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Individual learning plans form a 'route map' of how a learner will get from their starting point on a learning journey to the desired end point. They may be for one course and include the acquisition of qualifications and skills, or may link several courses that give progression to different levels (from level 1 to 3, or from level 2 to Higher Education). They should be individual for each learner to reflect aspirations, aptitude and needs.
Although there may be common learning goals and methods of delivery for all learners on a particular course, it is unlikely that all learners have exactly the same learning styles, abilities, support needs, access to assessment in the workplace (if applicable), previous qualifications or experience. Too many vocationally-based courses have identical individual learning plans where only the names of learners are different. Some will struggle to achieve them while others will find them too easy and lose interest by not being sufficiently challenged.
Individual learning plans should start from a common format, listing general outcomes, and then develop as initial assessment and circumstances impact. They should be live documents that are useful to the learner, delivery staff and possibly employers and parents/guardians.
How does the way you use individual learning plans to support your learners compare with that of the most effective provision seen on inspection?
The following strengths and areas for improvement have been taken from recent inspection reports across the Ofsted Learning and Skills remit.
If you were given a similar area for improvement bullet at the end of your last inspection, self assessed this area as an area for improvement, or want to work to avoid such areas for improvement, then consider what inspectors judge to be key.
Does the proforma you use have sections that reflect the requirements of all those involved in the delivery of training (employers, funding bodies, awarding bodies, assessors, tutors, specialist support staff)?
List any amendments that are necessary.
Take a sample of individual learning plans from across your provision. Is each plan individual to the learner, reflecting each learner’s initial assessment (including necessary support and taking account of previous experience and qualifications) and goals (with dates for achieving various milestones such as individual units, key skills, etc)?
How have learners been involved in writing their individual learning plans and in updating them as required?
How are targets broken down so that learners know the steps that they are expected to achieve and when they should do so (clear and measurable)?
Is there any good practice that could be shared between programmes (if ‘yes’ list it)?
How are individual learning plans used during review/tutorial activities?
Do all those who require it have access to the individual learning plans?
Are individual learning plans ‘live’ documents?
How do quality systems check how well individual learning plans are being used?
You can find this page and download any referenced resources from the Excellence Gateway at http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/66CC7113-0B89-40E3-8264-A96B457A143E.
© Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) 2012