PB4L – Positive Behaviour for Learning

PB4L is for people throughout schools and early childhood services. Its programmes are also for individuals, groups, parents, caregivers and whānau. The programme offers tools for supporting positive behaviour both in situations of clear need and in more settled environments.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Educators, Teachers and Kaiako
  • All Early Learning Services
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
  • Principals and Tumuaki

Schools and early learning services can choose to use PB4L resources to assist them with encouraging positive behaviour from their children and young people. 

The PB4L initiatives

Incredible Years

Programmes for both the parents and teachers of children aged 3-8. They help reduce challenging behaviour and increase children’s social and self-control skills.

Incredible Years — Teacher

Giving teachers strategies to turn disruptive behaviour around and create more positive learning environments for students aged 3-8 years.

Incredible Years: Teacher — TKI website(external link)

Incredible Years — Parent

Helping parents build positive relationships with their children and develop strategies to manage problem behaviour. It is for parents of children aged 3-8 years.

Incredible Years: Parent — TKI website(external link)

Incredible Years Autism

Programmes for caregivers, whānau and teachers of children on the autism spectrum aged 2-5.

By supporting the skills and confidence of the key adults in the lives of children on the autism spectrum, they aim to promote children’s:

  • emotional regulation
  • positive social interactions
  • communication skills, and
  • relationships with others.

The Incredible Years Autism programme (for caregivers and whānau)

A 14-16 session, group-based programme for caregivers and whānau of children on the autism spectrum aged 2-5.

Incredible Years Autism programme — TKI website(external link)

The Incredible Years Helping Children with Autism programme (for teachers)

A 6 session, group-based programme for teachers and early childhood educators of children on the autism spectrum aged 2-5.

Incredible Years Helping Children with Autism programme — TKI website(external link)

A learning culture for everyone: PB4L School-Wide

PB4L School-Wide is a long term, whole-school approach to help schools develop their own social culture that supports learning and positive behaviour. The framework is evidence based. It provides us with a process for considering both learning and behaviour across the whole school, and student by student.

PB4L School-Wide — TKI website(external link)

Building positive, respectful relationships: PB4L Restorative Practice

PB4L Restorative Practice supports schools to build positive, respectful relationships across the whole school community. It also provides schools with a set of tools to manage behaviour when things go wrong, using a relational approach.

The PB4L Restorative Practice Kete books which are suitable for primary, intermediate and secondary schools are available under Support Material on the PB4L TKI website.

Restorative Practice — TKI website(external link)

Keeping secondary students engaged in learning: Check & Connect

Check & Connect is a long-term mentoring programme for students in Years 8-10 at risk of disengaging from school.

Check & Connect — TKI website(external link)

Building confidence and resilience: My FRIENDS Youth

My FRIENDS Youth is designed to build young people’s self-esteem and resilience by teaching them practical skills to cope with life challenges.

My FRIENDS Youth — TKI website(external link)

An important focus: Kaupapa Māori

PB4L will culturally enhance existing programmes. It will contribute to the New Zealand evidence base by supporting and evaluating programmes developed by Māori. Two Kaupapa Māori initiatives are being trialed.

Kaupapa Maori — TKI website(external link)

Building social skills with te reo: Te Mana Tikitiki

Te Mana Tikitiki — TKI website(external link)

Uniting whanau, school and iwi: Huakina Mai

Huakina Mai is being developed by the University of Canterbury in partnership with iwi and the Ministry. It’s being trialed in 8 primary schools in Canterbury. The initiative promotes whānau, schools and iwi working together to build a positive school culture based on a Kaupapa Māori worldview.

Huakina-Mai — TKI website(external link)

The principles behind PB4L

PB4L represents a major shift in managing disruptive behaviour by students in our education system.

Positive behaviour is a prerequisite to improving the engagement and achievement of our children and young people.

Positive behaviour can be learnt. Using a proactive approach, the environments around children can be changed to support positive behaviour.

PB4L uses a small number of evidence-based programmes and frameworks that we know can work. They provide opportunities to support long-term and sustainable changes in behaviour. There are no quick fixes, however, as behaviour change takes time.

The difference PB4L will make

Children and young people will be more engaged and will achieve at school.

Educators will keep more children and young people at school, and feel confident and supported in addressing behaviour problems.

Parents and whānau will have the confidence and strategies to build positive relationships with their children.

School leaders and boards will monitor and improve approaches to build a positive culture and increase the engagement of their students.

Further information

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) — TKI website(external link)

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