Teaching Troubled Children

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Responding to the Challenge of Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties


The lessons arising from research on resilience and risk factors suggest that we need to focus more on building strengths and competence. This course will equip you with the skills to foster a culture of competence in your school and classroom; you will learn how to develop effective systems for identifying at-risk students, and provide high intensity supports for high intensity problems.

About the course

This course is designed to meet what is perhaps the greatest challenge in our increasingly inclusive schools: serving the needs of students with social, emotional, and behavioural problems. Between 10-15% of pupils in any school will either present with significant emotional and behavioural difficulties or be at risk of such problems, including aggression, anxiety, self-harm and substance abuse. Troubled behaviour is often a child’s way of communicating distress and, in these cases, the right kind of response can make all the difference.Suitable for teachers and other professionals working in a wide range of settings, this comprehensive course will give you an in-depth understanding of the diverse needs of these vulnerable students, the origins of emotional and behavioural problems, the implications for learning and behaviour, and a wealth of effective support strategies and interventions. You will gain a thorough knowledge of models of best practice for positive behaviour support with individuals, at the level of the classroom and the whole- school. Using the lens of resilience and a strengths-based approach, this course will equip you to foster competence and enhance behaviour, learning and wellbeing.

Who is this course aimed at?

This course is designed for teachers, SNAs and allied professionals working with children and young people in a wide range of settings.

Approved by the Department of Education

This course is approved by the Department of Education.Three EPV days will be allowed for primary school teachers who take the course during the summer term. Please note this provision applies only to the summer term as per Department guidelines.

This course has four terms each year, Spring, May/June, Summer & Autumn.

Supporting the educational progress and meeting the needs of students with emotional and behavioural problems may seem like a daunting challenge. But knowing what strategies work and how to implement them can help shift the balance between the risk and the protective factors that shape a child’s ability to thrive. Disruption in the classroom can take many forms and each one requires separate strategies and skills. This course offers you the latest evidence-based measures; it offers a framework for promoting positive behaviour for learning while also preventing and reducing distress and disruption, at the level of the school, classroom, and individual student.

It will give you an understanding of the causal factors in the development of emotional and behavioural problems, and the learning and behavioural implications of such difficulties. Among the topics covered are the relevant legislative and policy framework; early intervention; promoting resilience and reducing risk; school wide positive behaviour support; strategies for building emotional literacy and pathways to increasing academic success; and individual and group interventions for students with social, emotional or behavioural difficulties. Staff support issues and approaches for reducing teacher stress are also addressed. Ultimately this course will equip you to support students’ learning, behaviour and wellbeing and create safer, more effective schools.


  • Identify causal factors in emotional and behavioural problems, while assessing the learning implications of such difficulties.
  • Learn how to develop Individualised Education Plans (IEPs) for your students
  • Develop individual, classroom and whole-school practices to support vulnerable students, and promote positive behaviour for learning.
  • Learn how to build emotional literacy and pathways to increase academic success.
  • Explore staff support issues and learn how to manage stress levels among teachers.
  • Enjoy rich opportunities for collaboration with our online network of learners and tutors.
  • Save printable course materials and resources for future reference.

Interactive Learning Assignments accompany each module. Each student is also required to complete a Reflective Assignment as well as a CPD record.

On completion, you will receive a Certificate of Continuing Professional Development and a Learning Log of your work, which can be included in your CPD portfolio.

All our tutors are experts in the area of positive behaviour support and social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. They will provide you with one-to-one guidance as you complete your studies online.

Technical support is provided by our dedicated team of qualified learning technologists, who are available to assist you by telephone or email.



4 July - 26 August 2022


18th August 2022

Summer Term
4th July to 26th August 2022

20 hours of self paced study any time during the term

Certificate of CPD ** Summer term fully approved for EPV days for Primary Teachers**