The DfES has reminded schools and SENCOs that in order to comply with the statutory framework and have regard to The SEN Code of Practice, it is necessary for schools to:

– identify learning targets for individual pupils with SEN – plan additional or different provision from the differentiated curriculum offer for all pupils

– review provision in the light of pupil outcomes.

In its most recent SEN Update* the DfES notes that many schools and local authorities are confused about the status of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and whether or not they are always necessary. It advises that IEPs are one method by which the processes of target setting, planning and review could be carried out.

Planning and monitoring provision for individual pupils The advice states that IEPs are not a statutory requirement. Where schools have a policy of individual planning and recording for all pupils then the child with SEN should not need an IEP. The national strategies provide examples of how to record interventions as part of class lesson plans with a record of the child’s progress (the outcomes of the intervention) being recorded in the same way for all children. An IEP is a teaching and planning tool with: – no more than three or four targets – appropriate strategies

– a record of the outcomes.

Previously published materials will help schools to consider their options and these are available here.

Further delegation of funds at School Action Plus and for high incidence SEN mainstream statements is an effective way of planning provision and costing resources.

Provision mapping Provision mapping at LA level can be used by authorities as a method of fulfilling their legal duty to explain ‘the element of special educational provision for children with special educational needs (but without statements) which the local education authority expect normally to be met from maintained schools’ budget shares and that element of such provision that the authority expects normally to be met from funds which it holds centrally’.

Many schools are target setting and recording outcomes for all pupils, and, where pupils have SEN, linking this to the provision mapping process. A school-based system of provision mapping should: – identify additional or different provision and its costs – link provision to individuals – record individual pupil targets – record individual pupil outcomes

– monitor review provision and pupil targets.

Where provision mapping is linked to recording outcomes for all pupils, or other locally devised systems, and personalised learning initiatives are in place, they should gradually replace IEPs for most, if not all, pupils, whilst still providing the reassurance and accountability to parents that is so important.

*SEN Update 18 – November 2005 available online at: