27 March 2015, No. 5-15
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Individual curriculum plans

The issue of individual curriculum plans (ICPs), for students, in particular the workload implications of developing these plans for multiple students in a class, has been raised by members across the state, in schools, at branch meetings, in discussion at area councils and, most recently, at the March QTU State Council meeting. The QTU has met with department officials in central office to seek clarification regarding system requirements for ICPs.

Individual curriculum plans were previously known as (and in some instances, may still be referred to as) individual learning plans (ILPs).

The QTU has modified its position statement on differentiation and planning for individual students to reflect department advice. It is important to note that the department has verified that the information in this statement (reproduced below) is accurate. The QTU will be formally seeking agreement to use this position statement as the basis for a QTU/DET joint statement on individual student planning. The position statement is currently on the QTU website

When do students require an ICP?

The department policy "A Whole School Approach to Student Learning", part of the P-12 Curriculum Framework, clearly sets out the parameters for the development of these plans. ICPs are those plans that are developed by teachers to cater for the diverse learning needs of students who perform well below the year level expectations in the whole of a learning area or across the whole curriculum. ICPs are also developed for those students who are performing well above the expectations for their year level or who are undertaking an accelerated program. In both cases, the ICP must be approved by the parents. The student is then taught at the year level identified in the ICP and assessed and reported against the achievement standard for that year level.

When do students not require an ICP?

Students who obtain a ‘D’ or ‘E’ achievement level are not deemed to automatically require an ICP. Similarly, an ‘A’ level of achievement does not automatically lead to a student being placed on an ICP.

Those students who achieved below the national minimum standard for year 3, 5, 7 and 9 on NAPLAN tests are also not required to have an ICP. Great Results Guarantee documentation that includes a requirement for ICPs (or ILPs) to be developed for these students is in breach of department policy. With scaffolding and additional resourcing, teachers can assist these students to improve their performance without the need for an individual curriculum plan, which often represents a significant workload for teachers.

Who develops an ICP?

In accordance with department policy, ICPs are to be developed in collaboration with the relevant school officers (e.g. principal, ST (LaN), guidance officer, HOC, HOD, HOSES or deputy principal) and are to be approved by the student’s parents/caregivers.

Students with disability may also require an ICP in addition to their education adjustment program. In these cases, the plans should be developed in conjunction with the specialist teacher and the classroom teacher.

When multiple ICPs have to be developed, the relevant teacher should be provided with additional release time to complete them.

What happens now?

Teachers and administrators should review the requirements for ICPs for individual students in their school. Discussions can take place at staff meetings and/or can be listed on the agenda of the local consultative committee.

In a circumstance where the number of students requiring an ICP in the school is significant and leads to the need for additional resourcing to support the learning of students, members may consider conducting a local needs based resourcing campaign.

As of term two, teachers should cease to develop ICPs for those students who do not require one in accordance with department policy.

Further advice and clarification can be sought from the QTU or the curriculum branch of central office.

 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union