Managing challenging behaviour

Managing challenging behaviour is a never ending task with which most people could use extra assistance and advice. That’s why we have a range of support available.

As professional practitioners, it’s necessary for us all to foster a respectful relationship between staff, children/young people/adults at risk and parents. But that’s not always as easy as it sounds! Even the best children/young people for whom we’re responsible can present us with challenging behaviour from time to time.

What is challenging behaviour?

Behaviour that presents a barrier to learning – their own learning or the rest of the group’s. The following short guidance notes apply to all age groups.

Best practice to prevent challenging behaviour

The heart of effective behaviour management is:

  • staff develop positive relationships with children/young people/adults at risk;
  • staff create a regime that has a positive ethos;
  • staff create a learning environment that is interesting and consistent in its expectations; and
  • staff are aspirational in their expectations for children/young people and their outcomes.

This allows you to connect to the children/young people/adults at risk, forming a strong foundation from which behavioural change can take place.

Positive approach

By being positive, optimistic and aspirational you will affect and change the outlook of the children/young people/adults at risk in an empathetic and forward-looking manner. All staff should lead by example and embody the behaviour you want their children/young people/adults at risk to display. All staff should have played a role in the development of the nursery, school, college or educational setting’s policy.

When correcting behaviour, it’s important to focus on positive rather than negative statements, guiding them towards positive outcomes rather than highlighting their mistakes.

Positive talk:

‘Craig, I‘d like you to look at the board. Thank you’

Negative talk:

‘Craig, stop chatting and look at the board.‘

Positive handling responses

Make sure you R.E.A.D. the situation:

Recognise – Evaluate – Assess – Decide

Ensure you keep a C.A.L.M. atmosphere:

Communication – stance, posture, gesture, facial expression, intonation and scripts.

Awareness and assessment – reading behaviour and anticipating what might happen next.

Listening and learning – allow pauses to take up time; give them a way out.

Making safe – objects, space, hotspots and safety responses.


We unfortunatly have no course scheduled at this time, but we hope to announce further dates soon.