04 SES 06 C, Effective Provision: Models
Parallel Paper Session
Individual education plans (IEPs) have been adopted in many countries as a means of ensuring that a focus is maintained upon the specific learning needs of individual pupils described as having special educational needs. In addition they have been promoted as a means of enabling teachers to make adaptations to lesson planning and the curriculum in order to take account of the needs of individuals and to ensure that they gain access to learning alongside their peers. In many administrations the use of individual education planning is directly linked to legislation which has established the implementation of IEPs as a requirement for pupils who have a formal assessment of special educational needs. Irish inclusion policy and provision has undergone a substantial transformation over the last decade. However, within the Republic of Ireland the development of IEPs has been an emergent process rather than one driven by legislation. The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (EPSEN) (Oireachtas 2004) proposed the implementation of IEPs and offered a blueprint for development but as yet requirements for schools to introduce a system of IEPs has not been implemented. Whilst recommendations for the development of individual education plans (IEP) in Irish Schools have been made and advice provided in several documents, a lack of statutory requirement has resulted in a variable response in terms of their implementation. This paper reports findings from research in primary schools across Ireland that examined the development and use of IEPs over a two year period. The researchers found that whilst there are inconsistencies in this area there are many examples of innovative practice that have found favour with teachers, parents and pupils. The findings from this research will be linked to and discussed in relation to international and specifically European research on individual education planning.
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