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Northern Ireland


Special Needs

If your child has special educational needs or is identified by a childcare provider as having special educational needs then your child may be given extra help and support. The support needed is set out in different levels.

The levels are as follows;

  • Early Years Action – where a child is identified as needing extra support and interventions to those already provided by the setting.
  • Early Years Action Plus – where a setting needs support and advice from outside agencies with a regard to meeting a child’s needs additional to that in Early Years Action Plus.
  • School Action – applies to reception classes in maintained schools and is for children requiring additional help and support to that provided as part of the schools usual curriculum and activities.
  • School Action Plus – applies in reception classes in maintained schools where additional support and advice is needed from outside agencies to enable the teacher to meet the child’s needs additional to School Action.
  • SENCO – This is the special educational needs coordinator responsible for advising and supporting the carers/teachers in the setting and also liaising with parents and professionals to ensure a child’s special educational needs are met. (every setting should have a designated SENCO)
  • SEN code of practice – This provides advice to maintained schools, local authorities and early years settings on identifying, assessing and making provision for children with special educational needs.