A free online resource developed to support the inclusion of autistic learners in Scottish Early Learning and Childcare settings, Primary and Secondary schools.

Personalised Planning and Support

Many autistic learners may only require minimal levels of support in class. Their needs will be met by a small number of reasonable adjustments within an inclusive classroom environment. This might include providing a visual timetable to enable them to better understand the structure of their day. A smaller number of autistic learners will need a more personalised, tailored approach


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.

Stages/levels 1 2 3
Examples of plans

Class planning.

Personal Learning Plan (PLP).

Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Coordinated Support Plan (CSP).

Child's Plan.

Personal Learning Planning (PLP)

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).  

Autistic learners (as are 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)

If a PLP does not enable sufficient planning to support an autistic 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 of or their entire 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

A CSP is the only statutory educational plan. It was developed to help identification and ensure provision of 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. 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 .

Child Plan – Targeted Support

In line with the 2014 Children and Young People Act and the ‘Getting it right for every child’ approach, many children and young 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. Where there is a Child’s Plan and targeted interventions to support a child or young person and parents, there will be a Lead Professional to co-ordinate that help.