The role of a Behaviour Support Worker

Behaviour Support Worker - Who are they and what do they do?

Behaviour Support Workers, or BSWs as they are usually known, play a crucial role is supporting young learners in Pupil Referral Units and mainstream settings. The majority of their time is spent working one to one with a student. Building a supportive relationship is the key to success for both student and BSW. 

Students that require support from a BSW often display challenging behaviours so the role requires people with a thick skin where insults are not taken personally and every day is seen as a new day.


The pay for a BSW varies depending on experience but typically £70 per day.

Behaviour Support Worker Duties

General duties may include:

  • Encouraging assigned pupils with Behaviour, Emotional and Social needs to participate and actively engage in activities led by teachers
  • Delivering and monitoring short term interventions on behalf of disengaged and disaffected learners
  • Supporting pupils with the process of improving their behaviour and where necessary reintegration
  • Implementing, as required, social skills programmes, anger management programmes, individual behaviour programmes on a one to one basis or small group basis as directed by the Class Teacher
  • Guiding and supporting assigned pupils in achieving their personalised behavioural and learning targets

Skills and Knowledge

The following are desirable:

  • Ability to help pupils manage their own behaviour
  • Build positive relationships
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to achieve their very best
  • Confidently give clear boundaries
  • Praise and encourage
  • See pupils as the individual that they are
  • Communicate with pupils and teachers
  • Offer emotional support
  • Make a difference

What qualifications do I need to become a Behaviour Support Worker?

There are no formal qualifications required to be a Behaviour Support Worker, however, tolerance and patience are a must. Many settings request BSWs hold a current ‘Team Teach’ certificate equipping them with a range of skills to de-escalate situations swiftly and efficiently and when restraint is necessary this can be done is a safe and dignified manner. A vast number of successful BSWs have experience of working in the care community.

What else do I need to know?

This is a varied role where no two days are the same – perfect for anyone who adapts to change with a good sense of humour and positive outlook. You will need to be professional yet understanding with an ability to defuse situations with calm and assertiveness.

We offer full training and ongoing support.


Call our SEND Specialists; Olivia & Kerry on 0113 390 1009 or email us at

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