Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL)

Creating safe, effective teaching and learning environments

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About positive behaviour for learning

students studying

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


PBL is a process, not a program.


When PBL is implemented well, teachers and students have more time to focus on relationships and classroom instruction.


Students and staff benefit from:

  • reduced problem behaviour
  • increased time focused on instruction
  • improved social-emotional wellbeing
  • positive and respectful relationships among students and staff
  • better support for teachers to teach, model and respond effectively to student needs
  • 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 helps schools identify and successfully implement evidenced-based whole-school practices that enhance learning outcomes for children and young people.


The PBL framework can be used to strengthen the existing systems, structures and processes within the school which underpin the school’s ongoing improvement and effectiveness. For example, the PBL framework encourages the 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 the 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.


The key implementation aspects include:

  • developing and using a common vision, language and experience to support PBL implementation
  • 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 implement well varies by school. Schools typically take between 3 months to 2 years to fully implement the essential features of the whole school approach. 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 more consistent of implementation these practices.