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Last reviewed on 21 August 2020
Ref: 11144
School types: All · School phases: All

You're not required to create IEPs anymore, but take a look at some suggestions about what to include if you do use them. There's also some templates from local authorities.

It's up to you to decide whether to use IEPs

The SEND Code of Practice no longer makes specific reference to IEPs. It recommends using school-based plans to support pupils but doesn't set a specific format.

Check with your local authority (LA) to find out if they require a specific format for an assessment of SEN needs.

Otherwise, choose a format that works best for you and your pupils - use IEPs if you find them effective. See example of other approaches here.

How to write an IEP

Its contents will depend on the pupil's needs, but generally it should be: 

  • Outcome-focused
  • Collaborative (involving parents, pupils and school staff)
  • Child-friendly and parent-friendly
  • Easy for staff to use
  • Clear about it its purpose

And include the following: 

  • Entry data on the pupil (prior to receiving additional support)
  • Expected outcomes for the pupil
  • Actual outcomes for the pupil
  • The pupil’s participation in any interventions
  • Comments
  • Next steps

The above was explained to us by Anita Devi, one of our associate education experts.

Get help with putting an IEP together

Look at templates from local authorities

Use IEP software

Some schools have automated the process of writing IEPs using dedicated software, such as:

Please note that the inclusion of these products above doesn't constitute a recommendation by The Key.


Anita Devi is an education consultant and trainer who specialises in SEN and the use of technology to support learning. She is a member of nasen's national advisory board, and one of the founder members of the British Assistive Technology Association (BATA).

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