What is Positive Behaviour for Learning?

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) is implemented to improve the learning and wellbeing of all students in all school settings.

Positive Behaviour for Learning

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) is an evidence-based framework that brings together the whole-school community to contribute to developing a positive, safe and supportive learning culture. The framework assists schools to improve social, emotional, behavioural and academic outcomes for children and young people.

When PBL is implemented well, teachers and students have more time to focus on relationships and classroom instruction. Students and staff benefit from:

  • reduced inappropriate behaviour
  • increased time focused on instruction
  • improved social-emotional wellbeing
  • positive and respectful relationships among students and staff
  • support for teachers to teach, model and respond effectively to student need
  • a predictable learning environment where staff and students know what is expected to deliver effective practices that can be sustained over time

PBL can be implemented in any school setting to support students from pre-school through to Year 12.

The PBL framework supports schools to identify and successfully implement evidenced-based whole-school practices that enhance learning outcomes for children and young people.

This is achieved by using the framework to strengthen systems within the school, such as structures and processes that underpin ongoing school improvement and the effectiveness of all school members. For example, the school strengthens its use of school-wide data to identify patterns of problem behaviour, monitor student progress, reflect on teaching effectiveness and inform decisions that strengthen the learning environment.

Keys to successful implementation

Implementation of PBL requires the commitment of the whole school community and support of the principal and executive teachers to lead the process within the school.

Specific attention to what needs to be done, how it is done and why it is being done across the school is critical to create a positive, safe and supportive learning environments.

These aspects include:

  • developing and using a common vision, language and experience to support PBL implementation
  • stating clear expectations of students and staff
  • collaborating with all staff to plan and implement PBL
  • having at least 80% of staff willing to support PBL
  • developing a team approach, with regular meetings
  • creating, reviewing and revising a plan of action
  • collecting and using of data for decision making

How long does it take to implement PBL?

PBL is a process, not a program. The length of time it takes to get start implementing well varies by school. Schools typically take between 2 to 5 years to fully implement the essential features of the whole school approach. Initial development and implementation of Tier 1 School-wide systems can take up to two years to effectively implement. The implementation process is ongoing and constantly modified to meet the changing needs of the school and to address current concerns.

What if my school already has other programs and practices in place?

Schools are encouraged to continue to implement programs that they already use when the programs are shown to be effective. The PBL framework supports schools to embed other effective programs and practices as part of their whole school strategic and planned approach to wellbeing. PBL will support consistency of implementation these practices.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
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