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New data shows increase in SEND to 18.4%


The Department for Education has released the full data on SEND in schools taken from the January census. The headline data shows:

  • A total of 18.4% of children in England have some kind of special educational need- up from 17.3% in 2023
  • That’s a total of 1,673,205 of children with SEND, which is an increase of over 100,000 from 2023
  • There’s been a 7.1% increase in the number of children on SEN Support who have no noted type of assessed need 
  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs remains the most common type of need for SEN support, with Autism being the highest type of need for those with an EHCP

While SEND remains more prevalent in boys than girls, there has been an increase in the number of girls on SEN Support and having an EHCP in comparison with the boys.

The number of pupils with SEND on free school meals remains disproportionate to the population: 42.2% of those with an EHCP and 38.3% of those with SEN Support are eligible for free school meals, in comparison to only 21.4% of pupils without SEN.

The increase in the numbers of pupils with SEN attending alternative provision continues to be high, with 24.2% having an EHCP and 58.1% receiving SEN Support.