Supporting Students with Challenging Behaviour - Online Learning Experiences

Do you find yourself spending more time addressing and redirecting the problematic or challenging behaviour of particular students than you spend teaching?

This series of five online learning experiences will assist you with knowing how to respond to this situation. You will acquire skills in identifying behaviours, gathering and analysing data and developing individualised Behaviour Support Plans.

In addition to exploring the online modules, other supports include:

Contact the Student Services team for more information.

Pathways through the Online Learning Experiences:


Suggested Modules

The Functions and Priorities of Behaviour will define what is meant by the term ‘challenging behaviour’.

It will highlight the functions of behaviour – to either obtain/get or avoid/escape.

Considerations for prioritising behaviour will be addressed that include its impact on safety, participation in learning, relationships and the frequency, intensity and duration of the behaviour.

Gathering Information will help you to understand data collection tools to identify the form and function of behaviour and determine which will be best suited to the student’s behaviour and your school context.

Analysing the Data will support you to look for patterns in the student’s behaviour and decide on the factors which are maintaining and/or triggering it. The summary statement you and your team develop will be the basis for the student’s Behaviour Support Plan.

Developing Interventions and Behaviour Support Plans will assist you to decide on appropriate replacement behaviours, and on factors which can be manipulated to support the student learning and using the new behaviour. These factors focus on antecedent strategies, teaching the new behaviour and selecting meaningful consequences.

The Escalation Cycle will help you to develop a plan to respond to a student’s escalating behaviours and implement preventative strategies to avoid escalation. 

Students with Challenging Behaviour Podcast Series

A Family’s Journey

Sally, Parent
Sue Cairns, AISNSW

In this Episode Sally discusses her family’s journey with Ben who has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Sally describes the  challenges and the positive impact of partnership with the school in supporting Ben’s challenging behaviours. 

Episode 1

St Columba Anglican School, Port Macquarie

Shannon Rosewood, Head of Primary 
David Bruce, School Psychologist 
Sarah Jones, Stage Coordinator
Georgia Cummins, Previously Head of Learning Support

St Columba is a large K-12 school in Port Macquarie NSW. In this episode, the staff discuss how they support students with challenging behaviours through close collaboration and a reliance on data and evidenced-based practices to support positive growth in students.

Episode 2

Positive Behaviour Support in a Special School Setting - South East Sydney ASPECT

Joanne Tisdell, Principal
Sue Cairns, AISNSW

ASPECT schools support students who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In this episode, Joanne describes the processes used to support Positive Behaviour change in students, managing risks that can occur and the importance of supporting staff in complex situations.

Episode 3

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This project is partially funded by the Australian Government through the Choice and Affordability Fund.