chapter  4
16 Pages

Breaking the policy log-jam: comparative perspectives on policy formulation and development for pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties

An emphasis on behaviour problems: some implications It is now over four years since two landmark articles (Bowers (1996), 'Putting back the "E" in EBDs' and Maras (1996), 'Whose Are The "Es" in EBDs?') alerted policy makers to the danger of forgetting the emotional needs and problems of pupils. In these two articles a number of important issues concerning current conceptualisations and practices for pupils who experience Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (EBDs) were addressed by the authors. In particular they identified two points that have considerable significance for this paper. First, they pointed out how official policy overemphasised issues of the control and management of behaviour as reflected in the surfeit of advice and guidance that was forthcoming at the time (see, for example, DfEE, 1994a, b). Second, they highlighted a worrying trend regarding the attitudes of mainstream teachers to pupils' emotional problems suggesting that such problems were regarded as less problematic and warranted less attention than behavioural difficulties.