From 1 September 2005, the Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (SENDO) makes changes to the existing legislation, as contained in the Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 for children with special educational needs (SEN).
SENDO strengthens the rights of children with special educational needs to be educated in mainstream schools. SENDO recognises parental choice while protecting the education of others. In order to assist parents in making that choice, there is a duty on the Board to provide parents with information.
The Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Service (DARS) has been established by the Board and is aimed at resolving or reducing the areas of disagreement between parents and schools/Boards of Governors.
The DARS is separate and independent from the Board’s Special Education service and is serviced by Officers from Schools Branch.
The decision to use the service is at the discretion of a parent and does not prejudice the right of a parent to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST).
Further Information can be found on the Education Support for Northern Ireland Web Site.