‘Next government must tackle SEND crisis’, urge school leaders

New figures published today have revealed the number of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) have increased by 58,914 (11.4%) from January 2023. As of January 2024, there are 575,963 EHCPs in place.

An EHCP is a document which describes a young person’s (aged 0-25) special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), the support they need, and the outcomes they would like to achieve.

Overall, the number of EHCPs have increased each year since their introduction in 2014.

Statistics from the Department for Education (DfE) have revealed 84,400 new EHCPs were made during the 2023 calendar year.

Apart from a decrease in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, initial requests for EHCPs have increased each year since the plans were introduced.

Responding to today’s figures, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The next government must tackle the SEND crisis as a priority.

“There must also be a fundamental review of place-planning, sufficiency of specialist places and admissions to ensure that pupils with SEND are able to attend the school that best meets their long-term needs.”

The general election will take place July 4 2024.

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