In the Good Behaviour Game (GBG) we’ve seen that providing classroom interventions which focus on general behaviour and attachment to school can have a positive effect on substance misuse later in life, so the research (described here) about the impact of school-wide positive behaviour interventions and support (SWPBIS) may also be of interest.
Probably the most positive finding that is reported is that pupils in intervention schools were 33% less likely to be sent to the school office for disciplinary reasons. And as opposed to GBG, which had most effect on boys, SWPBIS appears to benefit girls but not boys in this respect.
They also showed that the earlier the interventions started the bigger the result.
What wasn’t measured were the effects on out of school risky behaviours such as substance misuse, but another study looked the effect on bullying – something that has been shown to be a factor in substance misuse. The researchers conclude:
The results indicated that SWPBIS has a significant effect on teachers’ reports of children’s involvement in bullying as victims and perpetrators.
What I notice when I looked at the website which details how SWPBIS works is that it has a process that is very similar to the Communities that Care; in that it isn’t based on prepared interventions. Rather schools use the data they collect to determine their needs and are then given a range of evidence based interventions and programmes that they can choose from.
I also notice that the approach has been established by the Office of Special Education Programs, in the US Department of Education, and can’t help contrasting that with the lack of programme and intervention development by our own Department for Education.
From my point of view making the connections between the personal development opportunities for young people and the boundaries that schools and families put around children and adolescents feels critical if we’re to have a comprehensive prevention strategy.