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Special Educational Needs: Expenditure

Question for Department for Education

UIN 57208, tabled on 15 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's funding was for Education Health and Care plans (a) per student and (b) in total for each year since 2011.

Answered on

25 October 2021

Most of the funding for pupils with Education Health and Care (EHC) plans is allocated through the high needs block of the Dedicated Schools Grant for local authorities.

The high needs funding block within the Dedicated Schools Grant was created in 2013. Therefore, the department is unable to provide comparable figures before the 2013-14 financial year. The high needs funding allocations for all local authorities since the 2013-14 financial year are as follows:

Year

Total high needs block funding (£ million)

2013-14

4,966.9

2014-15

5,183.9

2015-16

5,246.5

2016-17

5,299.9

2017-18

5,826.8

2018-19

6,114.9

2019-20

6,279.1

2020-21

7,063.2

2021-22

7,905.5

2022-23 (provisional)

8,604.6

EHC plans were introduced in the 2014/15 academic year. However, there are no comparable figures before 2015, since eligibility for the previous statements of special educational needs was more limited, and the data is not directly comparable. The number of EHC plans maintained by local authorities per-year since 2015 can be seen below:

Year

Total EHC Plans (figure taken each January)

2016

74,209

2017

175,233

2018

285,722

2019

353,995

2020

390,109

2021

430,697

The department does not prescribe in detail how local authorities should allocate their high needs funding. The level of funding that a child or young person with an EHC plan attracts to a school or college is an individual matter, decided by the local authority in consultation with schools, colleges, parents, and young people themselves. The department is, therefore, unable to provide specific per student levels of high needs funding. In addition, because of various adjustments between years in the funding allocated, the gradual introduction of EHC plans from 2014, and the different periods covered by the above data, it is not possible to show the average funding per student with an EHC plan on a like-for-like basis.