The National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) was established by the Department of Education & Skills in 2006 in response to the recommendation in School Matters: The Report of the Task Force on Student Behaviour in Second Level Schools (2006).
The role of the NBSS is to assist partner schools in addressing current behavioural concerns on three levels. The NBSS works with schools in addressing students’ social, emotional, academic and behavioural needs at Level 1: school-wide for all students, Level 2: targeted intervention for some students and Level 3: intensive individualised support for a few students.
The NBSS model of support draws extensively from Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports - PBIS (Sugai & Horner, 2002) and Response to Intervention - RtI (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2006) frameworks. The integration of these frameworks offers opportunities to address the behavioural and social, emotional and academic needs of students effectively with interventions at different levels of intensity and support. This problem-solving model is founded on international best practice (Bonhanon, et al., 2006; Carr et al., 2002; Ehren, Deshler & Graner, 2010; Hawken & Horner, 2000; Lewis & Sugai, 1999; McPeak, et al., 2007; National High School Centre, 2010).
'RtI…integrates assessment and intervention within a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement and to reduce behavioral problems. With RtI, schools use data to identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student’s responsiveness, and identify students with learning disabilities or other disabilities'.
(National Centre on Response to Intervention 2010, p 4)
In NBSS partner schools this three-tiered approach is applied to behaviour interventions as well as interventions that address the social, emotional and academic literacy and learning needs of students.
'RTI has been described as an approach for establishing and redesigning teaching and learning environments so that they are effective, efficient, relevant, and durable for all students, families, and educators'.
The NBSS also researches, collates and disseminates evidence that informs the development of a school-wide positive behavioural approach that meets the needs of schools and provides sustainable long-term outcomes.
At present, the NBSS is working with over 103 post primary schools throughout the country.
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The NBSS in Schools gives a brief overview of the work of the National Behaviour Support Service in partner schools and presents many of the interventions, projects and initiatives schools implement in the areas of (a) Behaviour for Learning skills development (b) Social & Emotional Literacy skills development (c) Academic Literacy and Learning skills development and (d) Wellbeing skills development.