Academic Year 2020/21

Special educational needs in England

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This publication combines information from the school census, school level annual school census, general hospital school census and alternative provision census on pupils with special educational needs (SEN). 

The publication includes breakdowns by type of SEN provision (either SEN support or EHC plan), type of SEN, age, national curriculum year group, gender, ethnicity, English as a first language and free school meal eligibility.

While schools were only open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers on census day, schools were asked to record pupils on roll as if in normal circumstances.

Headline facts and figures - 2020/21

  • The percentage of pupils with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan has increased to 3.7%, continuing a trend of increases since 2017.
  • The percentage of pupils with SEN but no EHC plan (SEN support) has increased slightly, from 12.1% to 12.2%, continuing an increasing trend.
  • The most common type of need for those with an EHC plan is Autistic Spectrum Disorders and for those with SEN support, Speech, Language and Communication needs.

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