Student perceptions of their IEP targets

Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The 2001 Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs (DfES, 2001) explicitly states that students with IEPs should have an active role in the writing and implementing of them. A research project was conducted in which 19 Year 8 students in three schools were interviewed, with the findings cross-referenced against an examination of their individual education plans (IEPs) and interviews with the SENCos. Very few students were able to communicate a clear understanding of IEPs. Students’ stated targets mostly reflected mainstream target-setting: very few stated targets matched with those in their IEPs. Consistent with these findings is literature which argues that meaningfully involving students in the IEP process takes considerable time and effort, which would appear to imply that the number of students with IEPs in any one school must be limited. Against this are pressures, particularly from OFSTED but also from examination boards, to have IEPs available as evidence that students’ needs are being met. The article concludes by suggesting that SENCos look to limit the number of IEPs issued, alongside a robust defense of the school’s special educational needs policy within the school evaluation form to ensure that students’ needs are met and also are seen to be met.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Support for Learning