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The IPRC Process

What is an IPRC?

The decision to identify a student as “exceptional” is made by an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPR Committee; or IPRC)

An IPRC is a committee made up of school and School Board personnel that makes decisions about the identification of your child as having special education needs or “an exceptionality”, the category of the exceptionality, and the appropriate classroom placement of your child.

The rules of this Committee are set out in Ontario Regulation 181/98.

What is the purpose of the IPRC?

The purpose of the IPR Committee is to . . .

  • Decide whether or not your child should be identified as exceptional;
  • Identify the area or areas of your child's exceptionality;
  • Decide on an appropriate classroom placement for your child;  and
  • Review the identification and placement at least once each school year.

The IPRC can also discuss and recommend special education services, but this is not the main purpose of the IPRC.

Who will be at the Meetings of the IPR Committee?
The people at the meeting of the IPR Committee meeting may include:

  • yourself as parent or guardian, and as advocate for your child
  • the classroom teacher or teachers
  • special education teachers or school resource people
  • principals or vice-principals
  • School Board personnel, including Superintendents of Education, or School Board social workers, or psychologists
  • Your support person (see Basic Advocacy Skills – Finding Support)

School and School Board Personnel

The IPR Committee is made up of at least three school and School Board personnel. 

The IPR Committee has a Chairperson.  The chairperson of the IPR Committee must be a principal or a School Board supervisor.

The other members of the IPR Committee may include the classroom teacher, the Special Education Coordinator of the school, or a School Board social worker or psychologist.


Parents and Guardians are not official members of the IPR Committee and do not have a final say in the decisions of the committee.  However, parents and guardians do have a right to participate in IPR Committee meetings, and to make recommendations to the committee.

As well, parents and guardians have the right to ask for a review of the IPR Committee decisions and to appeal these decisions.

Students 16 years or older also have the right to participate in IPR committee meetings, to speak on their own behalf, as well as request a review or appeal of these decisions.

Parents or guardians (and students 16 years or older) are ex officio members of the committee since it is up to the parents to decide whether they . . .

agree or disagree with the written decisions of the committee;

sign the written statement of the IPR Committee decisions;

contact the chairperson to request a second meeting; or

appeal the IPR Committee decisions in writing to the School Board.

Your Support Person

Either you or your child's principal may make a request for others to attend the IPRC meeting. As well, you are entitled to have a representative or advocate who may speak on your behalf, or come to the meeting as a witness.

It is a good idea to bring a support person to the meetings of the IPR Committee.  In the section on Basic Advocacy Skills, we have included a section on Finding Support.  We also provide a number of links to parent groups and community organizations in the Education &Advocacy Links section of this web site.

What Decisions About your Child’s Education are made by the IPR Committee?

The IPRC will decide whether your child is "exceptional," the category of the exceptionality, and the appropriate classroom placement for the student.

The written decision of the IPR Committee decision will also include a description of the strengths and needs of the student, and may include recommendations about the special education services that will meet the needs of the student.  The parent’s recommendations may also be included in the IPRC decision.


Students are identified according to the categories and definitions of exceptionalities provided by the Ministry of Education.  Currently there are 12 categories of exceptionality as defined by the Ministry:

  • Behavior
  • Autism
  • Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
  • Language Impairment
  • Speech Impairment
  • Learning Disability
  • Giftedness
  • Mild Intellectual Disability
  • Developmental Disability
  • Physical Disability
  • Blind and Low Vision
  • Multiple Exceptionalities

Classroom Placement

The IPR Committee must also decide on the appropriate classroom placement of the student, whether in a regular class with special education services or in a special education class.

The school staff that will be involved in developing your child’s IEP must eventually choose one of the following five special education program placements.  It therefore makes sense for the IPR Committee to discuss the following placement options.

1-Regular class with indirect assistance

In-class accommodations (extra time for tests, for example), with no additional resources.

2-Regular class with resource assistance

Additional resources, such as a full-time or part-time educational assistant.

3-Regular class with withdrawal assistance

Part-time in a regular class and part-time outside the regular class.

Are additional resources necessary in the regular classroom?  Will the program outside the regular class be . . .


a special class with other students, or

idle time in a resource room?

4-Special education class with partial integration

Part-time in a special class with other students, and part-time in a regular class or in other social settings with regular classroom students.

5-Special education class full-time

Full-time in a special education class with other students.

The IPRC will recommend placement in a regular class with special education services if, in the opinion of the committee, such a placement meets the student's needs and the parent or guardian prefers placement in a regular classroom setting.

If the IPRC recommends placement in a special education class, it must set out the reasons for this recommendation in its decision.

Special Education Services

Most of the decisions about specific special education services for your child will be made during the development of your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).  However, IPR Committee meetings are good opportunities to begin discussions about the specific services that will be provided for your child.

The IPR Committee, Appeal Boards, and Ontario Special Education Tribunals can make recommendations about specific special education services that should be provided to your child, but these recommendations are not binding, and cannot be appealed.

According to Section 16 (1) of Ontario Regulation 181/98, the committee must discuss any proposal for special education programs or services at the request or the parent or student 16 years or older.

According to Section 9 (2) of Ontario Regulation 181/98, “appropriate education services must be provided to meet the pupil’s apparent needs.”

Other Responsibilities of the IPR Committee

The Annual Review

The IPR Committee is also responsible for meeting each year to review your child's progress and to revise your child’s education plan.

The annual review meeting of the IPRC is your chance to help ensure that your child begins each new school year in the best environment and with the appropriate support.

This review may be waived only with your written permission.  Even if things have been going well, it is recommended that you do not waive this review because it is an opportunity to develop your relationships with the other members of your child’s education team.

Anytime after 3 months from the date of the IPR Committee meeting, you may request a review of IPR Committee Decisions.

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