What Is An Individual Education Plan (IEP)?

What Is An Individual Education Plan (IEP)? | Raise the Bar Clinic

Have you ever heard of an Individual Education Plan (IEP)? Sometimes they are referred to as an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) or Learning Profile. If you have a child with additional needs or learning difficulties, an IEP can be a helpful tool  for supporting their learning and general well-being at school.

The education system can be complex, especially for students who require additional support or individualised teaching strategies. An IEP is a personalised plan that outlines the specific educational goals for a student, and the particular  adjustments required during teaching and learning activities.

Understanding what an IEP is and how it can support your child at school can assist with ensuring they receive the necessary support and resources to thrive in their academic environment.

What is an Individual Education Plan?

An IEP outlines your child’s learning objectives, abilities, strengths and educational adjustments, and documents their learning progress. The plan also specifies what modifications, accommodations or additional supports need to be provided during teaching and assessment tasks so that your child can reach their learning objectives. These are referred to as reasonable adjustments.

Keep in mind that adjustments are not limited to your child’s academic performance. They can also help support your child in their social, emotional and behavioural development, respond to their personal and medical needs, and support participation and inclusion in all activities of school life.

One of the primary responsibilities of the student support group is to create your child’s education plan. A student support group usually consists of the parent/s or carer/s, the student’s teacher/s, and the school principal or a nominee (such as the assistant principal).  The child themselves can also attend (if appropriate) as well as other relevant support staff that may be working with your child externally to school. Student support group meetings usually occur at least once a term and provide the opportunity to work collaboratively to make decisions about your child’s education and to check in on their progress. 

What does an IEP look like?

It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all plan supporting children with individualised needs. Every child is unique and requires a customised plan flexible enough to accommodate changes as needed.

While your child’s school may have a format or template, it should be personalised to suit your child’s specific requirements.

When creating the plan, it’s important to consider your child’s interests, their individual needs and differences, the skills they’re working on, and the teaching methods that work best for them.

It’s also essential to identify areas where your child may need additional support and those where they excel and feel confident.

You should also consider factors that help your child focus and feel comfortable at school and those that cause stress or difficulty.

Also include any information you think might be useful for the school to know, including strategies to help your child cope with stress or upset.

What Is An Individual Education Plan (IEP)? | Raise the Bar Clinic

Students who benefit from an Individual Education Plan

IEPs are required for:

IEPs are highly recommended for:

    • Students with additional needs.
    • Students not achieving their potential (this may include high-ability students, where appropriate) – further guidance is available from the department’s High-ability toolkit).
    • Students at risk of disengagement.
    • Students who are young carers (where appropriate).
    • Any other student determined by the school as needing an IEP.


The Significance of an Individual Education Plan

  • Enables the creation of a learning program for a specific student.
  • Tracks a student’s progress against short-term SMART (specific, measurable, agreed, relevant, and timely) goals to assist long-term goal achievement.
  • Information is shared between the school, student, their family or carers, and other support specialists, such as a Koorie Engagement Support Officer, social worker, or speech pathologist.
  • Helps you identify resources that the student may require to fulfil their objectives. For instance, visual aids for classroom schedules or audiobooks.
  • Encourages student confidence and participation.
  • Assists schools to meet their legal requirements and accountabilities for students with disabilities under the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

Vital points to know about IEPs

An individualised education program is a legal document that outlines the specific educational needs of a child with additional needs or learning difficulties. It’s a roadmap that ensures the child receives the right instruction and support to succeed in school.

  • Purpose

IEPs are created to provide students with specialised instruction, related services, and accommodations that they need to learn and thrive in school.

  • Who creates it?

An IEP is a collaborative document created by the child’s parents/carers, teachers, specialists, and the child (when appropriate).

  • What it includes

IEPs typically include information about the child’s individual needs, their current learning levels, specific goals for improvement, and how their progress will be measured. It also outlines any accommodations or related services the child needs to be successful, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, or extra time on tests.

What Is An Individual Education Plan (IEP)? | Raise the Bar Clinic

Final thoughts

An Individual Education Plan is a valuable tool that can help students with additional needs reach their full potential and participate in all aspects of school life.

By creating a customised plan that addresses their unique strengths and challenges, students can receive the support and accommodations they need to succeed.

Remember, every child deserves an education that meets their individual needs, and an IEP can help to reach that goal.

Book an appointment with one of our experienced psychologists today to discuss your needs and whether our assessment and intervention services are appropriate for you and your child.