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Ministry of Education.

What is PB4L School-Wide?

PB4L School-Wide looks at behaviour and learning from a whole-of-school as well as an individual child perspective. The framework is based on international evidence.

The Positive Behaviour for Learning School-Wide framework, otherwise known as PB4L School-Wide, is helping New Zealand schools build a culture where positive behaviour and learning is a way of life. The framework can be tailored to your school’s own environment and cultural needs.

It’s not about changing the students; it’s about changing the environment, systems and practices you have in place to support them to make positive behaviour choices.

PB4L School-Wide is based on the Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework developed at the University of Oregon in the 1990s. PBIS is now in thousands of schools across the United States and there are over 1050 School-Wide schools in New Zealand.


Watch the video below for an introduction to PB4L School-Wide.

PB4L School-Wide takes at least 3–5 years to put in place. Over this time, schools should see:
  • incidents of problem behaviour decline
  • the behaviour of students improve
  • teachers spending more time teaching
  • students more engaged and achieving.

PB4L School-Wide takes the approach that opportunities for learning and achievement increase if:

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


The School-Wide Framework

PB4L School-Wide is described as a framework because:

  • Any school can use this framework to design its own system of behavioural supports for students.
  • It’s a process or approach to behaviour that supports data-based decision-making and problem-solving, helps schools select and deliver evidence-based practices that are right for their school and establishes systems to support the effective implementation of these practices.
  • While schools across the world share this common framework and will have systems and practices in common, these will be implemented in a way that is context specific and dependent on the culture and values of the school and its community.

PB4L School-Wide takes schools through a tiered process.

  • Tier 1 is the foundation on which the other two tiers are built. It looks at the support systems and processes across the whole school – things that impact on all students and adults.
  • Tier 2 looks at interventions for students who require additional behaviour and learning support.
  • Tier 3 looks at more individualised and intensive support for students who experience chronic, severe, and challenging behaviour.



The New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) have carried out an evaluation of School-Wide and published three reports. You can download the NZCER evaluations at the Education Counts website:


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