top of page

(UK) Bucks: 2/3s of special schools overcrowded; 'Not enough special schools for pupils'

Mar 27, 2024, Bucks Herald:  Several special schools overcrowded in Buckinghamshire

S. England

Official Government data shows a majority of special schools in Bucks are overcrowded

Several special schools in Buckinghamshire were over capacity last academic year, new figures show.

Data from the Department for Education shows nearly two-thirds of special schools were full or overcrowded across England – with a union warning a lack of funding is letting down children.

The figures show six of the 10 special schools in Buckinghamshire were over capacity in the 2022-23 school year.

Across England, 63% of 1,077 special schools had at least met capacity, with around 4,000 more pupils than places.

The Department for Education said this "may be a result of the way capacity has been measured, which does not take account of type of need."

Rob Williams, senior policy adviser at school leaders’ union NAHT, said the figures represent a "complete mismatch" between the needs of these children and the funding available to schools and local authorities.

He said: "There are simply not enough special schools for pupils who need more specialist support.

"Many children are therefore instead being placed in mainstream schools which may themselves be over capacity, and may not have the staff, expertise or resources needed to offer the best possible education and support."

Mr Williams urged increased funding for children with special educational needs.

Earlier this month, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan admitted to school and college leaders the Government had not done enough for these children.

Speaking to the Association of School and College Leaders annual conference, she said: "If you look at special educational needs, we haven’t built enough special educational needs places or schools."

Addressing the same conference, shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said the challenge facing children with special educational needs or a disability was "enormous", and it would take time for Labour to "turn that around".

The figures show nearly a quarter of state secondary schools across England were full or overcrowded, largely unchanged from a year before.

In Buckinghamshire, 17 of 38 schools were at or above capacity.

Meanwhile, 17% of primary schools across the country were facing the same issue – with 54 of them in Buckinghamshire. . . .



bottom of page