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Positive Behaviour Support

Ivel Valley School have adopted the model of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) to assess children’s behaviour and develop strategies to support them more effectively.

The aim is to help reduce the incidence and prevalence of challenging behaviours of concern impacting the child’s capacity for engagement and learning in and around the classroom environment. 

Dr Tej Kondel-Laws

Dr Tej Kondel-Laws is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with many years of experience in working with young people with special needs.  Dr Tej provides expert clinical advice to parents and specialised training to Ivel Valley staff to facilitate a joint working approach to challenging behaviour. 

Our school-wide Positive Behaviour Approach is being developed by our Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Dr Tej Kondel-Laws who’s approach to school-wide psychological wellbeing is theoretically underpinned by trauma informed care.  

She considers a brain-based formulation of each child’s cognitive, social, emotional and overall psychological wellbeing with a view to understanding what factors impair access to the curriculum, learning and future trajectory towards independence as facilitated within the school environment. 

As a result of their special needs, some children can start to exhibit difficulties with anxiety, low self-esteem and low morale; leading to challenging behaviours in and around the classroom.  Building relationships can be tricky resulting in a sense of isolation and for others it can be understanding how their neurodevelopmental difficulties (ASD, ADHD, LD etc.) impact access to the learning and helping develop strategies for engagement and pupil attainment.

The principles of Tej’s trauma informed Positive Behaviour Support insists on the following:

  1. All behaviour happens for a reason; if staff and carers understand a brain-based way of relating to the world, we can develop more effective strategies to meet this need and behaviours of concern will reduce an active engagement in the classroom would increase.
  2. The assessment, development of the strategies and implementation are all carried out with the children themselves (where they are able to) and the adults and carers around the child, including family members, staff teams and other professionals.
  3. The strategies developed need to increase quality of life and skill set, attending to any trauma aspects (e.g., separation anxiety) underpinning the behaviours (as assessed and formulated by our psychologist) such that they reduce as a side effect of this.
  4. Once strategies are developed our consultant uses the supervision/skills teaching model to support staff and/or family members to implement the strategies consistently. Without this it is unlikely that strategies will be implemented well, and this will fundamentally impact on their effectiveness.
  5. The decisions that are made are always based on data, this includes the assessment, the development or the strategies and the monitoring of the strategies. If the strategies are not working the Consultant will work with everyone to alter and refine the strategies.

Ultimately, the approach is to enable children to flourish and be the best that they can be.