In the Republic of Ireland individual education plans are not yet statutory but are likely to become so in the next few weeks with the passage through government of the Disabilities Bill. Many schools, however, have designed and have been using their own education plans for some time.
In order to begin to put together an education plan for a child with special needs, information needs to be gathered from all those who have any involvement with the child.
This will include:
- Diagnostic assessments
- Observations of parents and family
- Teacher observations
- Views of other professionals
- Views of previous teachers
- Student’s own views (if appropriate)
From this the student’s strengths and needs will be noted. The needs will be prioritized. Long term learning goals will be established in relation to the curriculum.
Short term aims towards these goals then need to be established. They need to be as objective as possible in order to monitor progress and make changes later. They should be realistic, achievable and observable. Target dates need to be set.
These short term plans will be reviewed regularly and questions asked as to whether they have been achieved or not and if not, why. Do they need to be broken down into smaller steps? Do the teaching strategies need to be changed? Do the objectives need to be changed or abandoned altogether