SEND Statistics 2016

Legal references on this page apply to England.

Statistics Educated Other Than At School With Statement or EHC Plan

SEND statistics 2016At the end of May 2016 the Department for Education published new statistics on the prevalence and distribution of statements and Education Health and Care Plans for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This 'Statistical First Release' (SFR) is based on local authority SEN2 returns

The system for special needs changed in September 2014. Both systems are currently running in tandem with existing statements of SEN gradually being transferred over to the new EHC Plans. The current deadline for all statements to be transferred is April 2018.

Since this is a home education website, I have focused on those SEND statistics relating to children educated outside school, although I am also interested in what happens when statements are meant to be transferred to EHCPs.

Summary Latest Out of School Special Educational Needs Statistics

Unrelated to placement, in some LAs more statements are ceased than transferred to EHCPs which does not bode well for all the home educated children whose statements have yet to be transferred.

  • Some LAs have high numbers with Education Health Care Plans out of school awaiting provision
  • Only 0.7% of children with a statement or Plan are home educated
  • Home education numbers remained stable for last 8 years but increased by 20% last year
  • 4 out of 5 home educated children still have statements rather than Plans
  • 3/4 home educated children (where known) previously attended mainstream
  • 3/4 of LAs had fewer than 5 children with a statement or Plan being taken out of school for home education in 2015
  • 3/4 home educated children with statements or Plans have been home educated for over a year

(In 2013 I found that the percentage of home educated children who have a statement of SEN varied among local authorities between zero and 20%. 14% of home educated children with a statement of SEN had moderate learning difficulties; 6% had physical disabilities; 14% had speech communication and language needs; 32% were on the autistic spectrum; 11% had severe or complex learning difficulties; 20% were previously educated in a special school; 42% had been home educated for more than 2 years; 17% had been home educated for more than 5 years. [LINK])

Educated Out of School 2002 - 2016

EOS 2002 - 2016 In January 2016 there were 1735 home educated children with a statement or EHCP (described as "other arrangements made by the parents"). This represents around 5% of home educated children.

Numbers rose by a hundred in 2012 and then remained relatively constant till last year when they jumped by 300

The number of home educated children with a statement or Plan increased by 20% on previous years. [Table 1 + 2006 - 10 figures + pre-2006 figures]


Definition Educated Other Than At School

Table 1 Education Outside School Total Across England in January 2016 there were 256,315 children with statement of special educational needs or an Education Health and Care Plan. Around 2% of these children are "educated other than at school.

"Educated other than at school" includes children who have been permanently excluded and also those who are awaiting provision, as well as home educated children and children subject to "other arrangements made by the Local Authority".

0.7% of children with a statement or Education Health and Care Plan are educated via "other arrangements made by the Local Authority" (a similar percentage to those who are home educated) and a further 0.7% of children with a statement or Education Health and Care Plan are "awaiting provision [Table 5]

Summary

Looking at the distribution between statements and Plans, 4 out of 10 children awaiting provision had Plans already, 1 in 3 of children educated via other arrangements by the LA had Plans, but 4 out of 5 home educated children still had statements.

Explanation Other Arrangements Made By The Local Authority

"Other arrangements made by the Local Authority" is a bit of a catch-all for children who don't fit neatly into the other boxes. It DOESN'T include children in hospital schools or pupil referral units who are recorded separately elsewhere.

As explained in the footnote to Table 1, Technical Document page 9 and the SEN2 Guidance "other arrangements made by the Local Authority" may refer to a small number in further education college, sixth form college or specialist post 16 institutions (although most of these will be recorded separately); awaiting provision; in secure units or young offender institutions; in centres run by social services; in prison; not in employment, education or training (NEET). "Other arrangements made by the Local Authority" also covers situations where the LA funds home-based education as described here.

The SEN2 Guidance says:

(iii) Educated elsewhere
b) Other – arrangements made by the local authority in accordance with Section 319 of the Education Act 1996 or Section 61 of the Children and Families Act 2014
c) Other – arrangements made by parents in accordance with Section 7 of the Education Act 1996

Local Authority Data

Table 5 SEND statisticsPTable 5 provides local authority level combined data for children educated out of school. The SEND Statistics do NOT reveal how many children with a statement or Plan in each LA are home educated (although see my Freedom of Information responses here)

Highest PERCENTAGE Educated Outside School

6.8%       Hertfordshire (297)
6.7%       Suffolk (206)
5.8%       Poole (32)
4.3%       Richmond upon Thames (47)
4.2%       Luton (51)

Highest NUMBER Educated Outside School

297      Hertfordshire (6.8%)
206      Suffolk (6.7%)
123      Hampshire (2.2%)
113      Lancashire (2.2%)
106      Kent (1.5%)
104      Buckinghamshire (3.1%)
98        Surrey (1.7%)
90        Derbyshire (2.7%)
66        Essex (0.9%)
60        Devon (1.7%)
59        Birmingham (0.8%)
57        Norfolk (1.3%)
55        Nottinghamshire (3.0%)
51        Luton (4.2%)

Summary

2/3 of LAs have fewer than 20 children with statements and EHC Plans educated outside school (and half of those have fewer than 10)

However, some LAs such as Hertfordshire and Suffolk have much higher numbers of children with statements or Plans educated outside school. The most likely explanation is that the majority are awaiting provision.

NEW Statement/Plan Educated Outside School

Table 2 SEND statistics new S or P + EOSTable 2 records that at the beginning of 2016 there were 790 children educated outside school with a new EHCP or statement made during 2015.

The law on special needs changed in September 2014. All new arrangements begun after this date would be for EHC Plans, therefore the only new statements made in 2015 would be where a statement was finalised in 2015 after there had been an ongoing dispute regarding the statement at the time the law changed.

Table 2 new statement or Plan educated outside school 2009-15The number of children educated outside school with a new statement (or Plan) has remained relatively constant, until the rise in 2015, which is down to an increase in those awaiting provision, combined with "other arrangements made by the LA."

In a quarter of LAs there were no children or young people educated out of school with a NEW Plan (or statement) last year.

Summary

A few LAs had high numbers of children out of school with a new EHCP (or statement). Judging by the national figures, most of these are probably awaiting provision, followed by the catch-all of "other arrangements made by the LA." [Table 6]

Table 6 SEND statistics new S or P + EOS Highest Percentage Educated Outside School With NEW Statement/Plan

14.6%      Luton (33)
13.8%      Redcar and Cleveland (17)
13%         Peterborough (25)
13%         Northumberland (12)
12%         St. Helens (10)
10.5%      North Tyneside (14)
10.2%      Nottingham (10)

The following 10 LAs had 38% of all new EHCPs (or statements) in the country educated outside a school

Highest Number Educated Outside School With NEW Statement/Plan

57      Birmingham (6.2%)
35      Leicestershire (9.7%)
33      Luton (14.6%)
33      Hertfordshire (5.5%)
30      Kent (3.3%)
25      Peterborough (13%)
25      Nottinghamshire (8.9%)
24      Croydon (9.5%)
21      Tower Hamlets (8.3%)
20      Buckinghamshire (4.5%)


NEW To Home Education

Table 2 SEND statistics new EHE + S or PWhile other tables in the Government's SEND statistics only have combined Educated Outside School figures, we DO have specific information at local authority level about new home education with a statement or Plan, since this is recorded as a change of placement. (January 2015 here)

Headline points for children with statements or Plans coming out of school for home education during 2015 [Table 2]

  • 3/4 had previously attended mainstream
  • we don't know exactly how many came out of special schools because it's a combined figure with independent schools
  • 86% coming out of school still had a statement rather than an EHC Plan
  • those new to home education with a statement or Plan only represent a quarter of the total; 3/4 have been home educated for over a year

Local Authority Data New Home Education

Table 2 SEND statistics new EHE + S or P Table 7 provides a breakdown by local authority of the national statistics in Table 2 related to children with special needs being removed from school by parents.

Three quarters of LAs had fewer than 5 children with a statement or Plan being taken out of school for home education during 2015.

Over a quarter of LAs had no children with a statement or Plan taken out of mainstream school for home education during 2015.

These included some authorities with a high population such as Essex, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, and Leicestershire.

In contrast, a few local authorities did have high numbers of children with a statement or Plan coming out of school for home education.

A few LAs also have relatively high numbers coming out of special or independent schools [Table 7]

First column = total; second column = out of mainstream; third column = out of special or independent

30       Kent    20  (10)
20       Norfolk    15  (5)
16/17  Havering   15   (1 or 2)
16/17  East Sussex    15   (1 or 2)
15       Hampshire    10  (5)
15       Surrey    10  (5)
15       Devon    10  (5)
11/12  Solihull    10  (1 or 2)
11/12  Cambridgeshire   10  (1 or 2)
10       Lancashire    5  (5)
10       Derbyshire    5  (5)
10       Lincolnshire    5  (5)
10       Hertfordshire    5  (5)
10       Bromley    5  (5)
10       West Sussex    5  (5)


Progress Transferring Statements to EHCPs

Table 10 SEND statistics transfer statements to EHCPsThe Government has said that nobody should lose an existing statement just because the system has changed.

It is striking that in some local authority areas, more statements have been ceased at the point of transfer than have been successfully transferred to EHCPs. [Table 10] (Working out details here)

"No child or young person should lose their statement and not have it replaced with an EHC plan simply because the system is changing. Equally, I expect that young people who are currently receiving support as a result of a LDA and remain in further education or training during the transition period, who request and need an EHC plan, will be issued with one. If a council decides to cease a statement and not replace it with an EHC plan or not issue an EHC plan to a young person who receives support as a result of an LDA then dispute resolution arrangements must be in place locally for parents and young people, including mediation and the right to appeal a decision to the SEND Tribunal.
Minister Edward Timpson September 2014


Parents' Survey Home Education and SEN 2016

Parents said they hoped the new Plans would be better than statements ("hopefully more detailed description of what support offers"   "I would like them to pay for my son's dyslexic support and some independence training"   "we want a personal budget") although there was widespread cynicism and pessimism ("I think I will be lucky to hang on to what we have got"   "as always I am hoping for less costly support but more parental control ..... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"   "I'm in the dark and think it's just another useless form but I could be wrong"   "I found no one at the council willing to offer anything much in the way of support or to even acknowledge problems that were clear to everybody else, and I expect even less in the future due to the current climate of service cuts" Survey link here


Home Education APPG on SEND with DfE March 2016

Notes from Home Education All Party Parliamentary Group Meeting to discuss special educational needs with Stuart Miller, Department for Education, March 2016.