Search Legislation

Special Educational Needs And Disability Act 2001

Territorial coverage

Part 1: Special Educational Needs

6.The Government published a Green Paper in October 1997 entitled Excellence for All Children: Meeting Special Educational Needs (Cm 3785) (in Wales, The BEST for Special Education (Cm 3792)). Following consultation on the proposals set out in the Green Paper, the document Meeting Special Educational Needs: A Programme of Action was published in November 1998 in England, and Shaping the Future for Special Education was published in January 1999 in Wales. These documents set out the steps to be taken over a period of 3 years to implement the changes recommended in the Green Paper. Part 1 of the Act fulfils those undertakings made in the Programme of Action that required primary legislation and applies to England and Wales only.

7.Part 1 makes changes to the existing legislation, in Part 4 of the Education Act 1996 (EA), for children with SEN. In summary, Part 1:

  • strengthens the right of children with SEN to be educated in mainstream schools where parents want this and the interests of other children can be protected;

  • requires Local Education Authorities (LEAs) to make arrangements for services to provide parents of children with SEN with advice and information, and a means of resolving disputes with schools and LEAs;

  • requires LEAs to comply, within prescribed periods, with orders of the Special Educational Needs Tribunal (SENT) and make other technical changes in support of the SENT appeals process and the statementing process; and

  • requires schools to inform parents where they are making special educational provision for their child and allow schools to request a statutory assessment of a pupil's SEN.

8.The SENT, by virtue of the amendments made in Part 2 of this Act, becomes the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST).

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources