School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) is an approach to assist school professionals improve social behaviour and academic outcomes.

It provides guidance for adopting behaviour interventions into a single whole-school framework. The interventions are evidence based, with a focus on data-based decision making and preventing serious behavioural issues.

The Victorian Government has made a $5.9 million investment in infrastructure to support SWPBS across the state.

What's new in 2018

Statewide Coordinating Team
A manager, two state-wide practitioners, an administration coordinator, and an IT/AV technician will drive and coordinate SWPBS in Victorian government schools, providing a link from schools, through areas and regions, to the Department’s central office. This team will directly support the Coaches in their work with schools, assist regions to increase the uptake of SWPBS, align SWPBS with other school initiatives, and report to stakeholders on progress.

Telephone: 9935 3705

Seventeen SWPBS coaches will be employed and one assigned to each DET Area to support schools to implement SWPBS with fidelity. These coaches will undergo training consistent with international standards. They will utilise a scientifically valid and reliable tool to measure implementation of SWPBS as the school level to ensure that outcomes are maximised. Data from across Victoria will be analysed to ensure that schools are being supported by coaches effectively to achieve outcomes for students and the whole school community. Coaches will work with schools to implement SWPBS beginning with tier I and progressing to tier III. Coaches aim to establish sustainable practices within schools that proactively support students rather than reactively responding to behaviour once it has already occurred.

Reimbursements to schools
Schools that have successfully completed tasks in each tier of the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) can apply for reimbursement to assist in developing the resources and systems required for implementing the next tier.

A national conference
Victoria will host Australia’s first national conference on positive behaviour support in 2018. The conference will aim to attract delegates from other service systems such as disability services, youth justice, and out-of-home care, and provide opportunities for researchers, managers, clinicians, practitioners, teachers, principals, policymakers, advocates, and families.

Congratulations to these schools

The state wide coordinating team is now available to support your school to evaluate your implementation and action planning for SWPBS.  We are very pleased to announce the following schools have achieved a fidelity score on their first TFI (Tiered Fidelity Inventory). A school is considered to be implementing with fidelity when it scores above 70% on three successive TFI assessments. 

November 2017

Lilydale West Primary School.  
Manorvale Primary School
Moolap Primary School

SWPBS in your school

If you’re interested in talking about how SWPBS might look at your school, or if you’ve already started implementation and would like some support, please contact:

Telephone: 9935 3705

SWPBS in detail

SWPBS is a broad range of systemic and individualised strategies for achieving social and learning outcomes in schools, while preventing problem behaviour.

The key attributes of SWPBS include preventive activities, data-based decision making, and a problem solving orientation. SWPBS is a technology with four core, defining features:

  • Outcomes: Supporting social competence and academic achievement
  • Systems: Supporting staff behaviour
  • Data: Supporting decision-making
  • Practices: Supporting student behaviour

Tiered intervention framework

SWPBS uses a tiered intervention framework which invests in:

  • Primary prevention (tier 1): School and classroom-wide systems for all students, staff and settings (approximately 80% of students)
  • Secondary prevention (tier 2): Specialised group systems for students with at-risk behaviour (approximately 15% of students)
  • Tertiary prevention (tier 3): Specialised, individualised systems for students with high-risk behaviour (approximately 5% of students)

School principals play a pivotal role in adopting, implementing and sustaining SWPBS. Principal support such as agreeing with SWPBS principles, allowing teacher release time for training and team meetings and allocating resources for implementation are significant towards the sustainability of SWPBS.

Evaluating SWPBS in Victorian government schools

Victoria is adopting the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) to measure the extent to which school staff are applying the core features of SWPBS. The TFI is a reliable and valid tool to assess fidelity of implementation. The monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of SWPBS implementation is consistent with the Department’s Evaluation Strategy.

For more information about the TFI, see: SWPBS Tiered Fidelity Inventory
To read more on the validity of the tool, see: Technical Adequacy of the SWPBS Tiered Fidelity Inventory

Resources for implementing SWPBS

There are many sources of information and resources online about SWPBS. We suggest:


There is a suite of videos about SWPBS created for Victoria, and hosted on FUSE:

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3