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Alternative Education: Special Educational Needs

Question for Department for Education

UIN 33550, tabled on 12 April 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of pupils in alternative provision facilities have (a) Statements of SEN for children and Learning Difficulties Assessments for young people with special educational needs and (b) Education, Health and Care plans.

Answered on

19 April 2016

The latest school census data shows there were 13,585 pupils in Pupil Referral Units, alternative provision academies and free schools in January 2015. Of these, 1,565 (11.5%) had statements of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care plans.

This information is published in ‘Special educational needs in England: January 2015’ (Table 1A):

The alternative provision census covers pupils attending a school not maintained by a local authority for whom the authority is paying full tuition fees, or educated otherwise than in schools and pupil referral units, under arrangements made (and funded) by the authority.

The latest alternative provision census shows there were 20,503 pupils in these settings in January 2015. Of these, 16,038 (78.2%) had statements of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care plans.

The total number of pupils in local authority alternative provision is also published on GOV.UK: (At Table 1b.)

Analysis of the data suggests some schools have recorded some or all of their pupils who were previously recorded as ‘statement’ as ‘EHC plan’ regardless of whether a formal needs assessment (transfer review) has been completed and a final EHC plan issued. Because of this, we have presented combined figures for pupils with a statement and those with an EHC plan.

Learning Difficulty Assessments apply in Further Education colleges only and information on these is not collected in the school census or the alternative provision census.