Find out how Local Authorities (LAs) compare on SEND indicators from the recent DfE EHCP data release
The DfE recently published statistics from local authority SEN2 2019 data returns, providing a wealth of information on young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England. If a child or young person has severe SEND they can be issued with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This gives schools access to additional funding to support the young person. Much of this SEN2 data released sets the scene for the number of young people with EHCPs, broken down by age and local authority, as well as information on the types of provision young people with EHCPs are placed in.
In this post, we outline some of the findings we found most interesting in the data released. We have also used the data to calculate the proportion of 0 to 24 year olds in each area that have EHCPs. This provides a fascinating insight into the range of approaches to supporting young people with SEND around the country.
- In 2019, 2.1% of 0-24 year olds nationally had an EHCP. This represented 354,000 children and young people, an increase of about 11% (34,000) from the previous year
- The highest proportion of children and young people with EHCPs fall within the 11-15 range at just under 36%, followed closely by the 5-10 age group. However, the age range with the biggest increase since 2018 was the 20-25 cohort
- The age group with the highest proportion of new EHCPs issued in 2018 was 5-10 year olds
- About one third of young people with EHCPs are in state-funded special school provision, the highest proportion in a single type of provision. However, this varies substantially across the country; for example, the North East has the largest proportion of its EHCP cohort in this type of provision, at 42.1%
- In 2018, 60% of new EHCPs were issued within 20 weeks (excluding exceptional cases), down from 65% in 2017
Proportion of 0-24 year olds with EHCPs
The interactive map below shows the proportion of 0-24 year olds with an EHCP. You can choose to show a breakdown either by local authority or by region. Use the drop-down list to view either new EHCPs issued in 2018, or the whole cohort of young people with EHCPs.
Findings from the percentage of young people with an EHCP:
- Overall, 2.1% of the 0-24 population in England had an EHCP in 2019. This represents 354,000 0-24 year olds
- The number of children and young people with an EHCP or statement has increased every year since 2010. There was a noticeable increase between 2017 and 2018 from 287,290 to 319,819 statements and EHCPs. This represented an 11% (32,529) increase, followed by another 11% (34,176) between 2018 and 2019. While this may mean more pupils and students are getting the support they need from their plans and associated extra funding, this is clearly putting pressure on local authority budgets
- Regionally, the South East has the highest average at 2.26% whilst the lowest region is East Midlands at 1.73%
- All regions showed an increase from the previous year
- At the LA level, Torbay has the highest proportion, with 3.9% of its 0-24 population with an EHCP whilst Newham had the lowest proportion at 0.8%
- Tameside had the biggest increase from 2018, up 0.54% points for the proportion of its 0-24 population with an EHCP.
Placement of young people with an EHCP
Children and young people with EHCPs are placed in a wide range of different types of provision. The map below allows you to explore the placements of young people with an EHCP around the country. Note that not all placement types are shown in the drop-down list.
- NEET stands for ‘not in education, employment or training’. This is a new category included in the 2019 statistics.
- The state-funded special schools and mainstream schools categories are aggregated from sub-groups in the DfE data files
Findings on the placement of young people with an EHCP:
- In 2019, the three largest broad types of provision (aggregated up from sub-groups) are as follows:
- 33.6% are in state-funded special schools
- 33.2% are in mainstream provision (not in a resource base or SEN unit)
- 16.2% are in post-16 institutions. Note that the growth in this type of provision reflects the move from learning difficulty assessments to EHCPs for post-16 students
- Though a slightly lower proportion than the previous year*, around one third of the EHCP cohort are in state-funded special schools, most notably in the North East where 42.1% of their EHCP cohort are in this type of provision. The lowest regional proportion is in London, at 27.7%. Whilst this sort of provision is often necessary, there has been a push over recent years to encourage more young people with SEND to stay in mainstream provision; we have a series of articles coming out on the issue soon
- London has the highest proportion of its EHCP cohort in mainstream schools (not in a resource base or SEN unit) at 38.9%, though this is 0.5% points lower than the previous year*. The North East has the smallest proportion at 25.2%
- The proportion of the EHCP cohort in mainstream schools with a resource base or unit is considerably smaller, with a national average of 5.0%. Again, London has the highest proportion at 7.5%
- For young people in mainstream schools with a resource base or unit, it is interesting to note that there is quite a range. Sutton had the highest percentage of children and young people with EHCPs in this type of provision at 22.1%. In contrast, 11 LAs reported that none of their young people with EHCPs were studying in this type of provision
- A new statistic published this year is the proportion of the EHCP cohort that is NEET. Nationally the figure is 1.7% with the South West region having the highest percentage at 2.7%, and the East Midlands lowest at 0.9%
*Note that the growth in the post-16 EHCP cohort (resulting from the transition from learning difficulty assessments) means the proportion of the 0-24 EHCP cohort in post-16 provision has been growing in recent years. This has the effect of reducing the proportion of young people in other forms of provision, even if the absolute number of young people in those types of provision is not reducing. In fact, the absolute numbers of young people with EHCPs in special schools and in resource bases or units increased between 2018 and 2019.
Other findings from the SEN2 data release
The SEN2 release provides other statistics, including a breakdown by age and how quickly EHCPs are issued.
EHCPs and age bands
- The highest proportion of EHCP students fall within the 11-15 range at just under 36% followed closely by the 5-10 age group at 33.1%
- However, the age group with the highest percentage increase is the 20-25 age range at a 32% (4,584) increase from 14,176 in 2018 to 18,760 in 2019. This follows the previous year’s pattern which saw an 84% (6,468) increase in the 20-25 age bracket and a 21% (7,487) increase in the 16-19 category. This is likely down to the effect of the policy change which saw an increase in the age limit for an EHCP
- For new EHCPs, the 5-10 age range was the group with the largest proportion of EHCPs issued
- This year saw some new data published with a breakdown of children and young people with an EHCP by age band and local authority – we plan to publish a short piece on this soon.
Cases completed within 20 weeks
- In 2018, over half (60%) of new EHCPs were issued within 20 weeks (excluding exceptional cases)
- This represents a slight decrease from 2017 where 65% of new EHCPs were issued in this time window, though it is still slightly above the 2016 levels of 59%
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