Independent Review of Special Education Needs

The Independent Review of Special Education Needs, commissioned by the Department, in response to Recommendation 2 of the PAC report on ‘Impact review of SEN’ has now commenced.

Our vision is that every child with Special Educational Needs (SEN) is happy, learning and succeeding.

Following the Department’s acceptance of recommendation 2 of the 2021 PAC “Report on Impact Review of Special Educational Needs”, IPSOS was commissioned in April 2022, to carry out the Independent Review of SEN Provisions and Processes (the Review). The IPSOS Team has now concluded its review and has submitted, for publication, the final version of the report and executive summary to the Department.

The report indicates the need for more effective use of the substantial funding to deliver high quality, child-centred provision. This can be achieved through a focus on earlier intervention, a highly skilled and trained workforce and pupil support services that are flexible and responsive as a child’s needs emerge. The report also places a clear onus on the Department to drive forward a transformation agenda within a reasonable timeframe.

The Department welcomes the report and is encouraged that many of the findings are in keeping with previous reports as this aligns with much of the work already underway as part of the ongoing SEN transformation agenda.

The transformation of SEN services is a key priority for the Department, the Education Authority, and the wider education system to improve outcomes for some of our most vulnerable children and young people. The Department acknowledges that systemic reform is critical to ensuring that all of our children and young people benefit from high quality, child centred and cost-effective services.

Following consideration of the report, the Department will publish a more detailed response to the findings and recommendations of the report, in due course.

For further information in relation to the report please contact



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