The number of EHC plans has continued to increase
There were 390,100 children and young people with statutory Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans maintained by local authorities as at January 2020. This is an increase of 36,100 (10%) from 354,000 children and young people with an EHC plan as at January 2019.
The combined total of children and young people with statements and EHC plans has increased each year since 2010. EHC plans were introduced from September 2014. The period for local authorities to transfer children and young people with statements of SEN to EHC plans started in September 2014 and ended on 31 March 2018, as such we no longer see statements of SEN in the total.
Children of compulsory school ages account for the largest percentage of EHC plans
Children aged 11-15 years old account for the largest percentage of children and young people with EHC plans (35%) as at January 2020. This is followed by those aged 5-10 years old (33%)
From September 2014, EHC plans replaced Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs) for children in further education. The percentage of children and young people with an EHC plan who are aged 16-19 years old has subsequently increased year on year over the period from January 2014 (10%) to January 2018 (22%) before stabilising in recent years (January 2020, 21%). The percentage of young people aged 20-25 has similarly increased since the introduction of EHC plans in 2014, rising to 6% of all plans in 2020.
Percentage of EHC plans in further education continues to increase
Whilst the number of children and young people across all establishment types has increased, the proportions of young people with EHC plans receiving provision in mainstream and special schools have seen small decreases. This is a result of the increase in EHC plans issued to those 16 years old and above and consequently the use of further education (from 16% to 17% of all EHC plans).
Data is also collected for children and young people where they are not currently receiving provision in an education setting or are awaiting provision in a different education setting. 12,700 children and young people were recorded under one of these categories in January 2020 (shown as ‘educated elsewhere’ in the table above and broken down in further detail below).
A further 8,100 young people were recorded as not in education, employment or training (NEET) and a further 2,300 children and young people (1%) have been recorded as ‘Other’, which includes those who have been issued with a notice to cease the EHC plan (for example, after taking up of employment) and those where the decision is currently subject to an appeal. This is the second year for which data for NEET and Other are available.
New data was collected on the number of those awaiting provision since 2019. Awaiting provision includes children and young people who are awaiting the provision specified on their EHC plan. This includes some children and young people who are in an education setting but are awaiting provision in another setting, for example, those currently attending a mainstream school and awaiting provision in a special school. This also includes some children and young people who are not currently in an education setting but are awaiting placement.
Due to changes in the data collection, comparisons to previous years are not advised. For example, this is the first year for which figures for those under compulsory school age are available. Further, figures up to and including 2017 are known to also include those not in employment, education or training (NEET).
Of those awaiting provision, 1,260 are children of compulsory school age who are not currently in some form of education. This represents 0.3% of all EHC plans. A further 179 children are under compulsory school age and 1,790 are young people above compulsory school age.