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*This resource has been tested for appropriateness in the classroom and scrutinised for safeguarding and cybersecurity issues. However, please do carry out any due diligence processes required by your own institution before using or recommending it to others.
*This is an example of a resource that is under development and may not have been fully vetted for security, safety or ethics.  Please carry out your own safeguarding and cybersecurity due diligence before using it with students or recommending it to others.

Revolutionising Classroom Support: Custom Instructions in ChatGPT for Personalised Education

Pupil Referral Unit
Teaching & Inclusive Practices
Key Stage 2
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Case Study
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Chris Goodall

Head of Digital Education, Bourne Education Trust

OpenAI's introduction of "custom instructions" has unlocked a new dimension in personalised learning support. By pre-configuring specific instructions tailored to classes, groups, or individuals, educators can seamlessly harness ChatGPT to address diverse educational needs without repetitively typing prompts. This study sheds light on the power of this feature and its practical applications in diverse educational settings.

The recent inclusion of "custom instructions" by OpenAI in ChatGPT has ushered in a game-changer for educators. This feature, accessible via a user's profile settings, empowers educators to set particular contextual instructions, ensuring ChatGPT adheres to them during every interaction.

For educators managing multiple classes, groups, or students with unique needs, this feature is hugely beneficial. Instead of re-entering prompts during each use, educators can create, save, and quickly input specific instructions tailored for their audience. Consequently, ChatGPT can seamlessly cater to students' specific requirements, enhancing their task or activity engagement during lessons.

Three illuminating applications underscore this feature's transformative potential:

Whole Class Scaffolding: Designed to aid the entire class, it structures information or tasks, ensuring comprehensive comprehension. 

EAL Group Scaffolding: Tailored for students with English as an Additional Language (EAL), this support level offers linguistic scaffolds, enhancing students' content understanding. 

Individual Student IEP Support: This ultra-personalised approach caters to students with Individualised Education Plans (IEPs). It offers strategies and support mechanisms specific to their learning needs. 

However, an essential caveat is the importance of data protection. It's imperative to avoid sharing specific student details when interfacing with AI to maintain confidentiality and uphold ethical standards.

The scenario in this case study is genuine and based upon real events and data, however its narration has been crafted by AI to uphold a standardised and clear format for readers.

Key Learning

Custom instructions in ChatGPT offer unparalleled ease and efficiency in delivering tailored educational support.

The flexibility of this feature ensures wide-ranging applications, from whole-class to individualised interventions.

Prioritising data protection is crucial when interfacing with AI platforms.


Potential for unintentional sharing of sensitive student information if educators aren't vigilant.

Over-reliance on AI-generated instructions might lead to reduced human oversight in addressing student needs.

The efficacy of AI-facilitated support may vary, necessitating consistent monitoring and refinement.