After severe head injury, many children continue to experience major cognitive and behavioural problems and consequent educational difficulties, even after good physical recovery. Forty three children referred to the regional multidisciplinary head injury rehabilitation team are described. The clinical outcome at a median interval of 13 months after injury showed that 18 (42%) had persistent neurological impairment and 15 (35%) had an identified need for special educational support. Thirty seven children were further assessed for psychiatric morbidity, cognitive impairment, and classroom performance. Rutter behavioural questionnaires were sent to parents and teachers of head injured index cases and classmate controls matched for age and sex. Index parents scored their children significantly worse in both 'health' and 'habits' and more cases than controls had scores suggesting a psychiatric disorder. Teachers scored index cases significantly worse for five of the traits questioned, but discriminated cases from controls less decisively than parents. Index cases were significantly disadvantaged on teachers' assessments of classroom skills and performance. A need for improved support and training of staff who teach head injured children was identified.
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