SEND school census data

The latest SEND data illustrates the unsustainable SEND funding shortfall.


Commenting on a new data release from the Department for Education about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“SEND is the missing issue from all of the party manifestos. Where it is touched upon there is little detail about how parties plan to tackle the SEND funding crisis. SEND students and the staff working with them need a clear plan from a new government setting out how mainstream schools will be made more inclusive so that all children and young people are able to thrive and be successful in education and life.   

“The latest SEND data show a further increase in EHC plans to 4.8% which is over 430,000 students. Almost one in five students is now identified as having SEND. This is clearly unsustainable as it now leaves over a £6 billion funding shortfall in the High Needs Block. Worryingly the upward trend for students with an EHC plan qualifying for free school meals continues, with those students still being twice as likely than those without an EHC plan to be disadvantaged.    

“Schools have, for far too long, been trying to paper over the cracks left by the shortfall in SEND funding and a wholly inadequate government strategy in the form of the SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan. They have been covering the work not only of educators but SEND, speech and language and mental health specialists as well, and this can't go on.” 

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