Positive behaviours at school

Positive behaviours at school is a research-based measure from the Tell Them From Me surveys. It is a source of evidence linked to What works best and the School Excellence Framework.

What is it?

Student behaviour refers to behaviours that occur in the learning environment, such as whether students are listening to their teacher or being disruptive.

The Tell Them From Me surveys ask students how frequently they have been in trouble for inappropriate behaviour at school. The results are reported as the percentage of students with positive student behaviour.

Why is it important?

Classroom interventions that are designed to promote socially responsible behaviour at school can result in better academic achievement. Students who demonstrate challenging behaviours in school have an increased risk of delinquency, academic failure, and dropping out of school. Teachers and peers have a strong influence on student behaviour.

School improvement links

School Excellence Framework element What works best theme
Effective classroom practice Classroom management


Evidence base

Berndt, T. J., & Keefe, K. (1995). Friends’ influence on adolescents’ adjustment to school. Child Development, 66(5), 1312-1329.

Dunlap, G., Strain, P., Fox, L., Carta, J. J., Conroy, M., Smith, B. J., Kern, L., Hemmeter, M. L., Timm, M. A., McCart, A., Sailor, W., Markey, U., Markey, D. J., Lardieri, S., & Sowell, C. (2006). Prevention and intervention with young children's challenging behavior: Perspectives regarding current knowledge. Behavioral Disorders, 32(1), 29-45.

Romi, S., Lewis, R., & Salkovsky, M. (2015). Exclusion as a way of promoting student responsibility: Does the kind of misbehavior matter? The Journal of Educational Research, 108(4), 306-317.

Wentzel, K. R. (1993). Does being good make the grade? Social behavior and academic competence in middle school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(2), 357-364.

Willms, J. D. (2003). Student engagement at school: A sense of belonging and participation. Paris: OECD Publishing.

Image: This explainer has been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar.

Explainers of the Tell Them From Me measures have been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar. The Tell Them From Me measures are provided by, and remain the intellectual property of, The Learning Bar. The explainers can also be found online within the Tell Them From Me portal. Tell Them From Me and TTFM are trademarks of The Learning Bar.


  • Student engagement and wellbeing
  • Tell Them From Me

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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