More than 8000 children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are without a school place or other education/training provision, a teaching union has found.

New analysis from the National Education Union (NEU) has found that, as of January this year, 8587 children and young people with SEND were ‘awaiting provision’ and therefore were without access to education.

The NEU examined data published by the Department for Education (DfE), which showed that in January 2019 there were 1203 children of school age with Education Health and Care plans (EHCPs) who were not currently in school but awaiting placement in a school, and 1508 children aged 16 or over with EHCPs who were not currently in education but were awaiting a placement. There were also 5876 young people with EHCPs who were not in employment, education or training (NEET).

Speaking about his union’s findings, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: ‘We welcome the DfE’s efforts to make public the true situation for far too many young people with SEND, but it only serves to demonstrate the parlous state we are in. The fact that over 8,500 young people with SEND are currently not receiving any form of education is appalling and shows the government has not listened to teachers and parents who are tirelessly campaigning for more funding.’

The new analysis was released in the same week that a group of three families began a case at the high court challenging the government’s SEND funding policy. Representatives of the families, who are from North Yorkshire, Birmingham and East Sussex, told the hearing that the allocation of SEND funding was ‘manifestly insufficient’ and there was evidence of a ‘substational national shortfall’. Greensheets will report on the outcome of the case in a future edition.



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