Individual Program Plans - Nova Scotia education system
Legitimate concerns - for many students, not the best option

Parent(s) Rights
in IPP Program Planning


  • At the time of registration or early in that school year, all parents should be made aware of the school board's policies, prodecures, and guidelines for identification, assessment, and referral.
  • Before a referral or assessment to either school board employees or professionals from other agencies is initiated, the parents, as program planning team members, must be consulted.
  • Informed parental consent is required in writing for any formal individual assessment carried out by employees of the board or persons/agencies to whom the student has been referred.
  • A follow-up meeting is held with the parents to discuss the results of referral(s)/assessments(s)
  • Parents have a right to obtain a copy of the assessment report upon request -Special Education Policy, 2008, p. 30.
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What is an IPP?

Parents and students have legitimate concerns about IPPs.

For many years, parents of Black students have expressed concerns about the use of IPPs for their children.

Few job opportunities are available today without some postsecondary education. It is more difficult for a student who has graduated with an IPP to be accepted into many trade schools, colleges, and universities.

Data from a 2016 report suggests:
"[S]tudents of Aboriginal ancestry or African descent are disproportionately identified for individual program planning. Boards reported that program planning teams need to consider a student's racial/cultural identity, strengths, challenges, and interests to ensure appropriate program planning on a more consistent basis."
- Nova Scotia Department of Education, Individual Program Plan (IPP) Review: Themes and Recommendations, February 2016, p.11

"[I]n the case of African Nova Scotian students who self-identified of African Nova Scotian students who self-identified, only 66% of the IPPs reviewed were deemed to be the most appropriate programming option for the student."
- Nova Scotia Department of Education, Indiviudal Program Plan (IPP) Review: Themes and Recommendations, February 2016, p.9

Principals and vice principals are responsible for supporting the right of parents and guardians to be involved in the program planning process. All IPP meetings should be held as part of a team - including the principal, teacher(s) and resource staff. Exercise your right to request that the African-Nova Scotian Support Workers, the RCH (Race-Relations, Cross-cultural Understanding and Human Rights) Coordinators, or other supportive individuals or organizations outside the school attend the IPP meetings with you.

Advocating for yourself or child
As a parent, you have the right to be involved in the Program Planning Process for an IPP.

If you have any concerns about your child's IPP, contact the coordinator of student services for your school board:

BlackSPAN: Black Students Parents and Allies Network