“The latest statistical release from DfE will come as little surprise from those of us working to support children and young people with SEND.”
The DfE have released information from the school census on pupils with SEND and provision in schools from January 2017.
The key findings from the report show:
As the proportion of children with an EHCP is remaining constant – as it has done for the best part of a decade – we are seeing a greater number of children on SEN support, which puts additional pressure on school resources as DYT has seen in our partner schools.
Whilst the temptation is always to blame a lack of resources and indeed we are seeing schools facing such challenges, emerging evidence points to other areas that urgently need our attention.
Driver Youth Trust has led calls on the government and wider education sector to address the knowledge and skills gaps in teacher training, the fragmentation of LA services and the complete absence of SEND from policy thinking.
More recent research shows us that classroom teachers over reliant on SENCOs because of a lack of knowledge and skills in supporting SEND pupils within the classroom. At the same time Rob Webster of the IOE reports that the majority of SEND pupils are supported by TAs most of the time. Rob has previously reported on the lack of training for TAs and we are concerned that these essential adults are being reduced in line with school funding.
Commenting on the findings DYT Director, Chris Rossiter said:
“The latest statistical release from DfE will come as little surprise from those of us working to support children and young people with SEND. An increase in the number of children being identified with SEND was always to be expected with increases in the primary pupil population and we should expect to see this continue in to secondary.
At a time when the crucial elements of effective SEND provision are being reduced and dissipated, organisations like DYT and its partners at Whole School SEND are working with schools to improve outcomes for the most disadvantaged children.
I expect the new minister Robert Goodwill and his colleagues to take action in ensuring all children receive the best possible education as they have promised.”