In this paper we examine the suitability of higher order shear deformation theory based on cubic inplane displacements and parabolic normal displacements, for stress analysis of laminated composite plates including the interlaminar stresses. An exact solution of a symmetrical four layered infinite strip under static loading has been worked out and the results obtained by the present theory are compared with the exact solution. The present theory provides very good estimates of the deflections, and the inplane stresses and strains. Nevertheless, direct estimates of strains and stresses do not display the required interlaminar stress continuity and strain discontinuity across the interlaminar surface. On the other hand, ‘statically equivalent stresses and strains’ do display the required interlaminar stress continuity and strain discontinuity and agree very closely with the exact solution.