Individual education plan

An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a planning, teaching and reviewing tool produced, with the involvement of parents, by the school to help a child achieve the most they can from their education. The ‘Individual’ part means that it is tailored specifically for the child’s special needs and it is used by all staff working with the child. 

The IEP should be laid out simply, understandable and in a jargon free way. It should be agreed with parental involvement (there is a space for parents to sign it) and ideally with the child’s involvement.  

It should set out: 

  • what your child needs to learn
  • how this will be taught
  • who will help
  • when the plan will be reviewed  

What should be included in an IEP? 

An IEP should focus on: 

  • up to three or four individual targets set up to help meet the child’s needs and particular priorities.
  • targets should relate to key areas in communication, literacy, mathematics, and aspects of behaviour or physical skills.
  • the targets set and strategies used should be such as to identify specific weaknesses and areas of importance.

It will include information about:

  • the short term targets. These targets should be SMART targets: 
    • Specific - The target should identify quite clearly what the child is working on and not be vague. For example, the number of words to learn, the name of the spelling patterns, the situation/lesson the behaviour is targeted at.
    • Measurable - The target must be clear so that it can be measured easily. For example, how many times? How often? How many words
    • Achievable - Assessments should be carried out to ensure the targets are achievable so the child can experience success.
    • Relevant - The target should be relevant to the particular child and relate directly to his/her behaviour and work. The target should not be one that is expected of all the class, for example: Show respect for teachers.
    • Time Limited - There should be a date when the targets are to be reviewed and this will depend on the needs of the child. Usually IEPs targeting behaviour are reviewed more frequently than academic targets.
  • outcomes
  • when the plan is to be reviewed
  • the provision to be put in place
  • the teaching strategies to be used

When is an IEP reviewed?

IEPs should be kept continually ‘under review’. However, the school will review the IEP at least twice a year and ideally every term. 

Who is involved in the review?

The review should involve the teacher, child, parents, and when involved, the learning support assistant 

What can parents expect from the school?

Parents can expect: 

  • to be informed when their child has an IEP.
  • to have their child’s targets  discussed with them where possible
  • to be encouraged to participate in decision making about future options.
  • to be encouraged to be involved in the implementing and review of their child’s IEP.
  • that those teaching the child will be fully aware of the IEP.
  • that targets will be relevant to the needs of the child.  

Who can I contact if I need further help or support?

The Additional Learning Needs  Co-ordinator (ALNCO) at your child's School or Setting.