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New Department for Education Data on SEND in Schools - 9th Jul 2024

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The Department for Education has published comprehensive data from the January census on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in schools across England. The new statistics reveal significant insights into the current state of SEND provisions and demographics.

Key findings from the report include:

Increase in SEND Prevalence: A total of 18.4% of children in England have some form of special educational need, an increase from 17.3% in 2023. This translates to 1,673,205 children with SEND, marking an increase of over 100,000 from the previous year.

  • Unclassified Needs Rise: There has been a notable 7.1% rise in the number of children receiving SEN Support without a specified type of assessed need.
  • Common Types of Needs: Speech, Language, and Communication Needs continue to be the most common type of need for those on SEN support. For children with an Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP), Autism is the most prevalent need.
  • Gender Disparities: While SEND remains more common in boys than girls, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of girls receiving SEN Support and those with an EHCP, compared to boys.
  • Economic Disparities: The data indicates a disproportionate number of pupils with SEND are eligible for free school meals. Specifically, 42.2% of those with an EHCP and 38.3% of those on SEN Support are eligible, compared to only 21.4% of pupils without SEND.
  • Alternative Provision Attendance: The trend of pupils with SEND attending alternative provision settings remains high, with 24.2% having an EHCP and 58.1% receiving SEN Support.

Further information on the DFE SEND January census can be found on the DFE website.

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