Special educational needs: code of practice

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:

Hard copies

Copies of both of these documents are also available by contacting the Special Education Branch:

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