The NBSS through its three levels of support to schools, that draws extensively from Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports (Sugai & Horner, 2002), Response to Intervention (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2006) and the Comprehensive, Integrated, Three-Tiered Model of Prevention (Lane, Kalberg, & Menzies, 2009) frameworks, explored the viability and sustainability of a school-wide approach to behaviour improvement, through the provision to schools of a range of innovative interventions and programmes. Amongst the latter is the Positive Behaviour Liaison Teacher Programme.
The Positive Behaviour Liaison Teacher Programme was initiated in 2008/2009. The aim of the programme is to explore the ways in which individual teachers, allocated 11 hours per week, can effectively implement, coordinate and develop a proactive, behaviour improvement plan with the view to creating sustainable positive teaching and learning environments within their school communities.
The Positive Behaviour Liaison Teacher develops, co-ordinates and implements school-wide positive behaviour initiatives for all students (Level 1) in partnership with school personnel and the Positive Behaviour Strategy Team and facilitates the planning, implementation and evaluation of effective responses to challenging behaviour at group/class and/or year group level i.e. Level 2: targeted support for some students. Effective responses address social, emotional, behavioural and academic issues.
The Positive Behaviour Liaison teacher also identifies, designs and co-ordinates relevant in-school continuous professional development in-service for staff as part of the school’s targeted behaviour improvement plan. He or she also disseminates relevant materials, from evidence-based practice, in the area of positive behaviour to colleagues and the wider school community.
Examples of Initiatives and Interventions Developed by PBL Teachers:
Level 1 work conducted by Positive Behaviour Liaison teachers to date has included:
- Rules and Routines
- School-wide Expectations
- Reward System
- Review of School Systems
- Review of Code of Behaviour
- Mission Statement
- Incident Sheets
- Pass Systems
- Environmental Audits
- Study Skills Work
- Skills for Learning
- Respect Week
- Smile Week
- Wellbeing Week
- Freindship Week
- Anti-Bullying Intiatives
- Belonging Plus+: NBSS Transition and Transfer Programme
- Learning Mentors
All work undertaken aims to promote positive behaviour and learning throughout the school by focusing on developing:
- Behaviour for Learning Skills
- Social and Emotional Literacy Skills
- Academic Literacy and Learning Skills
- Wellbeing Skills.
Data gatherd so far on the work of the Positive Behaviour Liaison Teacher Programme in schools shows a recognition by both the Positive Behaviour Liaison teachers and their principals that the key to creating and sustaining positive teaching and learning environments was to work at Level 1. For example:
“I thought Level 1 would be the place to start…That we would encompass the whole school and bring the whole school forward in positive behaviour… And I think that’s what she saw her role as that of dealing with the whole-school…giving them a reward system, giving them things that they could do. Like, coming on time for class was a big problem here…going out of class was another big problem. Not having their full uniform was a problem. Eating in class was a problem. Things like that. Things that we could improve upon. I thought that would be the way to start for whole school positive behaviour. 95% of the students here are fine. If the classes had a whole approach to positive behaviour that would be the place to start. So I certainly saw, at least for the first 12 months that Level 1 was where the priority was.”
“Well everything about consistency…Now we have people walking on one side of the corridors, lining up outside classroom doors, have a standard way of entering a classroom, teachers meeting students at the door to come into the classroom….”
“The One Voice System is what we call it …so the way they worked on that …you would design posters to explain it, that you have one voice, if the teacher was speaking then that was the one voice, if a student wanted to comment, then you put your hand up and wait your time…”
“(The Positive Behaviour Liaison Teacher Programme) has introduced certain reforms or improvements that we hadn’t looked at. Things like the more effective use of the journal on a school wide basis…There was much more focus put on teachers, on tutors actually using the journal to its full potential, if you like. And ensuring that parents were seeing it and signing it, and that it was used when students were leaving class they would bring it with them, whether it was to the bathroom or going to another teacher. Just trying to use it more as a recording and as a reporting system so that parents could be up to date with what was going on and that if issues were arising in the school the parent would know and have to read the note, sign the journal and so on. So I suppose it was the use that the journal should have been being put to but wasn’t being put to. I think the Level 1 intervention helped to focus attention on how valuable the journal could be if it was used correctly.”