Reporting Year 2021

Education, health and care plans

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  1. A correction was made to the Personal budgets sections - previously this stated 81% of budgets were in place for education, but this should be social care. Description of mediation cases clarified in Mediations and tribunals section

  2. A correction was made to the headline statistic for initial requests. This read that there had been a 10% drop, however this should read 8%. No other figures affected.

  3. 13 May 2021 - A correction was made to underlying data where local authority names were not consistent across years. For example, Durham/County Durham and Bedford/Bedford Borough. Figures are not affected.

This publication provides data on children and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan in England and, historically, for those with a statement of special educational needs (SEN). 

Data is presented for both the caseload as at January 2021, for example the number of EHC plans, and for activity during the 2020 calendar year, for example the number of new EHC plans in the calendar year.

As such, this is the first publication in the series that covers the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Data covering SEN in schools, including EHC plans and SEN support, is available in the ‘Special Educational Needs in England’ publication, available in the ‘Related pages’ sidebar.


Headline facts and figures - 2021

The total number of EHC plans has continued to increase

There were 430,700 children and young people with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans as at January 2021. This has increased each year since 2010.

The number of new EHC plans made in the calendar year has also continued to increase

There were 60,100 new EHC plans made during 2020. The number of new EHC plans has increased each year since their introduction in 2014.

However, the number of initial requests for an EHC plan has decreased for the first time

There were 76,000 initial requests for an EHC plan during 2020, down from 82,300 in 2019 and the first decrease since EHC plans were introduced.

The proportion of new plans issued within 20 weeks has decreased

In 2020, 58.0% of new EHC plans were issued within 20 weeks, down from 60.4% in 2019.

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