Fewer SEN pupils being identified since 2014 reforms

The identification of SEN “appears to have fallen” since the introduction of the SEND Code of Practice in 2014 and the move to Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

An analysis by FFT Education Datalab followed the first cohort of pupils to be admitted to Reception under the new Code of Practice in 2014/15 all the way through to the end of year 7 in 2021/22.

This cohort consists of around 647,000 pupils, covering state mainstream, special and alternative provision schools.

It finds that 9.5% of pupils were classified as having SEN (both EHCPs and School Support) in Reception. This figure increases to 19.3% in year 6 before falling back to 18.3% in year 7.

It means that by the end of year 7, 29.1% of the pupils had been classified as SEN (36% of boys and 22% of girls) during their school career to date.

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