Legislation and the new SEN Framework

Legislation and information on the new SEN Framework.

The SEN Framework aims to be more responsive in helping children with SEN to achieve improved outcomes and fulfil their potential. It will reform how children and young people with Special Educational Needs are identified and supported.

There are three elements to the SEN Framework:

Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 (the SEND Act)

Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 (the SEND Act)

It sets out new duties on the Education Authority and on Boards of Governors in schools, with regard to children with SEN and the provision and assessment of SEN. The legislation also enacts new rights for parents and for pupils.

The SEND Act has been passed, though much of it is yet to be commenced, as it is necessary to have in place the supporting SEN Regulations.

SEN Regulations (currently in draft form)

SEN Regulations (currently in draft form)

The new Regulations will provide a strengthened legislative base for delivering a responsive and effective Framework.

SEN Code of Practice (currently in draft form)

SEN Code of Practice (currently in draft form)

The new Code of Practice will translate the SEND Act (2016) into clear and practical guidance for those involved in identifying and assessing children who have, or may have, SEN and for those who provide special educational provision for children and young people with SEN.

The Department of Education held public consultations on the new SEN Regulations and new SEN Code of Practice and approvals from the Stormont government will allow the Regulations and Code of Practice to be implemented.

It is proposed that the SEND NI (2016) Act will be fully implemented throughout 2021 and 2022. Therefore, the information given here may be subject to change.

Last updated: 26/05/2021