PwC Middle East launches guide for policymakers to improve learning for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties


Dubai, UAE - 11 December 2017: Globally, one of the challenges facing policy makers is providing education to students who cannot access mainstream provision, or to those who need additional support to do so.

For children and adolescents up to age 18, mental health disorders are estimated to be at a worldwide prevalence of 13.4%, of which a significant proportion will fall in the category of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD). These difficulties present barriers to learning, threatening the progression and wellbeing of children.

PwC Middle East, in partnership with the Institute of Education at The University College London (UCL), published their report titledA guide for policy makers: Improving learning for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD)”. The report intends to support policy makers set an approach to improve student outcomes through removing barriers and improving learning for children with SEBD.

The report draws on a growing evidence base in this area to recommend the key elements of a whole system approach for effective provision for students with SEBD. We identify these key elements as:

  • A clear national policy framework
  • Multi-tier framework underpinning planning and provision
  • Multi-method, multi-source, multi-setting assessment process with evidenced assessment tools
  • Graduated provision with a preference for maximum inclusion
  • Interagency engagement and cooperation

Sally Jeffery, PwC Global Education Leader and Partner at PwC Middle East, said:

“The primary objective of any strategy should be to improve student outcomes through removing barriers to learning and improving students’ social, emotional and behavioural learning and wellbeing. This starts with a clear policy framework that cascades national policies down to the school level, ensuring that they are translated into practical and standardised approaches for improving learning.”

She added:

“Any policy is only as good as its implementation and compliance arrangements, which are essential both to support implementation and to inform policy reviews and updates.”

Rami Nazer, PwC Middle East Government & Public Sector Leader, said:

“We have a growing network of experts within the Middle East who have a detailed understanding of the challenges of promoting inclusion of special education within developing regions,”

“At PwC and through our specialised experience in education, we are able to draw on our extensive global network of subject matter experts who have deep operational and policy-making experience in the field of special education. This network includes leading institutions around the world, such as the UCL Institute of Education, which allows us to use academic rigour to identify the most effective practices and evidenced solutions to improve learning. This combination of in-house capabilities, coupled with our network of regional and international experts, uniquely positions us to provide impactful, evidenced solutions designed to improve provision for students with Special Educational Needs.”

The focus the Middle East region is placing on human capital and maximising the potential of its citizens, supports improvements being made to education here. Whilst there are some individual examples of good practice there is more to do in identifying and providing effective pathways to inclusive and effective provision for this particular group. This report, and the support PwC and its partners can provide, when combined with the energy and commitment of the education community here could help the region set the standard for world class provision.

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Established in the Middle East for 40 years, PwC has 23 offices across 12 countries in the region with around 4,200 people. (

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Jade Hopkins
Middle East Marketing & Communications Leader, PwC Middle East
Tel: +971 4 304 3945

Rasha Adi
Middle East PR Lead, PwC Middle East

Dana Safawi
PR and Social Media, PwC Middle East

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