Social participation of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) is a central topic in the current inclusion debate. Numerous studies have shown that the risk of social exclusion is considerably higher for children with SEN compared to their peers without SEN, especially for pupils with behaviour problems (BP) or learning difficulties (LD). Since most of these studies are based on cross-sectional designs, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the direction of the effects. This leads to the question to what extent BP and LD have an impact on pupils’ social position in the class and, vice versa, to what extent the social position has an effect on the development of BP and LD. To address these questions, we analysed sociometric data of 1244 primary school children. È A cross-lagged panel analysis was conducted. The results indicate that BP and LD in 1st grade lead to significantly less social acceptance by peers in 2nd grade but do not predict significantly higher social rejection. A directed influence of LD or BP on a higher social rejection cannot be found. Conversely, neither social acceptance nor social rejection at 1st grade has an influence on the development of BP or LD at grade two.