Government education tsar Charlie Taylor believes many 'troublesome' pupils are "acting out rather than acting up" due to having problems at home or special needs.

Official Department for Education figures released last week showed children with special educational needs are nine times more likely to be expelled from school, and Taylor wants to see schools do more to tackle the root causes of problems.

Mr Taylor told a Commons education committee that there was a "rising group of, quite young children who show very extreme behaviour, very difficult and challenging behaviour".

"This group need more help and extra interventions within school because sometimes the basic standards of just a really well-run school aren't enough."

His concerns have been echoed by children's charity Barnado's, whose chief executive Anne Marie Carrie suggested that while teachers already had a tough job, they needed to do more to look beyond the behaviour of pupils in class.

"The most 'out of control' children may be the most vulnerable children facing horrendous problems at home," she said.

"Pupils may also have undiagnosed special needs, and the earlier these are identified, the better chance they have to reach their full potential.We believe that education and a stable home are vital if children are to have a chance at overcoming disadvantage."

The government has pledged more to invest more in support for SENCO (special educational needs co-ordinators) and in extra behaviour management training for newly qualified teachers.

Posted 02/08/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com