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Behaviour support at school

Teacher reading a story to a group of students sitting on the floor.

Behaviour support at school

If you or your child’s teacher have concerns about your child’s behaviour at school, the first step is to talk about it openly.

There can be many reasons why children have difficult behaviour at school. It’s important to understand why it’s happening so that you and the school can work together to support your child.

Things that can impact a child’s behaviour include health issues, illness, sensory needs, changes to routine as well as things happening at home or in other parts of your child’s life.

Once you know what’s causing the behaviour, the right strategies can be put in place. Not identifying the cause may make the behaviour continue, get worse or lead to other difficult behaviour.

The behaviour might be:

  • Challenging behaviour that interferes with your child’s learning or that of other students
  • Behaviours of concern that cause physical harm to your child or another person

Your child might show one or both of these at different times.

Behaviour Support Plans

Behaviour Support Plans help schools to support students with difficult behaviour. They provide a safe and respectful learning environment for students and staff.

A Behaviour Support Plan can be done by your child’s Student Support Group together with other school staff and health professionals or specialists.

One person at the school will be responsible for Behaviour Support Plans. In primary schools and special schools it is often the Assistant Principal. In secondary schools it might be the Student Welfare Coordinator, Year Level Co-coordinator or Assistant Principal.

If your child’s behaviour is very challenging, it may be helpful to have a Functional Behaviour Assessment. This information may help with putting together an effective Behaviour Support Plan.

Why have one?

A Behaviour Support Plan sets clear expectations around behaviour and support. It’s a commitment from the school that focuses on support, wellbeing and developing your child’s skills.

Behaviour Support Plans also help to make sure everyone follows the same approach with a focus on success. It can help to keep your child engaged with school and connected to the school community.

Keep in mind that once a Behaviour Support Plan is put in place, behaviour can get worse before it gets better. Rewards and positive reinforcement early on will be an important part of the Plan’s success.

What does it include?

A Behaviour Support Plan includes:

  • What triggers the behaviour, e.g. noise, touch, language used
  • What causes the behaviour, e.g. hunger, tiredness, pain
  • How to reduce or remove triggers
  • How to respond to situations that may trigger the behaviour
  • How the student can meet their needs without using the difficult behaviour
  • What makes the behaviour continue
  • How people should respond if the behaviour occurs, or if there are warning signs
  • When the Behaviour Support Plan will be reviewed
  • How to decide if the Plan is working

There are resources and training available to schools to support student behaviour, including a Behaviour Support Plan template.

Having a Behaviour Support Plan is a positive step you can take to support your child and the school.

Related topics

Behaviour support in your child’s NDIS Plan
Supporting your child’s behaviour