Hampshire Educational Psychology

Appendix A

A framework for thinking about behaviour

This framework describes some of the beliefs which influence Hampshire Educational Psychology Service (HEPS) work in promoting positive behaviour. The working practices used by HEPS are developed from these beliefs and from a belief that lasting Improvement is most likely to follow a collaborative working process, which involves all those who have a concern.

Schools may find these beliefs to be a helpful prompt for discussion.

Behaviour can be taught and learned just like anything else. So:

  • we will use our knowledge about the most effective ways of teaching and learning in everything we do
  • we will work with others to teach and encourage better behaviour rather than blame people for their difficulties.

People behave as they do in order to get their needs met, or to get a message across. So:

  • we will listen to what young people tell us, and respond to it
  • we will pay attention to people's feelings and thoughts about situations, as well as to the "facts" about those situations.

People's behaviour is influenced by factors including:

  • the type of person they are, their personality and beliefs
  • what has happened to them, and how they think and feel about that
  • how they are feeling physically
  • the people around them
  • the type of place they are in
  • how safe and secure they feel


  • we will use our awareness of those influences to help us decide the best way of working
  • we will try to work with all those involved in the situation, not just a particular young person about whom some adults are concerned
  • we will often focus on working with people who know the young person, or on things in their surroundings. This might be instead of just working with a particular young person. Sometimes we will do both.

Sometimes people know what they should do but find it hard to do it. So:

  • we will try to identify the blocks that make this hard, so that we can work with others to help move those blocks.

Different people see the same thing in different ways. So:

  • we may need to get information from several people and in different ways
  • we will work towards improving the situation for those involved, rather than on "getting to the bottom of it"
  • we won't put labels on things (we won't make diagnoses).

We need to know when we are making a difference. So:

  • we will need a clear understanding of "what the problem is"
  • we will need to get information about how often the "problem" happens, and what influences it
  • we will set and review targets, through discussion with those involved, for what we will do.

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