Number of pupils registered as SEND plummets after abolition of statements

The TES is reporting new research that shows the number of children registered as having special educational needs has fallen sharply after changes to government policy.

Helen Curran, senior lecturer in special educational needs at Bath Spa University, suggests that this could be a result of pressure on school resources and the reduction of funding for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

But the Department for Education insists that many pupils were wrongly identified as SEND in the past, and the drop is simply correcting a historical error.

Ms Curran conducted a survey of 74 special educational needs coordinators, responsible for overseeing SEND provision in schools.

Sixty-three per cent of these respondents said the number of children on their school’s SEND register had declined in the past year.

Thirty-three per cent said the number of children on their register had stayed the same after the reforms. And 4 per cent said the number had increased, Ms Curran will tell the British Educational Research Association annual conference today…

Ms Curran said: “This does beg the question: if SEN numbers are reduced, what has happened to the group who were previously identified as SEN, but are no longer?

“Were they incorrectly identified in the past, or are pressures on school resources – including support costs, time and staffing issues – playing a part?”

More at: Number of pupils registered as SEND plummets after abolition of statements

 

What do you think is going on here: is the DfE right to suggest too many children were wrongly identified as SEND previously?

Or have some schools used the reforms to cut costs by reducing the number of SEND children being supported?

Please let us know how you see things in the comments or via Twitter… 

 

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Categories: Policy and Research.

Comments

  1. JarlathOBrien

    educationbear Nationally it’s been 2.7 to 2.8% for years. It’s the number on SEN support ( old SA or SA+) that’s dropped from 21.1 to 15.4%

  2. focuspsychology

    SchoolsImprove finding schools r more responsive 2 creative, holistic approaches & building staff skills & confidence 2 meet learners needs

  3. BehaviourA

    That was always the aim of the SEN reforms as there was concern about over identification and a commitment to emphasize Quality First Teaching – all teachers taking responsibility for the full range of learning needs in their classes/ groups.

    Problem is this has been interpreted very differently in different settings and there is scant support from LAs to monitor since 2010-12 cuts. Some schools now seem to think that unless a child has an EHCP they just sink or swim with no additional support or individualised approach from school. Need more rigorous approach at School Support.

  4. paulsnorman

    SchoolsImprove had exactly this conversation with SEnco today! No money, no more resources so identification is just that. Not a solution.

  5. warijan

    SchoolsImprove hopefully also some tchrs are thinking harder barriers to learning, & teaching to meet needs w/o need for SEN label?

  6. warijan

    SchoolsImprove hopefully also some tchrs are thinking harder barriers to learning, & teaching to meet needs w/o need for SEN label?

  7. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The “drop” in SEND numbers is/was a political tactic to reduce spending; other than that little has changed

  8. entdiamondsch

    SchoolsImprove A shocking number of pupils have struggled through school undiagnosed & not getting the help they needed = low job prospects

  9. aqualavender

    SchoolsImprove summer born sometimes seen as SEN, as progress is the key now they will not be so targeted. Form filling also play a part.

Let us know what you think...