IEP stands for Individualised Education Plan.
Gavin Reid (2016) is clear on the importance of IEP’s, based on a report, ‘Education for learners with Dyslexia’, (HMIE, 2008), published in Scotland:
‘pupils do best when parents and child are involved in setting and reviewing IEP targets in a collaborative process. There should be high expectations around student achievement’.
The review of literacy and What Works by Greg Brooks also states the importance of high expectations:
Pavey (2007), suggests that IEP’s could be used in an innovative way e.g. within a 12-week term; there is room for three sets of four-week strategies. She states that targets and methods should be clear; so that children make recognisable progress.
IEPs can be linked to an intervention and can help to integrate specific targets with class work, ensuring that skills and strategies become embedded across the curriculum. Pavey (2007) Tod and Fairman (2001) claim that IEPs promote:
Any intervention needs to be applied and embedded across classroom practice to ensure that the above factors are involved in the process. IEPs can also facilitate:
The SEND Code of Conduct (2014) calls for pupils to be actively engaged in targets and for pupil voice. However, Lundy (2007) identified that teachers were sceptical about children’s ability to participate in the decision-making process. Creative methodologies have proven successful (wherein pupils draw pictures) and this is especially useful for children with speech and language barriers (Leitch, 2008).
The pupils I work with are often disenfranchised and lacking in self- esteem, for some of them, their unmet learning need becomes a PSHE issue, rather than a learning one and perhaps this is easier for schools to manage. However, I strongly feel that a dyslexic’s social and emotional needs are affected by learning experiences in class and it is in class where their needs should be met.
Tomlinson (1997) defines inclusion as matching resources to learning styles and educational needs of students. Reid (2016) suggests that dyslexic students would benefit from the following:
Importantly, without specific intervention and support, children with dyslexia will not catch up, despite Quality First Teaching (See Greg Brooks, What Works, March 2016)
The act of embedding good practice and learning strategies from interventions naturally leads to differentiation within class and ways to harness a child’s individual strengths and learning preferences. This should be a natural organic process if there is cohesion across interventions and work within class. It calls for good communication between staff. Dyson (2002) argues that there needs to be a:
‘move away from the individualisation of current approaches towards the development of systematic interventions embedded in mainstream schools and classrooms’ (P.99)
To further support this process, staff would benefit from specific training in the nature of dyslexia, its causation and treatment. At least one staff member needs to be fully trained in this area; the knowledge can then be cascaded across the school.
This differentiation should be carried across into the setting and completion of homework.
Is it time to reconsider the role of IEPs in your school?
See here for a great alternative to an IEP, thanks to Sarah Gillie!
HWTe (2008) Education for learners with dyslexia. Inspectorate Report. Scottish Executive, October 2008.
Leitch, R. (2008) Researching children’s narratives creatively through drawings, in P. Thomson (ed.) Doing Visual Research with Children and Young People, London: Routledge, pp.37-59.
Lundy, L. (2007) ‘Voice is not enough: Conceptualising Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’. British Educational Research Journal, 33(6): 927-42.
Pavey, B (2007) The Dyslexia-Friendly Primary School: A Practical Guide for Teachers, London: Sage.
Reid, G. (2005) Dyslexia, London: Continuum International Publishing Group.
Tod, J. and Fairman, A. (2001) Individualised learning in a group setting. In: L. Peer and G. Reids (eds), Dyslexia: Successful Inclusion in the Secondary School. London: David Fulton.
Tomlinson, J. (1997) Inclusive Learning: The report of the committee of inquiry into the post-school education of those with learning difficulties and disabilities in England, 1996. European Journal of Special Need Education (pp, 145-59) Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.