Implementing the Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005
: Implications for special educational needs co-ordinators

  • Brenda Montgomery

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education


he Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order (2005) (SENDO) which became operative on lSI September 2005 was the catalyst for this study. Set within the context of change, the purpose of the research was to investigate the implications for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) in Northern Ireland in implementing SENDO. Quantitative and qualitative data was obtained using a mixed method approach; a questiollilaire, which was constructed and forwarded to SENCOs throughout Northern Ireland, revealed a number of themes which were further explored through semI structured interviews with focus groups of SENCOs. The findings, which were representative of the overali situation in Northern Ireland, revealed that while there is general positivity about the principles of SENDO, there are differing approaches to inclusion throughout schools in Northern Ireland. Whilst there has been a shift from the traditional role as a special needs teacher to a co-ordinating . role, it would appear that a number of SENCOs are not totally ready to fully embrace the new legislation. The main implications for SENCOs include lack of status, with orily a small number on senior management teams, insufficient resources, especially classroom assistants and a lack of time to effectively manage very demanding workloads. In addition a lack of qualifications, training and support within the area of special education, especially managing challenging behaviour and dealing with medical issues, were highlighted as major implications. The study concluded with a number of recommendations for schools, Education and Library Boards and the Department of Education to consider 'In order to support SENCOs with the successful implementation of SENDO.
Date of AwardDec 2007
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorEileen Winter (Supervisor)

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