How do I plan for behaviour support?

Behaviour support planning can assist schools to provide additional support and guidance to identified students. It can help ensure that students and staff feel safe, valued and connected to their school community.

Planning for behaviour support

Behaviour support planning is a continuous cycle of planning and improvement. The process of continuous reflection and improvement is focused on understanding underlying triggers and causes from the perspective of the individual student. Behaviour support planning can assist schools to provide additional support and guidance to identified students

Behaviour support planning cycle

  1. Identify – what is the issue? Why? Define the behaviour of concern
  2. Assess – gather your evidence, look at what your evidence might mean – a function of the behaviour.
  3. Plan – develop strategies to get the change you want – positive behaviour support
  4. Implement – all support. Consistently follow the plan
  5. Monitor – put in place a monitoring and review process of the implementation of the plan
  6. Evaluateanalyse the information that you have gathered through monitoring and review. Has anything changed for the student? Do you need to change the plan?
Behaviour support planning process image - Identify, Assess, Plan, Implement, Monitor, Evaluate Behaviour support planning process image - Identify, Assess, Plan, Implement, Monitor, Evaluate
Image: Behaviour support planning process


Completing an accurate picture of the individual needs of the student may require specialist support to assist school staff and inform the development of Individual Student Support Plans.

Assessments may include a functional behavioural assessment, as well as environmental, medical, mental health, learning difficulties, speech and language, and occupational therapy assessments. Where appropriate, a referral may be made to the School Counselling Service or your school’s local Delivery Support Team in order for an assessment for the student to occur.

These assessments must be conducted by qualified staff and parental consultation is critical. Active involvement of the student and their parent or carer is important to the development of successful plans.

Resources to support behaviour planning

Developed collaboratively with the behaviour specialist team, this plan is designed to support individual student behaviour planning. Access the Understanding Behaviour Support Planning eLearning to find out more about the six components of behaviour support planning, and how to complete an individual behaviour support plan.

A behaviour response plan (DOCX 184KB) is to be used when a student’s behaviour escalates to a crisis point and interferes with the safety of staff, the student themselves and those around them. The response plan will guide the actions of others to respond consistently, to reduce the distress of the individual and to keep everybody safe.

Click to access an editable pdf version of the Behaviour Response Plan.

The student voice scaffold (DOC 405KB) should be used at any time to support a student to participate in the development of their behaviour support planning process.

The student voice scaffold may be used in the following ways:

  • to facilitate input from students into their behaviour response plan or individual behaviour support planning
  • after an incident or during a resolution meeting to support re-entry into school and inform any plan updates
  • to build student’s awareness and understanding of their own behaviours, and how they present along a continuum
  • as a tool to support students to reflect on their progress and contribute to adjustments, and set new goals as appropriate
  • to start a conversation with parents and carers or agencies who support the student.

Sometimes, best efforts may not be effective in preventing behaviour from escalating. Recognising this and responding early using a de-escalation plan (DOCX 73KB) is essential in reducing the impact of the behaviour and keeping staff and students safe. Suppose a student’s behaviour is escalating but is not placing them or others at imminent risk of physical harm. In that case, school staff should employ targeted de-escalation strategies to prevent behaviours from further escalation and to address the cause of the escalation.

The student may be displaying inappropriate/disruptive behaviours which need to be redirected into more positive or desired behaviours. The student (and parent) should be consulted within the design of target goals and strategies to achieve them (DOCX 70KB).

The behaviour contract (DOCX 84KB) is a simple positive-reinforcement intervention that is widely used by teachers to help change student behaviour. The behaviour contract sets out the expectations of the student and teacher (and sometimes parents) in carrying out the intervention plan.

The behaviour scaffold (DOCX 70KB) provides a summary that outlines individualised information about the student and their needs including presenting behaviours, strengths, support strategies, useful language, reinforcement strategies and context.

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