Inclusive school leaders' perceptions on the implementation of individual education plans

Shamala Timothy, Joseph S. Agbenyega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Given increases in student diversity in our schools and classrooms of which students with varying disabilities and additional needs form a part, school leaders have a greater responsibility of ensuring that all students irrespective of their developmental backgrounds benefit from quality education. One of the approaches school leaders use to make quality education accessible to students with disability and/or additional needs is through the adoption of IEPs to inform pedagogy. Although not a legal requirement in Australian schools, some school leaders have adopted IEPs for use by teachers in supporting students with disability and/or additional educational needs. This phenomenological study explores the roles and experiences of five primary and seven secondary school leaders from two independent schools in metropolitan Victoria who adopt and use IEPs in their schools in programming for quality inclusive education for students with disability and/or additional needs. Thematic analysis of the data indicated that IEPs are used by the school leaders as planning documents which provide a means of communicating students' learning needs. School leaders encouraged collaboration and consultation amongst colleagues when developing IEPs. Continuous professional learning was identified as key to the effective implementation of IEPs; yet, school leaders reported that there was no single best approach in acquiring professional development in utilising IEPs to educate students with disability and/or additional needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Whole Schooling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Inclusive school
  • Individual Education Plans
  • School leaders
  • Australia

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