School Placements for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Information on the SEN process, SEN placements and advice for parents.

Information on the Statutory Assessment process

Identifying and securing appropriate placements for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities otherwise known as SEND, follows a different process than general admissions, this is known as the Statutory Assessment and Review process.

Each child’s placement is managed on a personal and individual basis, and the Education Authority works with families, schools and settings to ensure a suitable place is secured that will appropriately support and cater to their individual needs.

Advice for parents and carers

Unlike general admissions which has set application dates, new statutory assessments are received throughout the school year. 

Once a child’s statement is in place, it will be subject to an Annual Review to ensure that their needs are still being met and to consider if the placement is still appropriate, which may result in a change of provision. 

This means that there will always be children who will require assessment, review and/or a change of placement at any point of the year. Therefore, families are informed once their child’s school placement has been finalised, rather than on a fixed date.

As the outcome of this process cannot be predicted children are required to go through the general admissions process until such times as a proposed statement may be produced.

The SEN Link Officer will then seek preferences from parents and carers in order for the Education Authority to consult with an appropriate school or setting.

When this has been agreed with the school or setting, and the family a final statement will be issued.

We are here to support you during this process and are doing everything possible to ensure all of our children and young people with SEND have the right support, at the right time, from the right people, in the right place.

Engagement Events

EA have arranged a range of Drop – In Sessions where parents/carers can meet face to face with SEN Link Officers to discuss their child’s individual circumstances. 

The following Drop-In Sessions are planned for the coming weeks – this list will be updated as further sessions are announced.

Area Location Date Time
Ballee

EA Ballee Centre

2-6 Ballee Road West 

Ballymena

22nd May 2024  10:00am – 12:00noon
Belfast

EA Headquarters, 

40 Academy Street, 

Belfast 

21st May 2024  10:00am – 12:00noon
Belfast

EA Headquarters, 

40 Academy Street, 

Belfast 

31st May 2024  10:00am – 12:00noon
Lisburn

Council for Catholic Maintained Schools Head Office. 

Third Floor, Linen Hill House

23 Linenhall Street, 

Lisburn

28th May 2024  10:00am – 12:00noon
Lisburn

Council for Catholic Maintained Schools Head Office. 

Third Floor, Linen Hill House

23 Linenhall Street, 

Lisburn

7th June 2024  10:00am – 12:00noon
Belfast 

EA Headquarters 

40 Academy St 

Belfast 

6th June 2024  10:00am – 12:00noon 
Belfast 

EA Headquarters

40 Academy St 

Belfast 

14th June 2024  10:00am – 12:00noon 

How do I contact EA?

If you have any queries in relation to special educational needs, you can contact the SEN Helpdesk.

Telephone: 028 9598 5960.

From here you can:

  • Speak to the Statutory Assessment & Review Service with a specific query about a child - option 1
  • Request general advice about Special Educational Needs from the SEN Advice and Information Service - option 2
  • Request help with the online request for statutory assessment - option 3

The helpdesk is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

More information is available on our Support Services pages or you can use the search facility in the top right.

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