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Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

The term “special educational needs” is defined in legislation as a “learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made”. “Learning difficulty” means that the child has significantly greater difficulty in learning to read than the majority of children of his or her age, and/or has a disability which hinders his or her use of everyday educational facilities (or, where the child is below school age, would hinder such use if the child were of school age). “Special educational provision” means educational provision which is different from, or additional to, the provision made generally for children of comparable age. (Code of Practice, paragraph 1.4)

Many pupils may present, during their school career and for varying periods of time with educational, social, emotional and behavioural and/or other difficulties. Good practice in special educational needs and inclusion is that children have their needs identified early in order to remove barriers to learning.  Inclusion is about the quality of the pupils’ experiences – how they are helped to learn, achieve and participate fully in the life of the school. A resource file has been compiled to enable all schools to meet effectively the needs of children and young people with SEN within the existing requirements and responsibilities placed on schools by the current legislative framework


The Education and Library Boards (ELBs) were dissolved on 31 March 2015. The Education Authority was established on 01 April 2015 and is now responsible for all of the operational functions previously carried out by the five ELBs in accordance with the Education Orders.

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