Skip to main content

Do IEPs give us the right to have our children repeat a grade? Our seven-year-old son and daughter (twins) have IEPs for speech and reading. Their school’s policy is to pile on the special services and keep them moving through the system. We feel they may do better repeating a grade so those special services can help them catch up a little.


Dear Bella,

Your question asks whether IEPs give children the right to repeat a grade. The answer is that retention policies are generally set by the school board for all students. However, the IEP team theoretically has the power to decide to retain a student for educational reasons, although this would require the agreement of the school staff. The IEP team would likely look to the administration for guidance as to whether this was appropriate or feasible given school policy, so it would be unlikely for the team to take a position contrary to the administration.

You may want to research the pros and cons of retention, as there may be disadvantages to retention that are worth considering. Ultimately, it sounds like you also need to address the components of the program your child is receiving to see if a more appropriate, intensive or different program is needed. Retention may allow the child to catch up, but if the right teaching strategies are not being used, it might simply continue the problems the child is already having.

Back to Top