Pupils with moderate learning difficulties (also known as global learning difficulties) have a general developmental delay. They have difficulties with learning across all areas of the school curriculum. Those with MLD comprise the largest group of pupils with special educational needs in mainstream schools. Many of these learners have a delay of about three years and consequently need a high level of support within the mainstream classroom.
Many pupils with moderate learning difficulties will also be suffering from low levels of self-esteem and motivation. They may become resentful and refuse to attempt new work as they perceive themselves to be likely to fail before they start. It is likely that they will become over-reliant on teaching assistants to help them with tasks and they will need much encouragement and praise to persuade them to attempt new challenges which are within their capability and develop greater independence.