Assessing your child’s social, emotional and play development

“The Curtis Scale”

As a professional, I have worked with a huge number of children over the years and many of them have struggled with their emotions or social skills, maybe they are insecure or anxious, are struggling with their behaviour and their parents and teachers want to know how they can help.

As I researched the theories related to how children develop socially and emotionally it occurred to me that there wasn’t an assessment tool that people could use to identify the gaps that some children have in their personal growth.

The theories of Bowlby, Parten, Erikson, Boxall and Holmes were all researched as part of this development.  I was particularly interested in how these looked when viewed chronologically, so spent two years researching the different theories, identifying each of the stages and coming up with questions to assess them.

The result was the Social, Emotional and Play Development Scale (the SEPD Scale), which I tested and then released in 2015.  After its release and through talking to colleagues in school who were using it, it transpired that they were referring to it as ‘The Curtis Scale’ and so it was renamed.

The Curtis Scale is now being used in homes, primary and secondary schools, plus colleges in the UK and beyond.

How to use it

Download the appropriate questionnaire and complete, this should take no more than 15-30 seconds per question and if completed correctly takes about ten minutes to complete.

Download the appropriate scoring sheet and shade in the scores from the questions, using the Step reference to guide you.


The Curtis Scale is listed chronologically, this means that gaps at the top are of higher priority (as they are the building blocks for the later social and emotional skills) and need to be addressed first.  Most children normally score 6, 7 or 8 in each Step.



The Curtis Scale on paper is free for parents and non-commercial educational establishments around the world to use.  Licences are available for professional bodies, organisations and individuals, please contact

Download the Curtis Scale

To download the Curtis Scale, please complete the form below.