How to adopt a school-wide approach with PBL

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL), previously known in state schools as ​Schoolwide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) is not a program. It is an evidence-based framework schools can use to:

  • analyse and improve their behaviour and learning outcomes
  • ensure that only evidence-based practices are used correctly by teachers to support students
  • continually support staff members to maintain consistent school and classroom improvement practices.

PBL involves three tiers of intervention (see fig. 1 below):

  • Tier 1 interventions at the "whole school" (green zone) level are provided to all students
  • around 15% of students in a typical school have moderate, ongoing problem behaviour and will need additional Tier 2 or "targeted" (yellow zone) level of supports
  • students with the most challenging behaviours, around 5%, may require Tier 3 or "intensive" (red zone) level of supports, involving highly individualised interventions.

The tiers represent levels of intervention. They do not represent students.

 Three-tiered approach to instructional and positive behaviour support
 Detailed description of the diagram (DOC, 34KB)

Interventions must have the educational goal of improving the functioning of students, focused on preparing children and young people to function independently outside of school.

When implemented properly PBL should result in schools:

  • maximising academic achievement: less time is spent on behaviour management and more time is freed up for instruction and engagement
  • decreasing reactive management: waiting for problem behaviour to occur and then reacting to it increases the level of disruption to teaching and learning
  • increasing active prevention: teaching and acknowledging students for appropriate behaviour increases the likelihood they will continue to use it
  • improving classroom climate for all: positively acknowledging appropriate behaviour strengthens teacher-student relationships
  • improving support for students with emotional and behavioural difficulties: in safe and predictable classrooms and schools, these students are less anxious and have fewer reasons for "acting out."
Last updated
07 March 2016