School operations

Individual Education Plans (IEPs)

How to develop an individual education plan

Student support groups are responsible for developing an IEP. The group may include:

  • the student, where appropriate
  • principal
  • teacher
  • parent or carer
  • education support staff

Students receiving the program for students with disability (PSD) or living in out-of home-care (OOHC) will already have a Student Support Group (SSG).

Personalised learning and support

Individual education planning uses the four-stages personalised learning and support process.

Personalised learning and support is a framework that supports students with additional learning and support needs. The IEP template in the Resources tab can help.

1  Assess: get to know your student and how they learn

You need to use a strength-based approach to learn about the student and their learning differences. Focus on the positive aspects of their abilities. This information will help develop a learning profile.

In this stage you should:

  • identify the student’s strengths and interests and any challenges or barriers to learning. For example, English as an additional language, refugee status, experiential, cultural, linguistic and social background
  • include information about the student to support their education needs, such as results of any formal/informal assessments in literacy, numeracy or social-emotional assessments, recommendations from allied health professionals, data or classroom observations
  • think about the student’s current entry level skills
  • ask the student what helps them to learn. Student voice allows students to engage and take part in their own learning. It also contributes to building leadership, confidence and other skills that ensure student wellbeing.

2  Plan: use collaborative and student-centred approaches

Make sure the student is the focus of the planning process. When planning a student’s IEP, it’s important get input from the student, their parent/carer/guardian(s) and relevant teaching and support professionals.

In this stage you should:

  • work with the SSG to develop long-term and short-term goals
  • get advice from others where relevant, for example education support staff and allied health professionals
  • review the student’s learning environment
  • monitor agreed actions and give an update at the next review meeting

Long term goals

Long-term goals (for example, longer than a school term) are specific statements describing the expected behaviour or skill to be achieved within an agreed timeline, for example, by the end of the school year. Long-term goals do not need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Relevant and Time-bound). These differ from short terms which are required to be SMART.

Short term goals

Short term goals identify the sub-skills that are required for a student to achieve a long term goal. Short term goals specify what should be achieved within a certain timeframe, from a week through to a month or a term. It is highly recommended that short term goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Relevant and Time-bound). Where schools have established a Student Support Group (SSG) for a student, the student’s short-term goals can be reviewed at each SSG meeting (refer to Student Support Groups).

When creating long-term and short-term goals, refer to the  Victorian Curriculum.

3  Teach: make adjustments that will meet the student’s needs

It’s important to create responsive teaching and learning environments and put in place teaching strategies and adjustments that address the student’s learning needs and goals. You can use the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to help with this step in the IEP process.

Make sure your teaching strategies, adjustments and supports include how to:

  • teach the skill
  • provide multi and varied opportunities to practice the skill
  • reinforce the skill
  • include other members of the SSG to target the skill

4  Monitor and evaluate: assess the effectiveness of the approach

An IEP is tailored to the needs of the student. It’s important that IEPs are monitored and evaluated so they are responsive to the changing needs and educational progress of the student.

An IEP should be reviewed according to the timeline agreed on by the SSG. It’s recommended to review an IEP once a term.

In this stage you should:

  • determine if the teaching strategies, adjustments and supports provided have been effective and whether the student’s goals have been achieved
  • make educational decisions based on the information to determine if:
    • the goals should be modified
    • taught in different ways or changed
    • whether current teaching strategies, adjustments and supports should continue, or if they need to be revised or replaced
  • think about what is working or not working well

Interaction with families and information collected and shared, must comply with:

Guidance on How to develop an individual education plan

Reviewed 09 October 2020

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