Additional learning needs: Decision-making process

4. What is an Individual Development Plan?

All children and young people with an identified need that require an additional learning provision will have a mandatory Individual Development Plan (IDP). Children, young people, parents and carers will contribute to the creation and maintenance of IDPs through person-centred meetings/reviews. 

IDPs for children under compulsory school age, who require them, i.e. in the early years, will be maintained by local authorities. 

The majority of IDPs for school age children and young people will be maintained by a school.  In some cases, the Local Authority will make decisions regarding preparing and maintaining IDPs if :

  • the child/young person has a rare condition which requires specialist support that the school cannot reasonably provide;
  • the school requires regular advice and support from external agencies over and above that which can be reasonably arranged and ;
  • the child/young person requires equipment which can only be used by one pupil or cannot be reused or is beyond the reasonable resources of the school;
  • the child/young person requires very intensive daily support which cannot be reasonably secured by the school through the school’s delegated budget;
  • the child is Looked After;
  • dual-registered children/young people.

An IDP maintained by a school and that maintained by a local authority will have exactly the same statutory standing.

All IDPs will contain certain key elements and have the same basic structure, including a one page profile, summary of needs, agreed outcomes and support.  This will ensure broad consistency and equality in terms of the way that learners are treated and will underpin the cohesion of the ALN system as a whole and the portability of individual plans.