EDUCATION

Councils looking after record 576,000 children with SEND

Councils are looking after record numbers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Councils are looking after record numbers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Local authorities issued more than 84,000 Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) in 2023 – an increase of 27% on the previous year.

There are now nearly 576,000 children and young people with an EHCP and assessment requests have jumped 21% since 2022.

The increase has driven up the cost 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.

President of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, Andy Smith, has described the SEND system as ‘increasingly unsustainable'.

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