The law dealing with Special Education in Northern Ireland is contained in the The Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 as amended by The Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (SENDO) and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (Northern Ireland) 2016.
Code of practice
The Department of Education has provided guidance for Education Authority and schools in the form of a Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs and also a Supplement to the Code of Practice, effective from 1 September 2005, which was produced as result of SENDO. Schools, Boards and health and social services authorities must consider the advice given in the Code of Practice when deciding what they should do for children with special educational needs
The Code of Practice addresses the identification, assessment and provision made for all children who may have special educational needs at some time in their school careers, or even earlier. You can view an electronic version of the code of practice using the link below:
Supplement to the code of practice
You may also view a Supplement to the code of practice that was issued by the Department of Education under Article 4 of the 1996 Order and is operative from 1 September 2005. The status, coverage, principles and essential practices and procedures and detailed guidance contained in existing Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs 1998 (hereafter referred to as the Code of Practice) are unchanged by this Supplement. You can view the supplement here:
Copies of both of these documents are also available by contacting the Special Education Branch:
This document aims to provide teachers an introduction to the new SEND code of practice and how it affects schools and teaching practices.
The main objectives of this leaflet are to:
Give an understanding of the rationale and content of the SEND Code of Practice 2014.
Audit the current practice in school and formulate an action plan to ensure successful implementation of the new document.
To provide SEND children with high ‘quality first teaching’ to ensure outstanding progress.
Here are some important dates in the chronology of the new legislation that the government had put into place last year. The main piece of legislation is The Children and Families Act 2014.
The SEND Code of Practice is part of the wider plan to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children.
Feb 2011 – the DfE published its Green Paper titled ‘Support and Aspiration’ a new approach to special needs and disability.
March 2014 – Children and Families Bill received Royal Assent.
22nd April 2014 – The statute came into force
June 2014 – Final draft of new Code of Practice for SEND.
July 2014 – The SEND code was laid before Parliament on 11 June 2014 and approved by both Houses on 29 July 2014.
Sept 2014 – The new SEND Code of Practice came into force on 1 September 2014
The new SEND Code reflects the changes introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014.
History and Background
The draft Code of Practice came out in June 2014 leaving schools very little time to sort through things and was only approved by parliament after the end of term. The Department for Education (DfE) published a new special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice on 30 July 2014. It came into force from 1 September 2014, replacing the previous 2001 (Special Educational Needs and Disability Act) Code. It stated that all schools must have regard to what the Code of Practice says whenever decisions are taken relating to children with SEND. Schools were to be ready to implement the new SEND Code of Practice from 1st September 2014.
So why did the Government devise a new Children and Families Act?
The government wanted to continue and improve on their policies and promised that after getting elected, for example, they would work on reducing the gaps between the most disadvantaged children and all others.
In a Nutshell…….
The aim of The Children and Families Act 2014 is to: Provide Greater Protection for Disadvantaged Vulnerable Children.
However the act covers a number of key areas connected with children and families.
The Government Says….. ‘ The new Children and Families Act will mean changes to the law to give greater protection to vulnerable children, better support for children whose parents are separating, a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities and help for parents to balance work and family life.’
(HYPERLINK “http://www.Gov.uk” www.Gov.uk) Accessed 12.2.15
This was a brief summary, looking at the history and chronology of the Children and Families Act 2014 and how the SEND Code of Practice fits under the Governments umbrella of new legislation aimed at improving outcomes for disadvantaged children.
The Children and Families Act legislation includes:
Welfare of Children
The Children’s Commissioner
Statutory Rights to Leave and Pay
Time off Work: Antenatal Care etc
Right to Request Flexible Working
Adoption and Contact
Children and Young People in England with SEND
SEND Code of Practice
The SEND Code of Practice came into force on 1st September 2014 and from that day onwards all professionals engaged in supporting young people with SEN had to have regard to the document. Some elements in the Code of Practice are a statutory requirement (must) and some are best practice (should).
Children and Young People with SEND
The most significant changes to affect schools were the legislation relating to children with SEND. The aim was to change the system for children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN), including those who are disabled, so that services consistently support the best outcomes for them.
EHC (Education Health Plan)
The Code of Practice introduced a single assessment process and an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan to support children, young people and their families from birth to 25 years. The EHC plan replaced the ‘statements of Special Educational Needs’. The Code of Practice now requires health services and local authorities to jointly commission and plan services for children, young people and families. The Code of Practice now gives children, young people and families the right to a personal budget for the support they receive.
Content of the SEND Code of Practice
SEND Changes – In a Nutshell
The change in the Code of Practice was not just a reshuffle of the previous code; it is introducing a totally new way of working by:
Moving towards a more family centred system.
Ensuring closer working across education, health and social care
Ensuring Local Authorities (LA’s) and schools produce a ‘local offer’
The introduction of ‘personal budgets’
The establishment of Education, Health, and Care Plans(EHCP)
0-25 years to support young people into further education, employment and independent living.
Establishing four main areas of SEN