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Question: What is the legal status of an Individual Education Plan?

(11 Posts)
aliceliddell Tue 11-Oct-11 11:42:11

Do parents have a right to request one be drawn up? Is it enforceable? Anything else we should know?
Thanks in advance.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Tue 11-Oct-11 12:00:11

an iep doesn't have any legal protection, you need a statement for that. But if your child is on school action or school action plus then they should have one and you'd be well within your rights to ask, the sen code of practice is a useful read for info. You can always ask, whether you get is something else, but a school would not look good if they went against the sen cop. Parent partnership can be useful when it comes to backing parents on issues like this.

IndigoBell Tue 11-Oct-11 12:02:10

An IEP is best practice but not necessary - and certainly not enforceable.

All school have to do is show you how they are meeting your child's needs.

Some schools use provision maps instead of IEPs.

And all you care about is that they are meeting your child's needs. Not what document that is specified in, or the wording of that document.......

aliceliddell Tue 11-Oct-11 12:08:36

Thanks. So when the school don't meet the child's needs and is reluctant to use methods which have previously been effective under School Action +, the first step should be get IEP in writing?

Claw3 Tue 11-Oct-11 12:12:45

The whole point of an IEP is to measure and monitor progress, to ensure that stratergies they have in place are working.

Claw3 Tue 11-Oct-11 12:20:38

So if your child is on action + this would mean there is outside intervention and your child should be receiving extra or different help from his/her peers.

This extra or different help should be written in an IEP, so targets can be set, progress can be monitored, to ensure the help is working. If it isnt school and you have no way of knowing if the help is successful.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Tue 11-Oct-11 12:56:02

if your child is on sa or sa+ currently then they should already have an iep in writing and you should have been involved in its writing and have a copy. As indigo said, it's the actual support recieved that is important but if they are reluctant then this could be a good way to get them moving.

aliceliddell Tue 11-Oct-11 13:26:11

Not actually my child this time; my friend has the pleasure of it all. Dd School is reluctant. Ds school is incompetent.

r3dh3d Tue 11-Oct-11 13:44:32

Depends, I think.

It has no legal status, and there has been a bit of a move away from them of late because they are quite a lot of paperwork and SENCOs were complaining they were spending more time updating the paperwork than doing anything useful for the kids. And I can see in some cases that's true.

However, they have to have something that does the same job. Eg one bit of paperwork that says this is what we standardly do for this common problem, and some sort of regular measurement that shows how the child is progressing or not. The school wants to get them off SAP onto SA and off SA altogether, and they can't do that unless they measure some progress.

mariamagdalena Tue 11-Oct-11 14:33:42

The IEP is just a piece of paper listing what the school are working on which is 'additional to' and 'different from' the normal 'differentiated curriculum'. It usually contains 3 or 4 targets and lists strategies or resources to help. As Indigo says, some schools use alternative paperwork. A provision map is a summary document for when there are a lot of children requiring support over and above what the normal curriculum can be tweaked to give.

Be careful with books and websites from the USA. Their equivalent of an English child's statutory "statement of special educational needs" is also confusingly called the Individual Educational Plan (so in the States an IEP guarantees provision, whereas here it's short for Individual Empty Promises).

Children with less severe needs in the US have a section 504 plan, which I guess is the equivalent of a note in lieu.

aliceliddell Tue 11-Oct-11 14:58:22

Thanks! I'll let her know that her thoughts have been confirmed.

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