Supporting a child with Challenging Behaviours

Another of my leaflets that I designed ready for an Ofsted Inspection so that my colleagues had strategies to hand to support a child with a Special Educational Need barrier, and thus enable them fully to achieve
This is about supporting a child with challenging behaviours.

Challenging behaviour means what it says ; it is behaviour which challenges authority.

In schools, the challenge may take the form of breaking the school rules or eing disrespectful or abusive to those in authority or to their peers.

It has been identified that there are two forms of challenging behaviour.  They come from the ‘troubled’ child or from the ‘troublesome’ child.

Troubled children and their problems will have an impact on their ability to learn and how they choose to behave.  These children often feel lonely, confused, sad and angry and act out their anger in the classroom.  With mentoring these children usually turn around and go back to learning.

Then there are the ‘troublesome’ children who create their behaviour by choice.

Some challenging behaviours :-


  • Talking out of turn
  • Shouting out in class
  • Verbally abusing another child
  • Deliberately avoiding work
  • Being late to less
  • Physically abusing another child
  • Walking about the classroom inappropriately
  • Failing to bring in PE kit or other equipment
  • Leaving the classroom without permission
  • Fidgeting or lolling about in class
  • Enterng the class noisily
  • Failing to do homework
  • Making deliberate noises
  • Verbally abusing adults in the class
  • Refusing to work
  • Using a mobile in class
  • Arguing with the teacher or adult


Some strategies that may help ;-
  • Use the ‘rethink’ option.  This will help you to identify the trigger for the unacceptable behaviour and also teach the child the acceptable option to replace the type of behaviour which comes naturally to them when dealing with conflict
  • Be positive and encourage the child. Display their good work whenever possible.
  • Keep the lesson/session pace brisk.  Include different activities. Keep strict time boundaries.
  • Ensure child knows the rules for the room they are in and that these are displayed.
  • Seat child appropriately an away from any distractions.
  • SMILE.  This often helps to deter a situation occuring.


  • Give the child a job. For example ask them to hand out exercise books. This will make them feel more wanted in the class.
  • Encourage the child to stay on task through the use of praise.
  • Avoid sarcasm, humiliation, displays of anger, showing distress, ignoring serious misdemeanours., ignoring bullying.
  • Introduce sanctions earlier rather then later.
  • Instead of saying ‘please’ say ‘thank you’.
  • Introduce a reward system.
  • Care, listen and talk.


Useful Websites
There is a study on here of Young People who present challenging behaviour.

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