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Tiers of support

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The Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) framework supports schools to improve social, emotional, behavioural and academic outcomes for students. Schools can use it to:

  • analyse and improve behaviour and learning outcomes
  • select evidence-based practices for student support and intervention
  • provide support to staff members in maintaining consistent and proactive school-wide and classroom systems and practices.

PBL provides a model of support for all students, consisting of three tiers of intervention. The tiers represent levels of intervention. They do not represent students and that language should never be used to describe a student, e.g. 'a red zone student'.

Tier 1 'universal' supports

Tier 1 'differentiated and explicit teaching for all students' or school-wide interventions are the critical foundation for PBL. Interventions are at the whole-school level and are provided to all students across academic, emotional and behaviour dimensions of learning. 

The focus of Tier 1 intervention is on all students and staff across all settings—whole-school, classroom and non-classroom settings.

Tier 2 'targeted' interventions

Tier 2 or 'focused' interventions support approximately 15% of students in a typical school who are not responding to Tier 1 and who have moderate, ongoing behaviours of concern (social, behavioural and academic). Support is provided through additional Tier 2 or "targeted" level interventions.

The focus of Tier 2 is to reduce the number of existing students requiring additional support.

Tier 3 'intensive' interventions

Tier 3 or 'intensive' interventions support approximately 5% of students who have not responded to Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions. Students may require Tier 3 or 'intensive' level of supports, involving highly individualised interventions to support a tailored learning program. The focus of Tier 3 is to reduce the intensity and complexity of existing individual student’s situations.

It is important that students requiring Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions have received, and are continuing to receive, the same level of Tier 1 support as other students. Tier 2 and 3 interventions are only effective when Tier 1 foundations are strong. If there are more than 15% of students receiving Tier 2 support then more attention has to be paid to Tier 1.

Tiers of support image
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Last updated 18 August 2020