Statements of SEN and EHC Plans for England: Placement Provisions (2016)

This statistical first release (SFR) from the Department for Education (DfE) provides a full year’s data, for the first time since the implementation of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms in September 2014. The reforms changed the assessment process from SEN Statements to EHC Plans, however the legal test remains the same. The transition period is due to last until April 2018, hence January 2016 puts local authorities roughly a third of the way through. We have used the SFR to compare provision types and age groups for those on a statement or plan and examine the inclusion of 20-25 year olds.

Click on the infographic to explore in more detail

Total Plans

The combined total of Statements and EHC Plans has increased every year since 2010 giving a total of 240,185 recorded in January 2015. The increase between 2014 and 2015 is similar to previous years regardless of the inclusion of ages 20-25 (now covered by the EHC plans), which is most likely due to the time required to process an EHC plan.

New Plans

No new Statements should have been created after the implementation of the reforms in September 2014. However, it is clear that this is not the case as 3,270 began in 2015, which may be due to cases where the assessment began prior to this date but weren’t issued until after. There was also a drop in new plans issued in 2014 which may be due to local authorities adjusting to the new assessment process.

Provision Type

The majority of children with a Statement or EHC plan in 2015 attended maintained (state-funded) schools; mainstream and special schools. The number of children with a Statement or EHC plan attending a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) has been consistently decreasing for six years. Also, the number attending hospital schools (although evidence shows fluctuation) dropped to a 6-year low in 2015 of only 40 plans.

Age Groups

In 2015, children aged 11-15 years make up the largest proportion of combined Statements and EHC plans and have done so consistently for the previous five years. However, when split into EHC plans, 5-10 year olds take the lead. This is possibly due to the fact that this age group are more likely to have come in post-reform meaning they would have received an EHC plan as opposed to a Statement. There has been a larger than usual increase in the number of 16-19 year olds with a Statement or EHC plan between 2014 and 2015, whilst the number of 11-15 year olds is steadily decreasing.

At Learning Plus UK, we were interested to see that the number of children receiving Statements/EHC Plans has increased year-on-year. We took a quick look at the snapshot data from January 2016 and there is a significant spike in the levels of plans which is no doubt due to the change to 0-25 provision, but why the specific increase in 16-19 year olds with a Statement or EHC plan? We’d love to hear what you think – let us know by joining the discussion on our forum, Twitter or Facebook.

We will have more analysis on the 2016 figures once the full year’s data has been published so make sure you come back to see what we find!