An Individual Education Plan (IEP) identifies children’s learning needs and puts in place a structured and diversified plan to meet certain goals.
Learning needs cover academic areas, social skills, gross and motor skills. Developing an IEP is an opportunity for parents, teachers, resource teachers and the student* to work together to develop a plan that will improve the educational results of the child.
An important thing to remember, as a parent, is that you have as much input as the teacher in this document. IEPs are not static and are due for review at least twice a year.
They are reviewed on average twice a year. You are entitled to a copy of the plan and the goals for the term will be set out in it. When you get the copy, make sure you file it.
If there is are any reports available (psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist etc), the teacher should be given a copy in advance so they can study it. It is important to remember, that the focus of an IEP is on the child’s range of needs, which are prioritised areas of intervention (NCSE).
The EPSEN Act 2004 includes a provision requiring IEPs but this has not been brought into force yet. However, IEPs are best practice and through open collaboration your child benefits greatly.
*student input is very important, what does your child like/dislike? Your unique knowledge of your child and, if possible, your child’s voice, form a very important part of this learning process.