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?


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

Target goals and strategies

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).

Behaviour scaffold

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.

Behaviour contract

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.

De-escalation plan and strategy

There are times that 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. If a student’s behaviour is escalating but is not placing them or others at imminent risk of physical harm, school staff should employ targeted de-escalation strategies to prevent behaviours from further escalation and to address the cause of the escalation.

Behaviour support snapshot

Use the behaviour support snapshot (DOCX 87.5 KB) to record student behaviour support information briefly. It includes factors affecting educational progress, risk management strategies and a quick snapshot of the behaviour continuum escalation cycle

Behaviour response 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.

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