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Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) School-wide

School-initiated supplementary supports

Design elements

Target for support (strengths and needs)

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) School-wide is made up of practices and organisational systems that help schools create positive teaching and learning environments. 

Based on international evidence, it looks at behaviour and learning from a whole-school as well as an individual child's perspective. School-wide takes the approach that opportunities for learning and achievement increase if:

  • the school environment is positive and supportive
  • expectations are consistently clear
  • children and young people are consistently taught desired behaviours
  • children and young people are consistently acknowledged for desired behaviours
  • children and young people are consistently responded to in a fair and equitable way. 

School leaders, teachers, students, and support staff are all involved.

Expected outcomes

Research shows that when PB4L School-wide is implemented in an effective way over three to five years:

  • incidents of problem behaviour in the school decline
  • the behaviour of students improves
  • teachers spend more time teaching
  • students are more engaged and are achieving.

What data is used to support access decision?

PB4L School-wide is available to all secondary schools. Intermediate and primary schools are prioritised by decile, cluster (close to other schools implementing school-wide), and high Māori and/or Pasifika populations.

Staff ‘buy in’ survey: Each school expressing an interest in PB4L School-wide is presented with an information session for staff. Staff are then surveyed about whether or not they agree to their school being involved. An 80% majority in agreement is required before the school is accepted.

Delivery design (who, how long, interactions)

During the first year of implementation, PB4L School-wide schools set up a team to lead their school’s activities. The team includes representatives from across the school community and a nominated coach.

A regional School-wide practitioner from the Ministry of Education trains the team and provides ongoing support.

Tier 1 (also known as Universal) training runs over four days, throughout the school’s first year of implementation. After the training, schools develop and implement a comprehensive action plan that includes:

  • positively stating behavioural expectations and teaching these expectations to students
  • developing and implementing strategies for acknowledging students who meet these expectations 
  • establishing fair and reasonable consequences for discouraging undesirable behaviours
  • systematically collecting and monitoring behaviour data to inform decisions about how to further support students and teachers.

As the school progressively implements key features of PB4L School-wide, they have the opportunity to attend tier 2 and 3 level training to provide effective and efficient targeted support to identified learners requiring additional support. They continue to have access to ongoing coaching through the Ministry’s PB4L School-wide practitioner, within a coaching network designed to support them in their local context.

From the start of 2014 the Ministry of Education provides $10,000 per school, per year, for training and coaching support for the first two years of School-wide. When the school is ready and begins tier 2 training, an additional $10,000 will be provided. This is to offset teacher release costs to attend training and any other costs incurred in implementing PB4L School-wide. 

How will the support contribute to classroom practice and school capability?

Schools operating well managed and effective school-wide behaviour management systems and practices will reduce individual behaviour problems in the school setting thus increasing student engagement and achievement.

The service delivery model is designed to build the capacity and capability of staff in a sustainable way through training teams and facilitated ongoing coaching.

School-wide formally integrates academic and behavioural success for all students. School-wide is therefore instructionally oriented and is functionally based.

How will the support contribute to building educationally powerful relationships with parents, whānau/family, hapu, iwi, and community?

Increased engagement with family/whānau – working together to establish the school’s values and behaviour expectations, and ways of acknowledging and supporting their tamariki to ‘do the right thing’. Whānau are involved in the targeted support for individual students that are identified in tier 2 and 3 of School-wide.

Schools are encouraged to involve the wider community, for example, the library or local shops may also recognise and reward students for positive behaviour.

Fidelity elements (small groups, one on one, timing)

The school team is trained by an external practitioner and ongoing support is provided by the internal coach. The internal school coach is supported one on one by an external practitioner. School coaches are involved with other coaches in monthly cluster meetings.

National leadership, guidance, and support tools are provided to ensure consistency and fidelity of the framework.

How is support monitored and measured in terms of outcomes?

The School-wide Evaluation Tool (SET) is completed by each school annually. It is designed to evaluate the implementation of the critical features of School-wide. 

Other assessment tools are also used.

What needs to be sustained?

Consistent behaviour management systems and evidence-based practices using accurate and timely data across all settings in the school.

Roles and responsibilities for support

What are the conditions for successful delivery?


  • Ministry employed School-wide practitioners deliver high quality training and coaching to schools.


  • Principal involvement and support.
  • Team with clearly identified roles and responsibilities.
  • At least 80% of staff support the school participating.
  • Board of Trustee’s chairperson and principal’s signed commitment to participating for at least three years.


  • Reporting, monitoring, and feedback systems.
  • Partnership with the National sector-wide group.

Updated on: 27 Oct 2014

PLD information

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System of support

Identifying learning needs. Resource selector. Impact of changed practices. Designing learning for school context. Integrated system of support for students. Achievement information triggers response.

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