Taylor and Francis Group is part of the Academic Publishing Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Chapter image Chapter 25: Strategy 23: School-wide strategies

23.1 School Culture

Self Evaluation

Please rate your school or a school you have closely observed.

Criterion Indicators Evaluation

23.1. School culture

Creating a positive school culture, or ethos, involves developing and implementing goals for 
the school. These goals will reflect the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, traditions and behavioural norms of its members, particularly those who are in leadership positions. In terms of inclusive schools, this means developing (a) a strong commitment to accepting and celebrating diversity, (b) a sensitivity to cultural issues, (c) setting high, but realistic, standards. As well as being expressed by the school leaders, these principles are deeply held throughout the school.


Mitchell, 2014, pp265–271.

  1.  The school has a strong commitment to accepting and celebrating diversity.
  2. The school is sensitive and responsive to cultural issues.
  3. The school sets high, but realistic, standards for all learners. 
  4. The school creates a learning climate free of disruptions and with clear teaching objectives.
  1. All the indicators are met.
  2. Three of the indicators are met.
  3. One or two of the indicators are met.
  4. None of the indicators are met.

YouTubeYouTube links

Transforming school culture. (3.18 US)

Dr Anthony Muhammad discusses the diverse issues of resistant staff, with an emphasis on developing a cohesive, positive culture. He identifies four groups: The Believers, The Tweeners, The Survivors and The Fundamentalists. He provides the framework for understanding dynamic relationships within a school culture and ensuring a positive environment that supports the changes necessary to improve learning for all students.


Leading school culture. (6.11 Australia)

An interview with Louise Bywaters about how critical it is to attend to and lead the development of a positive culture in schools.


websitesWeb links

Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is a technical assistance centre that seeks to advance school-wide practices in PBIS. The centre provides information about a three-tiered model to implement evidence-based behavioural and disciplinary practices in support of students’ academic and social growth. The centre also reports the findings of effective evidence-based practices from technical assistance and dissemination efforts that can be implemented on a large scale.


Voight, A., Austin, G. and Hanson, T. (2013). A climate for academic success: How school climate distinguishes schools that are beating the achievement odds (Full Report). San Francisco: WestEd.

The goal of this study was to determine what makes successful schools different from other schools. Rather than define success in absolute terms – such as the percentage of students who are proficient on a standardized test – this study’s definition is based on whether or not a school is performing better than predicted given the characteristics of the students it serves. Using data from over 1,700 California public middle and high schools, forty schools were identified that consistently performed better than predicted on standardized tests of maths and English language arts achievement. These schools were labelled ‘beating-the-odds’ schools.


Robinson, V., Hohepa, M. and Lloyd, C. (2009). School leadership and student outcomes: Identifying what works and why. Wellington: Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis Programme, Wellington: Ministry of Education.

When school leaders promote and/or participate in effective teacher professional learning, this has twice the impact on student outcomes across a school than any other leadership activity. Another key finding is that when school leaders promote or participate in effective teacher professional learning and development they have more than twice this impact across a whole school, not just one class.


journalsJournal links

Gaskell, S. and Leadbetter, J. (2009). ‘Educational psychologists and multi‐agency working: Exploring professional identity’. Educational Psychology in Practice, 25(2), 97–111.

This research was conducted in the light of the ‘Every Child Matters’ (Department for Education and Skills, London, 2003) agenda, which highlights the importance of multi‐agency working. The research explored the professional identity of Educational Psychologists (EPs) with experience of multi‐agency working in six local authorities within the Midlands area. The experiences of EPs working in MATs were generally described very positively. It appeared that multi‐agency working enhanced feelings of professional identity. In some cases participants indicated that this was aided by the clarification and development of their own skills and in other cases by being afforded the opportunity to work creatively in a wider range of contexts. The flexibility of multi‐agency working appears to have presented opportunities for individuals to work to their strengths and increased positive feelings EPs have of their own professional identity.

Strategy 23.2: SW-PBS

Self Evaluation

Please rate your school or a school you have closely observed.




23.2. School-wide Positive Behaviour Support

School-wide Positive Behaviour Support (SW-PBS) is a proactive approach to building a school’s capacity to deal with the wide array of behavioural challenges. It emphasizes (a) the prevention and reduction of chronic problem behaviour, (b) active instruction of adaptive skills, (c) a continuum of consequences for problem behaviours, and (d) interventions for learners with the most intractable problem behaviours. It centres on the school as an organization and is aimed at enhancing the quality of life of all its members.


Mitchell, 2014, pp272–279.

  1. The school has a programme for the prevention and reduction of chronic problem behavior.
  2. The school has a programme of actively instructing learners in adaptive skills.
  3. The school has a continuum of consequences for problem behaviours.
  4. The school actively intervenes with learners with the most intractable problem behaviours.
  1. All the indicators are met.
  2. Three of the indicators are met.
  3. One or two of the indicators are met.
  4. None of the indicators are met.


YouTubeYouTube links

The basics of school-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. (52.19 US)

Presented by Terry Scott, University of Louisville. This webinar presents the basic steps to implementing school-wide systems of Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The entire implementation process is described in a step-by-step manner with real examples and recommendations for fidelity and sustainability.


Exploring education: School-wide positive behavior plan (9.31 US)

Discusses the school-wide positive behaviour plan programme being implemented in Palm Beach County Schools. The programme centres around school discipline and consistent, uniform application of corrective strategies and interventions for undesired behaviours. Students are also taught what good behaviour looks like, so they have guidelines that they can model their own actions on.


Discovering School-wide Positive Behavior Supports. (29.09 US)

Discusses the implementation of SW-PBS at the school level.


websitesWeb links

National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).

This Centre has been established by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education, to give schools capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting, and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices.


Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, University of Oregon.

The purpose of this blueprint is to present a rationale for adopting school-wide positive behaviour support (SW-PBS), describe the key features of SW-PBS, and illustrate processes, structures, and supports of SW-PBS.


journalsJournal links

McRary, D., Lechtenberger, D. and Wang, E. (2012). ‘The effect of School-wide Positive Behavioral Supports on children in impoverished rural community schools’. Preventing School Failure, 56(1), 1–7.

This study describes the first-year effects of a School-wide Positive Behaviour Support on four schools in impoverished communities in rural west Texas. The authors present pre- and post-descriptive data that demonstrate the positive effect upon decreasing discipline referrals, lowering in school suspension rates and reducing failure rates. The authors hypothesized that using a School-wide Positive Behaviour Support system in rural impoverished schools can help mitigate the negative consequences children experience in communities with few mental health services, thereby increasing their academic engagement and success.

Strategy 23.3: Success for All

YouTubeYouTube links

12 scaling up Success for All, Robert Slavin. (13.50 US)

The originator of ‘Success for All’ describes its features and its uptake.


websitesWeb links

Allen G. (2011). Early intervention: The next steps. An independent report to Her Majesty’s Government.

This report endorses Success for All, among other approaches.