The number of Education, Health and Care 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 is an increase of 10% from 390,100 as at January 2020. This follows similar increases in recent years.
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 continue to account for over two thirds of EHC plans
This is virtually unchanged from last year and percentages remained stable from 2020 across all age bands.
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 years old and over has subsequently increased since January 2014 but is now stabilising.
The proportion of children and young people with an EHC plan in mainstream schools has increased
This has increased from 39% in 2020 to 40% in 2021. Whilst numbers continue to increase in special schools, the proportion of overall EHC plans in these settings has been falling in recent years. This is driven by larger increases in mainstream schools. As such, the proportion within mainstream schools has increased for the first time in recent years.
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. 14,500 children and young people were recorded under one of these categories in January 2021 (shown as ‘educated elsewhere’ in the table above and broken down in further detail below).
10,800 young people were recorded as not in education, employment or training (NEET) and a further 2,200 children and young people 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 employment).
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, for example where they have moved in to the area and a placement has not yet started.
Due to changes in the data collection, comparisons to previous years are not advised. This includes changes to the categories recorded. Figures for awaiting provision up to and including 2017 are known to also include those not in employment, education or training (NEET), which is now a separate category.
Of those awaiting provision, 1,460 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 248 children are under compulsory school age and 2,438 are young people above compulsory school age.
Elective home educated
Data was collected on elective home education specifically for the first time in 2020. The data for 2021 shows an increase of 23% from 2,983 to 3,660. In each year this represents 0.8% of all EHC plans.