This study aims to assess the impact of systematic academic instruction on academic progress and behavioural problems of students with emotional and/or behavioural disorders (EBD) in special education. Earlier studies have noted the importance of a systematic approach as well as the significance of focusing on academic instruction instead of on behaviour. On the basis of these studies, it was hypothesised that the amount of teachers’ systematic academic instruction positively influences the academic progress of students with EBD as well as their behaviour. The amount of systematic academic instruction by teachers in daily teaching (N = 88) and the behaviour and academic progress of a sample of their students (N = 234) were measured and analysed by means of multilevel analyses. The results show a significant relationship between systematic academic instruction and academic outcomes. However, academic outcomes taking into account previous academic performance and behavioural outcomes could not be related to systematic academic instruction. Implications for research on the daily practice of special education are discussed.