Highlights of Regulation 181/98
This document represents a summary of information, provided
in Ontario Regulation 181/98, and should be read in conjunction with this
Regulation. If any discrepancy exists between this document and the Regulation,
the information in Regulation 181/98 applies.
Requirements of Regulation 181/98
The Education Act requires that school boards provide, or
purchase from another board, special education programs and services for their
exceptional pupils. This attachment provides information about the
Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC), and sets out the
procedures involved in identifying a pupil as exceptional, deciding
the pupils placement, or appealing such decisions when the parent does
not agree with the IPRC.
Note: The word parent when used, includes
- What is an IPRC?
181/98 requires that all school boards set up an Identification, Placement
and Review Committee (IPRC). An IPRC is composed of at least three persons, one
of whom must be a principal or supervisory officer of the board.
- What is the role of the IPRC?
- The IPRC will:
- decide whether or not the student should be identified
- identify the areas of the students exceptionality,
according to the categories and definitions of exceptionalities provided by
the Ministry of Education;
- decide an appropriate placement for the student; and
- review the identification and placement at least once in
each school year.
- Who is identified as an exceptional pupil?
- The Education Act defines an exceptional pupil as a
pupil whose behavioural, communicational, intellectual, physical or multiple
exceptionalities are such that he or she is considered to need placement in a
special education program.... Students are identified according to the
categories and definitions of exceptionalities provided by the Ministry of
- What is a special education program?
- A special education program is defined in the Education Act
as an educational program that:
- is based on and modified by the results of continuous
assessment and evaluation; and
- includes a plan (called an Individual Education Plan or IEP)
containing specific objectives and an outline of special education
services that meet the needs of the exceptional pupil.
- What are special education services?
- Special education services are defined in the Education Act
as the facilities and resources, including support personnel and equipment,
necessary for developing and implementing a special education program.
- What is an IEP?
- The IEP must be developed for a student, in consultation with
the parent. It must include:
- specific educational expectations;
- an outline of the special education program and services
that will be received;
- a statement about the methods by which the
students progress will be reviewed; and
- for students 14 years and older (except those identified
as exceptional solely on the basis of giftedness), a plan for transition to
appropriate postsecondary school activities, such as work, further
education, and community living.
The IEP must be completed within 30 days after the student
has been placed in the program, and the principal must ensure that the parent
receives a copy of it.
- How is an IPRC meeting requested?
- The principal of the students school:
- must request an IPRC meeting for the student, upon
receiving a written request from the parent;
- may, with written notice to the parent, refer the student to an
IPRC when the principal and the students teacher or teachers
believe that the student may benefit from a special education program.
Within 15 days of receiving a written request, or giving the
parent notice, the principal must provide a copy of the boards
Parents Guide to Special Education to the parent, as well as an
acknowledgement of the parents request and a written statement of
approximately when the IPRC will meet.
- May parents attend the IPRC meeting?
- Regulation 181/98 entitles parents and pupils 16 years of age
- to be present at and participate in all committee
discussions about the student; and
- to be present when the committees identification
and placement decision is made.
- Who else may attend an IPRC meeting?
- the principal of the students school;
- other resource people such as the students teacher, special
education staff, board support staff, or the representative of
an agency, who may provide further information or clarification;
- a representative of the parent or student 16 years of
age or older that is, a person who may provide support or speak on
behalf of the parent or student; and
- an interpreter, if one is required, e.g., sign language,
oral, specific language.
- Who may request that others attend?
- Either the parent or the principal of the students
school may make a request for the attendance of others at the IPRC
- What information will parents receive about the IPRC
- At least 10 days in advance of the meeting, the chair of the
IPRC will provide to the parent, written notification of the meeting and an
invitation to attend the meeting as an important partner in considering their
childs placement. This letter will provide notification of the date,
time, and place of the meeting, and it will ask the parent to indicate whether
they will attend.
Before the IPRC meeting occurs, the parent will receive a
written copy of any information about their child that the chair of the IPRC
has received. This may include the results of assessments or a summary of
- What if parents are unable to make the scheduled
- If the parent is unable to make the scheduled meeting, he or
- contact the school principal to arrange an alternative
date or time; or
- let the school principal know he or she will not be attending, and
as soon as possible after the meeting, the principal will forward to
the parent, for their consideration and signature, the IPRCs
written statement of decision noting the decision of identification and
placement and any recommendations regarding special education programs and
- What happens at an IPRC meeting?
- The chair introduces everyone and explains the purpose
of the meeting.
- The IPRC will review all available information about the
student. They will:
- consider an educational assessment;
- consider, subject to the provisions of the
Consent Act, 1996, a health or psychological assessment conducted by a
qualified practitioner if they feel that such an assessment is required to make
a correct identification or placement decision;
- interview the student, with the parents
permission, if the child is less than 16 years of age, if they feel it would be
useful to do so; and
- consider any information that the parent submits about their child
or that the student submits if he or she is 16 years of age
- The committee may discuss any proposal that has been
made about a special education program or special education services for the
student. Committee members will discuss any such proposal at the parents
request, or at the request of the student if the student is 16 years of age or
- Parents are encouraged to ask questions and join in the
- Following the discussion, after all the information has
been presented and considered, the committee will make its decision.
- What will the IPRC consider in making its placement
- Before the IPRC can consider placing the student in a special
education class, it must consider whether placement in a regular class with
appropriate special education services will:
- meet the students needs; and
- be consistent with parental preferences.
If, after considering all of the information presented to
it, the IPRC is satisfied that placement in a regular class will meet the
students needs and that such a decision is consistent with parental
preferences, the committee will decide in favour of placement in a regular
class with appropriate special education services.
If the committee decides that the student should be placed
in a special education class, it must state the reasons for that decision in
its written statement of decision.
- What will the IPRCs written statement of decision
- The IPRCs written statement of decision will state:
- whether the IPRC has identified the student as
- where the IPRC has identified the student as
- the categories and definitions of any exceptionalities
identified, as they are defined by the Ministry of Education;
- the IPRCs description of the students
strengths and needs;
- the IPRCs placement decision; and
- the IPRCs recommendations regarding a special
education program and special education services;
- where the IPRC has decided that the student should be
placed in a special education class, the reasons for that decision.
- What happens after the IPRC has made its
- If the parent agrees with the IPRC decision, he or she
will be asked to indicate, by signing their name, agreement with the
identification and placement decisions made by the IPRC. The statement of
decision may be signed at the IPRC meeting or taken home and returned.
- If the IPRC has identified the student as an exceptional
pupil and the parent agreed with the IPRC identification and placement
decision, the board will promptly notify the principal of the school at which
the special education program is to be provided of the need to develop an
Individual Education Plan (IEP) for the student.
- Once a child has been placed in a special education
program, can the placement be reviewed?
- A review IPRC meeting will be held within the school
year, unless the principal of the school at which the special education program
is being provided receives written notice from the parent, dispensing with the
- The parent may request a review IPRC meeting any time
after their child has been in a special education program for 3 months.
- What does a review IPRC consider and
- The review IPRC considers the same type of information
that was originally considered.
- With the parents written permission, the IPRC
conducting the review will consider the progress the student has made in
relation to the IEP.
- The IPRC will review the placement and identification
decisions and decide whether they should be continued or whether a different
decision should now be made.
- What can parents do if they disagree with the IPRC
- If the parent does not agree with either the
identification or placement decision made by the IPRC, he or she may:
- within 15 days of receipt of the decision, request that
the IPRC hold a second meeting to discuss their concerns; or
- within 30 days of receipt of the decision, file a notice
of appeal with the secretary of the board.
- If the parent does not agree with the decision after the
second meeting, he or she may file a notice of appeal within 15 days of receipt
of the decision.
If the parent does not consent to the IPRC decision and does
not appeal it, the board will instruct the principal to implement the IPRC
- How does the parent appeal an IPRC
- If the parent disagrees with the IPRCs identification
of their child as exceptional or with the placement decision of the IPRC, he or
she may, within 30 days of receipt of the original decision or within 15 days
of receipt of the decision from the second meeting described above, give
written notification of their intention to appeal the decision to the secretary
of the board.
The notice of appeal must:
- indicate the decision with which the parent disagrees;
- include a statement that sets out his or her reasons for
- What happens in the appeal process?
- The appeal process involves the following steps:
- The board will establish a special education appeal
board to hear the appeal. The appeal board will be composed of three persons
(one of whom is to be selected by the parent) who have no prior knowledge of
the matter under appeal.
- The chair of the appeal board will arrange a meeting to
take place at a convenient time and place, but no later than 30 days after he
or she has been selected (unless parents and board both provide written consent
to a later date).
- The appeal board will receive the material reviewed by
the IPRC and may interview any persons who may be able to contribute
information about the matter under appeal.
- The parent, and student, if he or she is 16 years old or
over, are entitled to be present at, and to participate in, all discussions.
- The appeal board must make its recommendation within 3
days of the meeting ending. It may:
- agree with the IPRC and recommend that the decision
be implemented; or
- disagree with the IPRC and make a recommendation to
the board about the students identification, placement, or both.
- The appeal board will report its recommendations in
writing, to the parent and to the school board, providing the reasons for its
- Within 30 days of receiving the appeal boards
written statement, the school board will decide what action it will take with
respect to the recommendations (boards are not required to follow the appeal
- The parent may accept the decision of the school board,
or may appeal to a Special Education Tribunal. The parent may request a hearing
by writing to the secretary of the Special Education Tribunal. Information
about making an application to the tribunal will be included with the appeal