School behaviour support and management plan

Direction and guidance on developing, implementing and reviewing the School behaviour support and management plan. Where further support is required, an expanded version is available in the resources section below.


All staff in NSW public schools, parents and carers.

Version Date Description of changes Approved by
V03.1.0 10/07/2024 Procedure updated to include additional text strengthening the curriculum and policy monitoring (CPM) checks regarding bullying and cyber bullying. Laura Milkins, Executive Director, Inclusion and Wellbeing

Document history

Version Date Description of changes Approved by
V03.0.0 21/02/2024 Updated under the 2023 Policy and procedure review. Reference is made to the revised Student behaviour policy. The SBSMP implementation due date has been extended to the start of Term 1 2025; school anti-bullying strategies are to be embedded into the SBSMP; updated template and addition of exemplars to improve clarity; added a definition for ‘behaviour of concern’; removed references to outdated or removed information and updated links to new information or revised documents (Behaviour code for students, Suspension and expulsion procedures, Detention and timeout procedures). Laura Milkins, Executive Director, Inclusion and Wellbeing

About the policy

These procedures relate to the Student behaviour policy, particularly section 1.3, which states that schools will develop behaviour support and management plans that include anti-bullying strategies and prioritise learning continuity. Plans should also facilitate whole-school, prevention-focused and positive approaches to behaviour support.

Term Definition
Behaviour of concern

A behaviour of concern is challenging, complex or unsafe behaviour that requires more persistent and intensive interventions.

It does not include low-level, developmentally appropriate behaviour.


Bullying behaviour involves the intentional misuse of power in a relationship, is ongoing and repeated and involves behaviour that can cause harm.


Detention and/or reflection is a disciplinary consequence that schools may use to address inappropriate student behaviour. Detention and reflection are applied as close as possible to the breach in behaviour. It allows the school to provide timely support to students to assist them to achieve the desired behaviour, to reflect on their behaviour and make positive choices. The student is always supervised by a staff member.

School behaviour support and management plan

An operational document that outlines school processes and practices for behaviour support and management. It must be published on the school website so it is available to all students, parents, carers and school staff.


Teacher-directed time-out is a de-escalation strategy and occurs where a student is directed away from an educational activity or setting when they engage in behaviours of concern. It is used after other de-escalation strategies and teaching practices have been tried.

Self-directed time-out enables a student to remove themselves from a situation or environment causing stress. It is a planned informal behaviour support strategy that may be used as part of a behaviour support response and documented as an agreed strategy.

Public schools, including Directors, Educational Leadership; and Delivery Support – Team Around a School:

  • provide proactive and responsive specialist advice and support for schools in the development, implementation and monitoring of the School behaviour support and management plan (SBSMP).


  • lead the school community in developing, implementing and monitoring the SBSMP
  • facilitate the annual review of the SBSMP
  • ensure consultation with the school community, including school staff, students, parents or carers, in the development, implementation, and review of the SBSMP, as appropriate.

School executive, teachers, school learning support teams and school support staff:

  • contribute to developing, monitoring and reviewing the SBSMP, as appropriate
  • implement the processes and strategies within the SBSMP.

Parents or carers:

  • work in partnership with the school to implement the SBSMP, supporting their child to abide by the Behaviour code for students, resolving issues about their child’s behaviour, and communicating with school staff and the school community respectfully and collaboratively consistent with the School Community Charter
  • be involved in consultation with the school during the development, monitoring and review of the SBSMP, as appropriate.

What needs to be done?

The Student behaviour policy requires all schools to develop a School behaviour support and management plan (SBSMP) ready for implementation by Term 1 2025.

Schools must:

  • consider their context and data in developing their SBSMP
  • develop the SBSMP in consultation with their school community, as appropriate
  • publish the SBSMP on their school website
  • implement the SBSMP
  • review the SBSMP annually.

Schools may use the optional template (DOCX 947 KB) or develop their own document that includes all required information.

How to recognise allegations of bullying, including cyber-bullying, behaviour.

Staff members may become aware of bullying behaviour through a range of channels, for example:

  • directly observing a child or young person’s behaviours, interactions, verbal communications, or work produced (such as written materials, performances or artworks)
  • a person disclosing information that is not previously known, either because it is new information or because it has been kept a secret
  • concerns raised by a parent, community member or agency.

1. Incorporate mandatory requirements for the plan

Develop or update the School behaviour and support management plan (SBSMP), with the required information:

  • a strategic, integrated whole-school approach that incorporates a multi-tiered care continuum to support all students, including a focus on prevention, early intervention, targeted and individual interventions
  • high expectations for student behaviour, in line with the Behaviour code for students
  • effective strategies to model, explicitly teach, recognise and reinforce positive, inclusive and safe behaviours
  • effective strategies to identify, prevent and respond to disruptive student behaviours, including bullying and cyber-bullying, and behaviours of concern when they occur
  • establish expectations for parents and carers to engage with the school in developing and implementing student behaviour management strategies in line with the School Community Charter
  • consultation with the school community, as appropriate
  • provisions for annual review of the SBSMP.

Use the optional template (DOCX 947 KB) or a school-developed document that includes all required information. These sample SBSMPs and visual are available for reference.

2. Develop the plan structure

The following headings can be used as a guide for structuring the school plan.

2.1.1 Overview statement

The department’s endorsed evidence-based approaches that support behaviour include:

  • Positive Behaviour for Learning
  • trauma-informed practices
  • the principles of inclusive practice.

The overview statement outlines the aims, beliefs, and/or principles on which the SBSMP is based. It should align with the department’s endorsed approaches, although the approach your school uses may not be exactly the same.

The overview statement is the first thing that the school community will read when engaging with the document and it sets the tone for what the school values and aspires to achieve through the implementation of the SBSMP. Include identification of any existing whole-school programs or approaches that support schools with the implementation.

2.1.2 Partnerships with parents and carers

Parents and carers play an important role in the school community. The School Community Charter informs parents and carers on how to engage with NSW public schools.

The SBSMP should:

  • provide an overview of how the school will partner with parents and carers in establishing expectations for parent engagement in developing and implementing student behaviour management strategies
  • outline how the school will communicate these expectations to parents and carers
  • use existing communication channels with the school community, for example the school parents and citizens association (P&C) and Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) to support broader engagement and feedback.

2.1.3 School-wide expectations and rules

The expectations and rules should be clear, positively stated and easy for the whole school community to understand. Schools, in consultation with their community, decide upon the exact number needed.

The SBSMP should include:

  • 3 to 5 overarching expectations of student behaviour and 3 to 5 more specific rules that sit under these expectations
  • A link to the Behaviour code for students.

When developing school-wide expectations and rules, schools should consider the:

  • alignment with the school’s overview statement and/or community expectations
  • accessibility of verbal and written communication methods
  • diversity of their communities and relevant contextual factors.

2.1.4 Whole-school approach across the care continuum

The SBSMP should provide specific whole-school and targeted strategies, interventions and programs that support student behaviour at each stage of the care continuum (prevention, early intervention, targeted intervention and individual intervention).

Schools can use the care continuum guide (PDF 6.5 MB) resource to assist in identifying appropriate strategies, relevant to their school context.

In your SBSMP, include contextually relevant practices, programs and strategies that:

  • are universal with a strong focus on preventative and proactive practices that model, explicitly teach, recognise and reinforce
    • positive, safe and inclusive behaviour among all students
    • school-wide behavioural expectations
    • positive student-teacher relationships
  • effectively identify and support students who are at risk through early intervention and targeted supports
  • support individual students demonstrating complex and challenging behaviour through mitigation and de-escalation strategies
  • identify, prevent and respond to bullying behaviours, including cyber-bullying behaviours. For more information about cyberbullying please visit the eSafety Commissioner (PDF 253 KB) website.

2.1.5 Planned responses to positive appropriate behaviour, inappropriate behaviour, and behaviours of concern, including bullying and cyber-bullying

The SBSMP should include:

  • strategies and processes that the school uses to promote, respond to, recognise and reinforce positive appropriate behaviours and school-wide expectations
  • strategies and processes that the school uses to respond to and manage inappropriate behaviours and behaviours of concern, including bullying and cyber-bullying behaviours, and the supports available to students’ experiencing difficulties
  • an outline of how the school will report and record behaviours, including behaviours of concern.

2.1.6 Detention, reflection and restorative practices

The SBSMP should include school system details of:

  • when detention, reflection and restorative practices will be used and where they will occur
  • the maximum length of time appropriate to the age and/or developmental level of the student
  • food and toilet breaks
  • the school staff approved to facilitate them (by role, not specific name)
  • how the school will record details, for example in ERN or approved third-party system.

These details provide an overview only and the SBSMP does not need to include every instance of these occurring. Refer to the Detention and time-out procedures for further details.

3. Implement and evaluate the plan

After the SBSMP has been developed, the school should:

  • engage with the school community by publishing the SBSMP on the school website and making it available to all students, parents and carers, and school staff
  • embed the identified practices and strategies in day-to-day school operations.

To ensure evaluation process are embedded, the school should:

  • review the SBSMP annually to ensure it continues to be fit for purpose
  • use current school data to inform practice and direction
  • include community and student feedback.

Supporting tools, resources and related information

Policy contact

The Director, Behaviour and Student Participation monitors the implementation of this guide, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.

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