Positive Behaviour for Learning


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) is a whole-school framework that promotes positive behaviour across a school and helps schools develop safe and supportive learning environments.

Schools which implement the PBL framework make sure all students are explicitly taught the expected behaviours and establish clear and consistent boundaries. Staff take a proactive, preventative approach to ensure all students receive the appropriate level of support to help them to be successful at school. Student outcomes are monitored so identified students can receive additional support when needed, and a minority of students can access intensive support to enable them to engage successfully at school.

PBL State Regi​ster

A verification process to recognise schools meeting PBL baseline implementation standards is conducted annually. Evidence is clear that PBL must be implemented with fidelity in order for students and staff to benefit. Verification seeks to improve the quality of the implementation process and to ensure the achievement of desired outcomes reported in research, such as improved safety, student engagement and staff satisfaction.

Schools meeting baseline PBL implementation standards receive ongoing professional development and support from a Principal Advisor PBL (PA-PBL) and are listed on the PBL State Register. Schools undertaking initial PBL training will be listed on the register in the year following training.

The PBL verification process supports schools to successfully implement PBL long term by evaluating the following key implementation components:

School prio​​rity

This relates to the extent to which school leadership and staff prioritise PBL implementation. This includes PBL being part of the school improvement plan and ensuring that the PBL framework is used to align and integrate initiatives.

Team use o​f data

Effective use of data for decision-making and action planning underpins school improvement. The PBL team ensures that accurate data is recorded, summarised and analysed in order to target support and interventions. Data is also shared with staff and the community on a regular basis.

Region​al support

PBL progress and outcomes should form part of regular discussions with principal supervisors and regional services. Support for PBL implementation is available from regional PAs-PBL.

Capacity buildi​ng

Building staff capability in implementation of positive behaviour support is an ongoing process. Coach network meetings are important professional learning opportunities for internal PBL coaches and team leaders. Regions also develop a PBL professional development calendar covering all aspects of PBL implementation. School PBL teams should schedule annual PBL induction or refresher PD and take up opportunities to network with other schools to share best practice.

More information

PBL and student wellbeing
Trauma-informed practices

The PBL framework supports schools to become trauma-informed by increasing awareness of the effects of trauma on students’ learning, wellbeing and behaviour, including attendance, engagement, relationships with others, academic achievement and behaviour. This awareness includes being mindful of avoiding re-traumatisation and looking beyond the immediate or ‘surface’ behaviours.

Schools using a trauma-informed approach provide universal support to all students and are sensitive to individual needs, addressing student needs holistically and working in partnership with caregivers and agencies to provide evidence-based interventions for students who are experiencing difficulties associated with complex trauma.

PBL helps schools to develop safe, positive, consistent and predictable environments, which are foundational to a trauma-informed approach. Challenges in relation to behaviour, mental health, academic success and social issues are best addressed using an integrated approach focused on the whole child.

Research shows that many students have experienced or are still experiencing early trauma. The high prevalence of trauma underlines the importance of a whole-school approach, which assumes that all students will benefit from support, taking into consideration emotional, academic and behavioural responses. In addition, an awareness amongst all staff of the prevalence and effects of trauma, and the importance of a positive school environment, is the foundation for effective trauma-informed support.

Fact sheet: PBL and trauma-informed practices​

PBL and restorative practices
PBL and bullying prevention

Last updated 15 February 2023