Personalised Learning Plans (PLP)

How do we implement them at your school?

Why do we have to do PLPs?

Planning for individualised learning has been an important element of the Disability Discrimination Act - Education Standards, 2005 (DDA-DSE). Collaboration with parents and carers in planning learning for their young people is a vital part of the Act.

A PLP documents the adjusted achievement standards for students who have extensive learning needs. A PLP can also be provided for students who have gifts and talents; in care; indigenous learners; students who use English as an additional language or dialogue; and/or, have social emotional issues. Most students do not need a PLP. In fact, at many schools the adjustments for learners is part of our universal practice and extensive adjustments aren't necessary for most of our students.

ACARA features personalised learning as an important element of our curriculum. The PLP is not a recent compliance requirement. For many years we have used the Individual Education Plan (IEP). However, the IEP was based on goals that mostly were not related to the mandated curriculum. Ask me if you would like to read my article, "Is it RIP for the IEP?". Now we ensure respect for our learners by starting our planning at the year level the student is enrolled in before adjusting any achievement standards.

How do we start the PLP process?

To start the PLP process we need to have detailed assessment about the student. We need to know how they learn; what they can learn; and, their strengths and interests. We always start looking at the achievement standards for subjects at the year the student is enrolled. The BCE Line of Sight Documents are valuable and so is the Australian Curriculum Website to assist us do that. Some students may only have adjusted achievement standards in one subject. Other students may have adjusted achievement standards in all subjects.

Below is an example of a PLP for Mathematics with adjusted achievement standards drawn from Year 1 to 2.

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Consultation with Parents and Carers

It is vital that we collaborate with Parents and Carers in the PLP process. Collaboration with parents and carers is one of our obligations for students with a disability according to the DDA-DSE. Although not required by law, the PLP is a useful summary of decisions made about agreed adjustments when we have consulted with parents and collaborated with other professionals.

Who receives a PLP?

The PLP will be developed for students working outside their enrolled year level for some or all of their subjects. Students who are receiving 'extensive' adjustments as per the NCCD process need to have a PLP. These students require highly individualised teaching and assessment. Commonly these students may be achieving many years below their chronological age in all areas of the curriculum.

Some students that are receiving 'supplementary' or 'substantial' adjustments may also have a PLP. Their PLP may cover only one or two subjects e.g. English and/or Mathematics. They may not need adjusted achievement standards in all subject areas but adjustments to how the teaching and assessment is delivered. These adjustments can be noted on teacher's planning documents.