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***(UK) MORE special needs students in England; AUTISM IS SPECIFICALLY CITED

July 4, 2019, Schools Week: Proportion of pupils with SEND continues to rise, and 4 more findings The data shows that, as of January, there were 1,318,300 pupils with SEND in England, representing 14.9 per cent of the total pupil population. Here’s five key findings from the stats. 1. Number of SEND pupils rises for third year running The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has risen for the third year in a row. As of January 2019, there were 1,318,300 pupils with SEND in England, representing 14.9 per cent of the total population. This is up from 1,276,215 (14.6 per cent) in January 2018 and 1,244,255 (14.4 per cent) in January 2017. …. The government said that the recent increase is driven by both a rise in the number of pupils with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans and an increase in those receiving SEND support. In January, 271,200 pupils, or 3.1 per cent of the total pupil population, had an EHC plan, up from 2.9 per cent last year, and 1,047,200 pupils (11.9 per cent) are on SEND support. The most common SEND support needs this year are speech, language and communication needs. Among pupils with an EHC plan, Autistic Spectrum Disorder is the most common type of special educational need. 2. Speech needs becomes most common SEND type Across all pupils with SEND, the most common type of primary need is speech, language and communication needs, making up 22 per cent of all SEND pupils. Last year it was moderate learning difficulty, which has decreased from 24 per cent to 20 per cent. 3. Autism still most common for EHC plan needs Of those with an EHC plan, autistic spectrum disorder remains the most common primary type of need, with 29 per cent of pupils with an EHC plan having this primary type of need. This is an increase from 28 per cent in January 2018. 4. But there’s been a rise in SEMH amongst primary pupils The statistics show social emotional and mental health (SEMH) and moderate learning difficulty are more prevalent in older pupils. However, analysis from children’s literacy charity the Driver Youth Trust found that there had been a rise in SEMH amongst primary pupils. This year there were 108,979 incidences of SEMH in primary schools, which is 2.3 per cent of the total number of primary school pupils. Proportionally, this is an increase from last year’s 2.19 per cent. In 2015 the percentage of SEMH was 1.85 per cent. Chris Rossiter, CEO of the Driver Youth Trust, said: “All the data indicates that we are seeing an increase of pupils having an identifiable SEN, particularly in primary. To meet this growing demand, the sector must be adequately equipped to effectively support these pupils.” …. Schools Week revealed in 2017 that a lack of state-funded places was forcing councils to spend hundreds of million of pounds for SEND pupils to attend private schools. Local authorities blamed the shift in a lack of funds for new state places, leaving them unable to keep pace with the rising numbers of diagnoses.


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