Individual Education Plans
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 (SEN).
All children receiving special educational needs support at School Action or School Action Plus or those who have a Statement of SEN should have an IEP.
The IEP will also be used by the LEA in considering whether a statutory assessment (statementing) is required and to monitor progress for children with statements at Annual Review.
IEP's 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
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/carers and any outside professionals who may be working with the child (e.g. speech and language therapists or visiting specialist teachers).
Good practice is that IEP's should be reviewed at least twice a year for school aged pupils and at least termly for pre-school children and that parents/carers should be consulted. Any action parents/carers are to take should also be recorded (e.g. Mrs Jones to play maths game with Daniel at home).
Most schools design their own IEP forms and there is a great variety of formats.
As the name implies, IEPs should be written for the individual pupil, however the Code of Practice says that there may be times when several pupils are working towards the same targets. If that is the case then the school can write a group IEP, but they must also keep the individual child's school record up to date.
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.
The SEN Code of Practice 2001 is available free of charge from

DfES Publications
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Notts. NG15 0DJ

Tel: 0845 60 222 60
Fax: 0845 60 333 60