The National Audit Office has released a new report – “Support for Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in England.” This report assesses how well pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in England are being supported. A summary of the key findings are listed below.
Key Findings of the report
As of January 2019, the report found that:
- 1.3 million pupils in England have SEND
- £9.4 billion was spent in the academic year prior to the report being published
- 81.3% of local authorities over-spent their high needs budget
- There is between 1% and 5.9% variation between Local Authorities in the proportion of pupils with EHCP’s (Education, Health and Care Plans).
- There has been a 2.6% real-terms reduction in funding for pupils with high needs (between 2013-14 and 2017-18)
- There has been a 32.4% real-terms increase in local authorities spending on independent special schools between 2013-14 and 2017-18
- In 2017-18 the proportion of children excluded who had SEND was 44.9%
- 91.8 % of state-run special schools were rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted as of August 2018
- Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission assessed 50% of inspected local authority areas as underperforming at July 2019
Concerning Reading and Encouraging Outcomes
Although there are come concerning facts in this report, it is encouraging to see that additional funding for SEND has been announced by the Chancellor and that a five years on review of the SEND system is being set up. The government has also accepted facts like vulnerable groups of children are more likely to be excluded and that there was too much variation in how exclusion was used, and has agreed to a consult later in 2019 on how to make schools accountable for the outcomes of children they permanently exclude.
The report is a fairly detailed document which all school leaders should take some time to peruse. However, it is good to see that the government appear to be taking the shortcomings of the system on board and making steps to improve it. In a time of difficult political and financial times, this is certainly movement in the right direction, which must surely be seen as a positive.
Are you in need of SEND staff or a teaching/support job?
If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?