IEP Individual Education Plan

What is an individual Educational Plan (IEP)?


An individual Educational Plan (IEP) is a way of recording the extra help a child with Special Educational Needs is receiving within itís school and education.


a)    It is a planning, teaching and reviewing tool for Teachers

b)   It should set out the process of planning and intervention for the pupil with special educational needs.

c)    An IEP should be a teaching and learning plan -  setting out the following


     ďWHATĒ should be taught

     ďHOWĒ it should be taught and

     ďHOW OFTENĒ the understanding and skills of the child through the additional or different activities from those provided for other pupils. 


d)  The IEP is a structured planning document of different steps and teaching requirements needed to help the student achieve identified targets

e)   It is a working document for the teaching staff

f)   It must be accessible and understandable to all concerned.


When should an individual Educational Plan (IEP) be used?


When a child with special needs is not progressing, or meeting the usual Northern Ireland school curriculum as expected for children of the same age.


It would be expected that through daily school tests that the teacher would notice the child struggling and along with the SEN co-ordinator would set about gathering the information to meet the childís special educational needs to enable the child to meet itís full potential.


What should you expect to see on this document (IEP)?


(a)   The childís difficulties ( reason for IEP)

(b)   The teaching strategies to be used

(c)   The provision to be put in place which should include


The staff involved, support given, frequency of support and the specific programme, activities, materials or equipment needed.


(d) When the plan is to be reviewed

(e) Any pastoral care

(f) Success and/or exit criteria

(g) Outcomes (to be recorded when the IEP is reviewed)



The IEP is NOT what the child is supposed to do it is about what the school  

is going to do to  help and support a child in need.


IEPís should:


    Raise achievement for pupils with SEN

    Be seen as a working document

    Use a simple format

    Detail additional or different needs from those generally available for all pupils

    Detail targets which are extra or different from those for most pupils

    Be jargon free

    Be comprehensible to all staff and parents

    Be distributed to all staff as necessary

    Promote effective planning

    Help pupils monitor their own progress

    Result in good planning and intervention by staff

    Result in the achievement of specific learning goals for pupils with SEN.


Depending on the pupilís needs and particular circumstances, IEPíS are likely to be most effective when the pupil is fully involved in the process which is set out in the UNCRC.




  Ideally IEPíS should be kept under review at all times but it is

   recommended that they be reviewed at least 2-3 times a year.

   These reviews should not be confused with an annual review.  The statutory annual review is different than the teacherís continual review.

    The frequency and timing of the review with the parents depends on the nature of the pupilís needs and provision being made to meet those needs.

       * some targets are achieved more quickly than others*

    One review should coincide with a routine parents evening,

          additional time with parents should be arranged.

    Parentís views on the childís progress should be sought as part

          of the process.

    Wherever possible the child/ pupil should also take part in the 

          review and setting of targets.


If targets are not being achieved the teacher needs to consider all the reasons, strategies or resources being used that may need changing, or that the target is not appropriate.  It may be necessary to break down the target into smaller steps or use alternative targets within the area of the original target need.


    The head teacher should also consider asking SENCO to

           oversee the monitoring and success of the IEP.


Teachers reviewing an IEP should consider:


The progress made by the pupil

 The parentís views

 The pupilís views

 The effectiveness of the IEP

 Any specific access issues that impact on the childís progress

Any updated information

Future action, including changes to targets and strategies, addressing

  and identifying any issues and whether there is need for more

  information or advice about the pupil and how to access it.


Targets to be achieved by the next review should be set by the appropriate staff.


If progress remains adequate after 2 reviews it may be decided to increase the time between reviews or to conclude that the child/ pupil no longer needs special help.


For progress to be considered adequate, targets once achieved are being maintained so that the pupil is able to continue to perform the skills, and for a sustained period of time. 


If the child continues not to meet the targets of an IEP, it is reasonable to expect that the school request a Statutory Assessment be applied for.