What is an IEP?

An Individual Educational Plan is a written document which specifies the learning goals that are to be achieved by the student over a set period of time. It should contain:

i. The nature and degree of the child’s abilities, skills and talents;
ii. The nature and degree of the child’s special educational needs and how those needs affect his or her educational
development;
iii. The present level of educational performance of the child;
iv. The special educational needs of the child;
v. The special education and related support services to be provided to the child to enable the child to benefit from
education and to participate in the life of the school;
vi. Where appropriate, the special education and related services to be provided to the child to enable the child to
effectively make the transition from pre-school education to primary school education;
vii. Where appropriate, the special education and related support services to be provided to the child to enable the
child to effectively make the transition from primary school education to post-primary school education, and
viii. The goals which the child is to achieve over a period not exceeding 12 months.
An IEP under the EPSEN Act should be drawn up by the Principal of the school, or a nominated representative or the National
Council for Special Education.
Who should have an IEP?
Anyone who has had a special needs assessment under the EPSEN Act, where it has been identified that a
special educational need does exist, should automatically have an IEP drawn up for them by the principal or nominated
person such as a Resource/Learning Support teacher.
Who to apply to?
Under the EPSEN ACT, an automatic referral follows a decision on a special educational need assessment (See Note). You should approach your child’s Class Teacher, Resource/Learning Support Teacher to ask that an IEP be prepared for your child.

Note:
This section of the Act has not been commenced yet. Therefore, a school has no obligation to prepare an IEP.
However, according to the Department of Education, over 90% comply as many schools see a benefit for the child and the school in preparing one.

How is an IEP prepared?
Information is gathered from the student, the family, school or pre-school, and other professionals (such as psychologists, social
workers, occupational therapists, speech & language therapists, physiotherapists, behavioural therrapists, GPs, etc.)
Under the Act, parents are entitled to be involved with the preparation of an IEP. The IEP is considered to be a ‘draft’ IEP until the parents have been consulted. If the plan changes, parents are entitled to a copy of the new plan.

IEPs are recommended internationally by special education experts. If your child’s school, refuses to prepare an IEP for your child, it is harder for a teacher to set goals and assess progress in an organised fashion. An IEP is a benefit to both the child and the teaching staff and should be encouraged by parents.

 

To find our more about IEPs, please read the NCSE Booklet Guidelines on the Individual Educational Plan Process

 

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