The Planning and Implementation of Individual Education Plans for the Down's Syndrome Pupil in Mainstream Primary Schools
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Due to limited research surrounding Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for children with Down’s syndrome in mainstream schools, this study investigated the formulation and implementation of IEPs in mainstream primary schools. It aimed to investigate what targets were set for pupils with Down’s syndrome and their rationale. It aimed to discover what it was that influenced those targets and how they were monitored and evaluated. Finally, it investigated what support was provided for the teachers when devising and implementing the pupils’ IEP. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four mainstream primary school teachers with no prior experience of, or knowledge about, Down’s syndrome. The findings indicated that the teachers developed the IEP independently with support from the Schools’ Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), the pupils’ parents and pupils’ 1:1 support staff. Participants reported having not received specific Down’s syndrome training prior to them developing the IEP and expressed the need for this training; additionally they had no help from health professionals. It was therefore found that all participants used their developmental knowledge and intuition to devise and implement the IEP, supported by any accessible information about the pupil and the use of peer comparison. It was evident that participants selected similar targets with similar rationales – targets were chosen to ensure that the Down’s syndrome pupil had access to mainstream curriculum and be treated equally. Although participants were anxious about their ability as mainstream teachers to formulate a suitable IEP for their pupil with Down’s syndrome, they did feel positive towards inclusion itself, and felt that they had a good support network from professionals within the school and the pupils’ parents.
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