Policy Forum for Northern Ireland

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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Next steps for SEN provision in Northern Ireland

Morning, Friday, 11th November 2022

This conference looks at the next steps for SEN provision in Northern Ireland.

It will be an opportunity to discuss priorities for improving support, provision, and outcomes for children with SEN, as well as future pathways to employment and higher education.

Delegates will also examine the priorities for the Department of Education’s (DE) Independent Review of SEN, which was commissioned in light of a number of reports highlighting concern regarding SEN provision in NI, including:

  • the 2021 Public Accounts Committee report into SEN provision
  • the ‘Too Little, Too Late’ report conducted by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY)

The conference follows DE consultations on new draft SEN regulations - which aim to develop a more effective SEN framework - and on a new SEN Code of Practice and will look at their implementation.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote addresses from Michele Corkey, Director of Education, Education Authority; and Koulla Yiasouma, NI Commissioner for Children and Young People.

Key areas for discussion include:

  • SEN provision in Northern Ireland - system structure - provision in the classroom - support - funding - workforce - stakeholder coordination
  • SEN frameworks - SEN Code of Practice and Area Planning moving forward
  • best practice - lessons from other jurisdictions 
  • outcomes - future pathways for students with SEN - employment - further and higher education

Keynote Speaker

Koulla Yiasouma

NI Commissioner for Children and Young People

Keynote Speakers

Koulla Yiasouma

NI Commissioner for Children and Young People

Michele Corkey

Director of Education, Education Authority


Diane Dodds MLA

former Minister for the Economy; and Member, Committee for Education, Northern Ireland Assembly


Dr Noel Purdy

Director of Research and Scholarship; and Director of the Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement, Stranmillis University College

Dr Graham Gault

President, National Association of Head Teachers Northern Ireland

Dr Mairead Tracey

Teacher and SENCo, Broadbridge Primary School, Londonderry

Senior speaker confirmed from Mencap NI

Charlene Brooks

Chief Executive, Parenting NI

James Curran

Principal, Harberton Special School, Belfast