William Eichler 13 June 2024

Councils looking after record 576k children with SEND

Councils looking after record 576k children with SEND image
Image: Iryna Inshyna / Shutterstock.com.

Local authorities are looking after record numbers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), council chiefs say.

Councils issued more than 84,000 Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) in 2023 – an increase of 26.6% on the previous year, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

EHCPs set out the provision of SEND support for each person.

There are currently nearly 576,000 children and young people with an EHCP and assessment requests have jumped 20.8% since 2022.

The increase in EHCPs is also driving escalating costs of home-to-school transport for children with SEND, with a budgeted net spend of £1.4bn in 2023/24 – a 137% increase since 2016/17.

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