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Special Educational Needs

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL6396, tabled on 15 March 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children are in special schools primarily because of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

Answered on

29 March 2018

The department publishes the number and proportion of pupils with special educational needs, including the type of need and type of school in the annual ‘Special educational needs in England’ statistical release, which are available at:

The type of need ‘Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties’ was removed in 2015 and ‘Social Emotional and Mental Health’ was added as a new type of need. Under the new categorisation, 13,493 children were in Special Schools as of the department’s last statistical release, in 2017. This new category is not expected to be treated as a direct replacement, therefore direct comparison is not advised.

We have launched a review of exclusions practice, led by Edward Timpson CBE. The review will consider how schools use exclusion and how this impacts on all pupils, but in particular why some groups of children (including those with special education needs) are more likely to be excluded from school. Views and evidence can be submitted via the call for evidence which is open until 6 May.

We have also set out our vision for transforming the education provided to those who would not otherwise receive it, including because they have been excluded from school. ‘Creating opportunity for all: our vision for alternative provision’, which is attached, sets out our plans to ensure that children in alternative provision receive consistently high-quality education so that they can achieve their potential, and is available at: