Personalised Learning Plans

Stylised definition of the word 'goals'

Teaching requires paying attention to the distinctive needs of all students of all abilities, acknowledging that each has different learning and teaching needs.

As a classroom teacher, you will recognise each student’s strengths and weaknesses and design your lesson plans to cater for each.

A Personal Learning Plan (PLP) should document a student’s skills, regularly highlight how well they’re progressing, and include their interests both within and outside the classroom.

Use of Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) can be a positive way of increasing the involvement/engagement of parents/caregivers in their children’s school experiences.

There are many reasons why PLPs are successful in enhancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student outcomes – academic, behavioural, and feelings of safety – social and emotional growth are inextricably linked with academic growth.

  1. PLPs include all stakeholders involved in the student’s learning.
  2. It’s a “now” thing, especially if the PLP is reviewed regularly.
  3. PLPs provide an opportunity to address any issue that might affect a student’s wellbeing.
  4. There is anecdotal evidence that using PLPs often leads to a change in a student’s attendance pattern, level of engagement and higher academic outcomes.

Personalised Learning Plans are a way of mapping where a student is now and developing a clear pathway to where they want to be. It is also a way of predicting any obstacles, such as dealing with grief, and putting in place ways of considering options.

PLP planning

In preparing for the development of a PLP, you as the teacher would need to talk with your student and their parents/caregivers about who they would like to be involved at the planning session. On occasion, a parent/caregiver might like to have another stakeholder such as the Indigenous Education Worker (IEW) participate.

When developing a PLP with a focus on academic outcomes, there are four key questions:

  • Where is the student now? (This should document the student’s skills.)
  • Where should the student be?
  • How will they get to where they should be?
  • How will we know when they get there?

For older students, the questions might be:

  • Where am I now?
  • Where do I think I should I be?
  • How do I get to where I think I should be?
  • How will I know when I get there?

A PLP should document a student’s skills, regularly highlight how well they’re progressing, and include their interests both within and outside the classroom. Weekly goals, as well as short and long-term goals can be set and if the PLP is accessible online, students and parents/caregivers can access it at any time.


In Western Australia, all Aboriginal students participating in the Follow the Dream: Partnerships for Success program require an individual learning plan, as this forms part of the agreement for this targeted initiative.

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