Personalised Planning and Support

Through Curriculum for Excellence all children and young people should have frequent and regular opportunities to engage with an adult who knows them well and with whom they have a mutually trusting relationship to review and discuss their learning and progress. Cognisance must be given to the individual developmental needs of learners when staff plan and support this engagement. For Social and Language partners, different methods of establishing their preferences are required. This key member of staff has the holistic overview of the child or young person’s learning and personal development.

There are variations between local authorities regarding the number of stages within their process and their terminology used to describe planning documents. An overview using common terms is provided in the table below.

Examples of plansClass planning.
Personal Learning Plan (PLP).
Individual Education Plan (IEP).Coordinated Support Plan (CSP).
Child’s Plan.

Personal Learning Planning (PLP) (click here)

Personalised learning is at the heart of supporting learning in which the learning environment is a crucial factor. Conversations about learning, reviewing progress and planning next steps are central to this process. All children and young people should be involved in personal learning planning (PLP).    

All learners are entitled to have opportunities for achievement which focus on learning and progress made through activities across the full range of contexts and settings in which the curriculum is experienced.  The 2017 Code of Practice says that children with additional support needs should be involved in their personal learning planning. It also says that, for many, this will be enough to meet their needs.   

Individualised Educational Programme (IEP) (click here)

If a PLP does not enable sufficient planning to support a learner, their PLP can be supported by an individualised educational programme (IEP). An IEP is a non-statutory document used to plan specific aspects of education for learners who need some or all of their curriculum to be individualised. IEPs are usually provided when the curriculum planning required is to be ‘significantly’ different from the class curriculum. Involvement with group work or extraction for a number of sessions a week does not normally meet the criteria for an IEP.   

Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) – Targeted Support (click here)

A CSP is the only statutory educational plan in Scotland. It is a legal document and aims to ensure that all the professionals, the child/young person and the parents/carers work together and are fully involved in the support. It was developed to help coordinate services for children or young people, whose additional support needs:   

  • arise from complex, or multiple factors, which   
  • have a significant adverse effect on their school education and   
  • are likely to last at least a year, and which require support to be provided by an education authority and at least one other non-education service or agency.   
Child Plan – Targeted Support (click here)

people will now have a Child’s Plan. Child’s Plans are created if a child or young person needs some extra support to meet their wellbeing needs such as access to mental health services or respite care or help from a range of different agencies. The Child’s Plan will contain information about:   

  • Why a child or young person needs support   
  • The type of support they will need   
  • How long they will need support and who should provide it.   

All professionals working with the child would use the plan, which may include an IEP or a CSP.  A ‘Lead Professional’ to co-ordinate a Child’s Plan and targeted interventions.  

Assessment and planning for individuals using the SCERTS framework

In Scottish education, the SCERTS® Model is increasingly being used as a framework to assess and plan to meet the needs of learners with additional support needs for whom a targeted plan for support is required.  The SCERTS® framework considers the child’s stage of development with regards to social communication and emotional regulation and directs practitioners to suitable supports to promote engagement, meaningful participation and learning.  Even if you are not using the SCERTS framework as part of your practice, it can be helpful to be aware of the three stages of development identified by the SCERTS® framework, as shown in the figure below and referred to throughout the Toolbox:  

  • Social Partners (of any age), who are not yet using words  
  • Language Partners refers to individuals with emerging language  
  • Conversation Partners refers to learners who are moving towards conversational effectiveness, but may still benefit from support  

It is important that selected approaches are appropriate to a child’s stage of development. Social Stories for example, require metacognitive skills and an ability to reflect.  For this reason, this approach would be more suitable for individuals at the Conversation Partner stage of development and perhaps some individuals at the Language Partner Stage.  Social Stories are unlikely to be helpful for those at the Social Partner Stage.  

Further information about the SCERTS Framework can be found here: The SCERTS® Model