Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Transformation

This work aims to transform special educational needs and disability services in order to provide the best support.

About the End-to-End Review of Special Educational Needs

The Department of Education (DE) and Education Authority (EA) are committed to meeting the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) by ensuring the right support from the right people, at the right time, and in the right place. We know this is currently not the case for many children with SEN in Northern Ireland.  All too often, investment has not resulted in improved outcomes for all children with SEN and we recognise that there is an urgent need for improvement.

We have heard consistently from stakeholders about the range of challenges across the SEN system, extending from difficulties accessing services through to the lack of advice and support available to both parents/carers and schools.

Review Process

In order to address these issues, the DE and EA have recently embarked on an End to End Review of (SEN). This will allow us to take an in depth look at the SEN system and make the changes necessary for more effective service delivery.

  • For children with SEN, this means that they have the same opportunities as their peers.
  • For staff, this means that they feel confident and capable to meet the additional support needs of children in the classroom.
  • For parents, this means that they are confident in the system, are communicated with, and have the tools to support their children.

The workstreams being taken forward as part of the End to End Review have been deliberately selected to address the challenges highlighted by stakeholders, with a view to creating an implementation plan for change. This is not a further review of the challenges; it is a way for us to develop solutions from policy development through to operational delivery.

To accelerate the pace of change, we have, along with stakeholders, identified several priority areas which can be progressed within a short timeframe and used to inform the longer-term change across the system. These include professional support in the classroom, communications, parental referrals, placements and admissions, and a new approach to Stage 2 support services.

Local Integrated Teams Project

As part of the wider End to End review of SEN, the EA is reforming its services and driving earlier intervention for children and young people who are at Stage 2 of the SEND Code of Practice (before a statutory assessment may be required). This will be through the establishment of new local integrated SEND support teams which are designed to wrap services and support around the needs of the child or young person and their school. To find out more about the Local Integrated Teams (LIT) project please watch this video and keep an eye out for further upcoming engagement opportunities.

Upcoming Engagement Opportunities

This page will be updated with opportunities for parents/carers, children and young people and professionals to express their view on our direction of travel in shaping the outcomes of the review and ensuring that we are delivering a child centered, needs based system.

Please get in touch if you would like to take part in the End to End Review of SEN.

Register Interest - End to End Review

Engagement Event Videos

Last updated: 14/03/2024