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(UK) Staffordshire: 21,000 special needs students in county; 30% increase in 5 yrs

Sept 26, 2023, Stoke Sentinel: Staffordshire special needs kids to get extra support as new care plan launched https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/staffordshire-special-needs-kids-extra-8773965.amp

W. Midlands


The number of children requiring special educational needs support has gone up to around 21,000 in Staffordshire schools

Staffordshire schools are set to receive more assistance to help children with special educational needs following a surge in the number of pupils requiring support in recent years.

Staffordshire County Council is also working with special schools to increase pupil places as part of plans backed by cabinet members at a meeting this week.

Around 16% of children in Staffordshire schools - 21,000 - currently require special educational needs support or have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in place. And this number has risen by almost 30% over the past five years, from 16,300 pupils in 2018/19.

Not all children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) need to attend a special school. But Staffordshire currently has fewer children with an ECHP attending mainstream schools than other parts of the country - just 27% compared to 40.5%

One of the new strategies approved by the county council's cabinet aims to increase support for children sooner and within their local mainstream school. Eight district support teams are set to be created, with local authority and health services working with school providers.

Council leader Alan White said: "It can only be a good thing that we're reducing the amount of travel that young people with special educational needs require, not only for financial reasons but also because it's an unusual thing to do. If you think about children going to school they're not getting in a taxi and travelling miles and miles, as is sometimes the case with special educational needs children, they're generally reasonably close to their school….


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