2x1 special education

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision in London

Date published: 
23 July 2018

Key facts

  • Over 200,000 children and young people in London have some level of special education need or disability.
  • 41,000 of these children and young people have high needs and have either a special educational statement or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
  • In the last ten years there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number with high-level needs and the types of need are increasingly complex.
  • If the proportion of children assessed as needing an EHCP remains the same London will need to support 2,340 more young people at secondary school age, many with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, over the next five years.
  • According to a survey by the Association of Teachers and Lectures (ATL) 83 per cent of teachers thought children and young people with SEND were not getting the support they needed.

London's Special Needs timebomb

Key findings

  • London requires thousands of new school places for children with special needs. 
  • There are concerns that the level of funding provided to schools for pupils with high needs is insufficient to provide the quality support they need.
  • Close working between organisations is needed to support children and young people with SEND, their parents and carers. But many schools feel they carry most of the burden due to a lack of collaboration between the local authority and the NHS.
  • Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) are under huge pressure – there is a growing responsibility with diminished resources.
  • There is a lack of job opportunities, training and work experience for young people with SEND. 

Recommendations to the Mayor

  • Keep pressure on Government to ensure real terms funding increases per pupil with high needs and the creation of new special schools, where the need is greatest. 
  • Provide more support for young people as they exit the school system and move into the world of work.
  • Support the creation of a dedicated training centre for Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs).
  • Boost the availability of high quality play spaces for children and young people with SEND and fund initiatives to facilitate journeys on public transport.
  • Appoint a SEND champion to promote the views of children and young people with SEND within London Government. 

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