Policy and Provision for Children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties in Scotland

Intersections of gender and deprivation

Authored by: Sheila Riddell , Gillean McCluskey

The Routledge International Companion to Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415584630
eBook ISBN: 9780203117378
Adobe ISBN: 9781136303111


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This chapter focuses on the connections between gender, social deprivation and social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) in Scotland, making comparisons with England and other European countries where appropriate. Having sketched the broad Scottish policy context, the chapter discusses the category of SEBD, as well as other labels, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mental health difficulties and pupil at risk of exclusion, which are applied to children who are regarded as both troubled and troubling. Subsequently, we analyse the social characteristics of pupils who are categorised as having SEBD, focusing on both gender and social deprivation, since there are very strong intersections between these variables. The chapter then examines provision for children with SEBD in Scottish schools with regard to their placement and the types of support they receive. The intended and unintended consequences of current and recent approaches to behaviour management, such as nurture groups and alternative curricula, are discussed. It is argued that even though behavioural difficulties are socially patterned rather than randomly occurring, behaviour support interventions rarely acknowledge the salience of gender and social deprivation. Whilst interventions often have benign intentions, they may act as covert means of marginalising and ‘responsibilising’ vulnerable young people. The chapter will consider these concerns as they arise in mainstream schools and special education/alternative provision for children and young people with SEBD.

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