Asset Publisher

Student Behaviour in Public Schools Policy


1. Policy statement

Creating, safe, orderly, inclusive, supportive and culturally responsive environments that enable students to fulfil their learning potential is a responsibility shared by all members of the public schooling system and each school community.

Positive student behaviour is essential to promote engagement in learning and to maximise the impact of classroom teaching.

2. Policy rules

The principal:

  • engages the school community in building a culture of positive behaviour that values students’ strengths, abilities and diversity
  • leads the development, implementation, and monitoring of a whole school approach to behaviour that:
    • identifies and communicates the rights and responsibilities of all students and staff to engage in building positive behaviour
    • incorporates restorative approaches
    • utilises multi-tiered systems of support that are responsive to student needs
    • builds staff capability through training and support to teach and sustain positive behaviour
    • uses available behaviour supports for students with complex needs.  


Fostering positive relationships with parents and students through regular communication creates connection and belonging for children and young people and builds a school community of positive culture.

3. Responsibility for implementation and compliance

Principals are responsible for the implementation of this policy.

Compliance and monitoring are the responsibility of line managers.

4. Scope

This policy applies to all principals of public schools, Directors of Education and the Executive Director, Statewide Services.

6. Definitions

The way in which a student acts in response to a particular situation or stimulus at school and/or in the community.

The ability to understand, interact and communicate effectively and sensitively with people from a cultural background that is different from one’s own. It is characterised by respect for culture, ongoing self-reflection, expansion of knowledge and commitment to improving practices and relationships, and is responsive to the diverse needs, backgrounds, experiences and knowledge of all students. In the Western Australian context, this is first and foremost for Aboriginal students.

A multi-tiered system of support holistically considers student needs and provides tiered and interconnected interventions, so students receive the appropriate level of support.

This includes intensive support that is individualised and provided alongside effective case management for students with complex behaviour support needs.

In relation to a child, means a person who at law has responsibility for the long-term care, welfare and development of the child; or the day-to-day, welfare and development of the child.

A student’s competence and capacity in their context of the school community’s expectations and values to: 

  • establish and build positive connections with adults and peers 
  • develop empathy for others and understand relationships
  • recognise and regulate their own emotions 
  • make responsible decisions 
  • work effectively with others 
  • cope with challenging situations constructively.  

Restorative approaches are a way of thinking and interacting that puts relationships at the centre of all actions and decisions. Restorative approaches are empathic, responsive to need, view conflict as opportunities to learn and grow, and build accountability for actions and processes to repair harm.

Local people, groups and organisations in and around schools in remote, regional and metropolitan areas. This includes, but not limited to, students, families, principals, teachers and other school staff, community leaders, local government agencies and not-for-profit organisations.

A person who is currently employed by the Department of Education under the School Education Act 1999 or the Public Sector Management Act 1994.

A person who is enrolled at a Western Australian public school.

Student engagement is multi-dimensional and combines observable indicators such as achievement, behaviour and attendance with internal emotional and cognitive states (feelings and thoughts). Student engagement is viewed and responded to in a holistic way.

A whole school approach involves addressing the needs of students, staff and other members of the school community through a collective and collaborative approach to improving student learning, behaviour and wellbeing, and the conditions that support these.

7. Related documents

8. Contact information

Policy manager:

Student Engagement and Wellbeing 
T: (08) 9402 6100

Policy contact officer:

Principal Consultant
Student Engagement and Wellbeing
T: (08) 9402 6448


9. History of changes

Effective date Last update date Policy version no.
4 January 2016 2.0
This new policy replaces the Behaviour Management in Schools policy. Endorsed by the Director General on 9 December 2015 D15/0557868
4 January 2016 11 August 2016 2.1
Updated contact information D16/0522722
4 January 2016 3 October 2018 2.2
Minor changes to include reference to Public Schools D18/0151652 and updated legislation links D18/0207680.
4 January 2016 18 February 2022 2.3
Minor change to update contact details D22/0103486
17 July 2023 3.0
Major review undertaken (D22/0745263). Signed by the Director General on 23 February 2023.
17 July 2023 3.0
Major change undertaken prior to publication. Signed by the Director General on 04/07/23 (D23/1124709)

10. More information

Policy review date

17 July 2026