Despite this rather bleak headline, statistics provided in the report are rather more positive. The proportion of requests for assessment that are being rejected has fallen, in 2016 to 2017 from 26.9% to 22.6%. Clearly this is still concerning for the 22.6% of parents who may be required to appeal that decision, however, hopefully this trend continues with LA's more readily embracing their duty to assess and identify children with SEN.
Of concern, however, is the low percentage of EHC Plans being issued within statutory deadlines; only 64.9%. Whilst this is an increase from last year, it is still concerning, as this means parents waiting more than 20 weeks for a decision in respect of their child's SEN.
Further, the statistics demonstrate that the deadline for transfer to EHCPs has also been missed, with over 3,000 pupils still with Statements of SEN. The provision in these may be protected, however, it is of concern that these parents will have limited rights of appeal before a transfer to an EHCP is completed.
If you would like to discuss any of this further, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Today’s statistics also show that: The number of children and young people with EHCPs or statements of special educational needs has risen by 11.3 per cent since last year – driven by a large increase in the plans for those aged 16 to 25. There were 42,162 children and young people with new EHCPs made during 2017 – 16.8 per cent more plans were made in 2017 than in 2016. The total number of children with plans is 285,722 and a further 34,097 have statements in January 2018, when the figures were compiled. Although more recent figures have shown that by 1 April 2018 that there were 3,873 children with statements who were waiting for a transfer to an EHCP be completed.