SEND: Demand for EHCPs rockets as councils struggle

Urgent action is needed to help local authorities meet the rising demand for SEND support that is seeing 170 young people beginning Education, Health and Care Plans every day.

The Local Government Association’s (LGA) annual conference in Harrogate this week is calling on the government to scrap the high needs deficits that councils have built up.

It says that the “spiraling” costs of providing SEN support is outstripping the budgets councils have available.

The latest figures (DfE, 2022) show that requests for Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) fell to 75,951 in 2020 following four years of increases. However, as the impact of Covid-19 eased, requests then jumped by 23% to 93,302 in 2021.

In the last year, councils have approved 62,180 new EHCPs – amounting to 170 children and young people starting a plan each day.

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