This book arises out of research undertaken in three local education authorities between 1989 and 1991 into the assessment of children identified as having emotional and behavioural difficulties (ebd) under the provisions of the 1981 Education Act. The research on which the author was employed as research associate was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (Grant no. R 000 23 1393) and directed by David Galloway and Sally Tomlinson. The support of the Research Council is gratefully acknowledged. I am also especially grateful to David and Sally for allowing me so much freedom to develop my own interests during this research and for the immense support and encouragement they have always given me.
I would particularly like to thank Len Barton, Bob Burgess and Elizabeth Leo for their critical but very helpful comments on draft chapters of this book.
I would also like to thank Suzanne, Jennifer and Robert for their patience and support throughout this project, and my parents without whose faith it would never have been started.
Finally, but not least, I am grateful to the necessarily anonymous children, parents, teachers, psychologists, doctors, social workers and LEA officers who took part in the research.