples of good and bad behaviour
  • setting targets to help your child’s behaviour to improve
  • setting firm boundaries and arrange sanctions and rewards
  • reinforcing positive behaviour
  • explaining to your child in simple consistent language what she or he is required to do
  • providing some additional supervision at times when behaviour or anxiety causes concern
  • taking advice about your child from relevant professionals who visit the school
  • arranging some small group support with a teaching assistant such as positive play and support, nurture group, anger management
  • supporting your child’s self esteem by ensuring that they are aware of what they are good at
  • working with you so that you feel involved and can use similar approaches at home

Other help available

Schools have access to a range of professionals who advise on arrangements for supporting pupils with behaviour difficulties. These include:

If your child has other difficulties as well as with behaviour, all schools have access to county services which can offer support and advice for pupils with:

Your GP can advise on child and adolescent mental health services and voluntary services such as Barnardo's.

You or your child’s teacher (with your permission) can ask a speech and language therapist to see your child. Your GP can make a referral for physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Contact us

  • Buxton office, tel: 01629 533535
  • Chesterfield office, tel: 01246 204851
  • Denby office, tel: 01629 533815
  • County Hall, tel: 01629 536850

The full version of the SEN descriptors is available in every school.

If you require this and other local inclusion officer service leaflets in large print or another format, please contact the head of local inclusion officer.