What is the single most important factor when it comes to supporting pupils and students with ADHD?

There have been many takes on this question and one of the most common responses across the years has been that the school should work with parents to ensure that the young person in question takes the behaviour modification drugs prescribed.

Only when this is done, it is argued, can the individual modify her or his behaviour enough to be able to settle into mainstream education.

However recent research has cast doubt on this approach. Indeed research from the University of Exeter Medical School has found that the greatest progress of all occurs where the school undertakes three actions related to the pupils and students.

First, this most effective approach needs to include ensuring that all colleagues throughout the school understand ADHD and support the approach being used to help the pupil or student.

Second the approach must be undertaken with the wishes of parent. If  the parent is very keen on constant medication, then this alternative approach will simply cause difficulty.

Third the approach needs to be talked through regularly with the pupil or student.  This is not just a case of a single session where what is happening is explained.  Rather opportunity needs to be found to return to the topic and the approaches used on regular occasions, helping the pupil or student reflect upon the progress being made.

But what is particularly interesting is that although this approach was designed as a way of working with students and pupils who are not taking medication it now turns out that these three fundamentals are just as important when working with those who are taking medication to modify their behaviour.

Where these three factors are all in place then, whether it is with or without medication, better progress and exam results can be expected.

It is to help with the multiplicity of such issues that relate to ADHD that we have produced “Helping ADHD pupils and students through school”.

It is a book which is available as a download, which means that you can then take any of the short articles that appear in the book and make them available for colleagues without any further charges for reproducing the information.

To see sample pages please click here

ISBN:  978 1 86083 855 2   Order code: T1789 – please quote with order.

You can purchase the download copy of the volume for £14.95 including VAT

  • On the phone with a school order number at 01604 880 927
  • By email to sales@schools.co.uk with a school order number
  • With a credit card via PayPal at our on-line shop

Anxiety is the leading cause of lower than expected grades and exam results.  So what can be done?

Because “anxiety” is such an everyday term, it can be easy to forget what it actually means.  And that can be a shame, because for some students anxiety means they never achieve the results in school that could and indeed should be theirs.

At its simplest anxiety is a worry about a future event. The worry does not have to be realistic to affect behaviour, and sadly simply telling a person there is nothing to worry about or “you’ll be fine” often does not help at all.

Indeed such comments can make matters worse for an anxious student, because to the teenager the anxiety is completely real, as real as any pain following any injury, but quite often far more debilitating. That it is irrational, only makes it worse.

And here we see the problem that we as teachers face.  If we have not suffered from anxiety it is hard to appreciate how debilitating it is and how difficult it is to overcome.

Worry about the future is built in to all of us; indeed it helps stop us taking too many risks.  Anxiety, however, is worry that is out of control and unrealistic.  A desperate concern about what will happen in specific situations which has nothing to do with what actually happens.

Indeed no matter how many times the individual faces that worry and comes through it satisfactorily, the anxiety can be just as strong next time.

Worse, after a while each anxiety episode builds up, so in the end it is always there in the background or foreground, never allowing the student to relax or escape.

Fortunately one short-term intervention programme with students who suffer in this way can result in a wholly different outcome.  One in which anxiety is reduced to more normal levels.

Such a change can be achieved through a short period of intervention with a small group of secondary school students – and the big bonus is that there is external funding available for this type of intervention so that there is no cost at all to the school.

If you feel that you have some students in your school who are not reaching their full potential because of anxiety or related issues, and you would like to make use of external funding to help these students, I would ask you to get in touch.

We have already worked with numerous schools across the country and now have additional time and funding available to come to your school and work with the students you nominate. There are more details of our work with pupils with anxiety at on the Anxiety section of our website.

If you would like to discuss the options without any obligation please do call 0345 3192 666 or 0203 6677 294 or email gemma@NLP4Kids.org