The high numbers of pupils with SEN are putting a huge strain on school finances – and on SENCOs themselves. Margaret Mulholland looks at some tenets of best practice, what Ofsted wants to see, and how schools can best support their SENCOs

It is difficult to escape the conclusion that we have inadvertently ended up with a system for supporting children with educational needs which is not fit-for-purpose. There are many factors involved in this stark assessment – not least of which is the huge pressure on funding.

But I want to discuss here one particular aspect. This is the fact that the current system has effectively created a situation in which about
80 per cent of children with SEN are at risk of being left out in the cold.

The most recent Department for Education (DfE) statistics show that the number of pupils with SEN stood at just over 1.3 million in 2019. Of these, about 270,000 have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), leaving just over one million – 80 per cent – who have additional needs but who do not have an EHCP.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here