Number of pupils with SEND rises for third year in row

More than 3 per cent of pupils in England now have education, health and care plans

Helen Ward

pupil with teacher

The number of pupils in England’s schools with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has increased for a third consecutive year, it was revealed today.

The statistics from the Department for Education show that in January 2019 there were 1,318,300 pupils with SEND – an increase of 42,115 since January 2018.


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The figures mean that 14.9 per cent of all pupils were identified with SEND in 2019, compared to 14.6 per cent in 2018.

The number of pupils who have an education, health and care plan, which gives legal protection to the support they need, has increased by 17,485 to 271,165. This means 3.1 per cent of pupils now have EHCPs – after remaining constant at 2.8 per cent from 2007 to 2017.

The number of pupils classified as needing SEN support – meaning they have milder SEND – has increased by 24,630 between 2018 and 2019 to 1,047,165 or 11.9 per cent of all pupils.

The numbers of pupils with SEND has increased in all school types, with the exception of pupil referral units.

The rounded statistics show that 51 per cent of pupils with SEND are in primary schools, 31 per cent are in secondary schools, 9 per cent are in state-funded special schools, 7 per cent are in independent schools and 1 per cent are in pupil referral units.

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Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

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