Sue Roffey, researcher, psychologist, and director of Growing Great Schools Worldwide, developed the ASPIRE framework to ensure that all teachers and students feel safe participating in SEL and positive education programs and interventions (Roffey, n.d.).  The ASPIRE framework consists of five principles, included in the model below:

Five colored circles with the five principles of ASPIRE: agency, safety, positivity, inclusion, respect and equity.

This framework aims to foster belonging, diversity and empowerment in SEL, especially among students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse needs (Roffey, 2017). The ASPIRE framework has been evaluated globally in schools as part of Roffey’s Circle Solutions program and has been shown to promote positive experiences and learning outcomes (Roffey, 2017; Roffey, n.d.). A few ideas for classroom implementation, summarized from Roffey’s research have been included below, however you may wish to visit the resources below for more ideas on how to incorporate the ASPIRE framework into your school’s SEL or wellbeing program. 



Classroom Implementation:


Give students a voice so they take more responsibility for their wellbeing and allow them to come to their own conclusions about material being learned (Brosnan, 2020, 10:53; Roffey, n.d.).

Provide appropriate media resources, role-plays and small group discussions to aid in student learning (Roffey, n.d.).


Students are more likely to engage when the classroom has a culture of physical, emotional and psychological safety. 

Allow students to be silent or ‘pass’ during activities and class discussions. Provide more group and collaborative activities than individual ones. Use third person or inclusive language such as ‘we’ more often than ‘my’ or ‘I’ (Roffey, n.d.).


Foster positive emotion such as kindness, gratitude, playfulness and laughter.

Present activities as games and encourage laughter. Focus on students strengths and encourage strengths-based language in the classroom (Roffey, n.d.).


Welcome all students, give everyone a role (everyone participates and is valued) and foster inclusive belonging. 

Regularly mix up student groups during activities to encourage students to associate with those outside their social group (Roffey, n.d.).


Empower students and others by fostering active listening and encouragement.

Encourage students to listen to and encourage each other and avoid put-downs. Provide activities that foster empathy and kindness (Rofffey, n.d.).


Recognize that students have diverse needs and circumstances and help those who struggle with access.

Provide differentiation and choices with each activity to meet students’ diverse needs. 


Brosnan, M. (Host). (2020, September 12). ASPIRE to wellbeing in school with Dr. Sue Roffey [Audio podcast episode]. In Pursuit of Everyday Wellbeing. 

Growing Great Schools Worldwide. (n.d). The ASPIRE principles.  

Roffey, S. (n.d.). ASPIRE to safe and effective social emotional learning. Global Citizenship Foundation. 

Roffey, S. (2017). The ASPIRE principles and pedagogy for the implementation of social and emotional learning and the development of whole school well-being. International Journal of Emotional Wellbeing, 9(2), 59-71. 

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