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Reducing challenging behaviour

5 November 2004

Reducing challenging behaviour

More effective and responsive services for parents and teachers of children with severely challenging behaviour are the goals of a three-year initiative announced today by Associate Education Minister Marian Hobbs.

"At a total cost of $2.2 million, the initiative will ensure that the staff who work in special education have the most up-to-date training and support in providing specialist behaviour programmes," Marian Hobbs said.

"Early childhood education services and schools are reporting that they are struggling with more children and young people with increasingly challenging behaviour. Before increasing the services available, the government needs to ensure that current services are as effective as possible."

There will be a strong emphasis on identifying children at risk of developing challenging behaviour as early as possible to reduce the prevalence and severity of later problems.

At the same time, the focus will be on helping parents and teachers to better manage home, classroom and school environments to reduce the incidence of challenging behaviour in older children. Research shows that the most effective responses involve teachers, parents and children's peers working together to bring about more desirable behaviour.

This work will therefore need strong input from teachers, principals, families, and agencies and groups who provide support to families. The Ministry of Education's special education group is the largest provider of specialist behaviour services for children from infancy and through the schooling years.


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