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What are the “Five Stages of the Code of Practice”?

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Stages 1-3 may include access to school-based help and support, where the class teacher and the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) provide help which is designed to meet the child’s individual needs.

At Stages 1, 2 and 3 the school is legally responsible for the child’s special educational provision.

Stage 3 may involve help from specialists outside the school such as an educational psychologist, speech and language therapist or occupational therapist.

At stages 4 and 5 the Education Authority becomes more substantially involved in your child’s educational provision and has specific legal responsibilities regarding special educational support for children.

Stage 4 is a process called “statutory assessment” which aims to identify in detail the needs of the child using parental, school-based and professional information and assessment reports.

Stage 5 involves the making of a “statement of special educational needs” which sets out the child’s needs and the provision which will be made to meet those needs. Detailed information about these 5 stages is available in the special educational needs Code of Practice.

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