For many years I have wondered, “Why doesn’t every child in school have an IEP (individual education plan)?” I first wrote this question nearly 5 years ago. At the time I was content to let the question stand on its own, but over the years it has never been too far back in my mind.
Lately, the question has evolved in my mind to become, “What would school be like if every child had an IEP? Not because they are disabled, but because every child is different?” I think I’ve found an answer, thanks to an item shared by David Gurteen (@davidgurteen) that I found in my Google Reader feeds.
In Put the child in the centre, Robert Paterson gives some performance details from the Alice Byrne school – very impressive performance – and then goes on to describe what he sees as the key to this performance (emphasis mine):
At Alice Byrne each child has their own learning plan that is built with all the staff who are connected to that child, the parets and the child. All have a part in this plan. Weekly the staff discuss each child and share what they observe. Alice Byrne has put the child in the centre. The family has been brought in as well.
As Robert says, any school can do it. It may not be easy for them to make the change, but it isn’t – shouldn’t be – about easy; it should be about better. (Sound familiar?)