Individual Education Plans (IEP)

The code of practice 2001 stresses that an individual education plan (IEP) is a very important planning, teaching and reviewing tool for individual pupils with special education needs and/or disability (SEND). All children with an EHCP should have an IEP.

The IEP will be used by the LA when considering whether a statutory assessment is required and to monitor progress for children with EHCP’s at the Annual Review (AR).

IEPs should include details of:

  • the nature of the child’s difficulties
  • action to be taken by the school:
  • provision (what will be done)
  • staffing (who will do it)
  • frequency (when and how often it will be done)
  • specific resources: i.e. programmes/ activities/materials/
  • equipment
  • short-term targets
  • parental support
  • pastoral care/medical requirements
  • monitoring and assessment arrangements and
  • review arrangements and dates

The IEP is not a child’s school record and it should look ahead (an action plan) rather than looking back (a review).

The school’s special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) usually writes the IEP in consultation with class or subject teachers, parents and any outside professionals who may be working with the child, e.g. speech and language therapists or visiting specialist teachers.

Where a pupil is receiving SEN support, schools should talk to parents regularly to set clear outcomes and review progress towards them, discuss the activities and support that will help achieve them, and identify the responsibilities of the parent, the pupil and the school. Schools should meet parents at least three times each year.

Many schools design their own IEP forms and there are a great variety of formats.

Some schools use a system of provision mapping. This gives an overview of pupils’ SEND and provision available throughout the school. Where several children are working towards the same targets and receive the same support, school can then write a group IEP. The code of practice refers to these (6:58) and there is further guidance in the SEND toolkit. If that is the case, school must also keep the individual child’s school record up to date and protect confidential details about other pupils.

Targets in an IEP should be SMART:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bonded.

It is suggested that there should be no more than 4 or 5 different targets at any one time. If the pupil has a statement the targets on the IEP should relate to the objectives in part 3 of the statement.