SEND system on ‘brink of collapse’

The number of students with Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCPs) is fast approaching 600,000 after a 21% rise in requests and almost 85,000 new plans coming into effect in the last year alone.
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The figures have sparked renewed calls for proper investment in the SEND system as schools face having to support increasing numbers of students with complex needs.

The latest figures (DfE, 2024) show that the number of EHCPs as of January 2024 stands at 575,963 – which is up by 58,914 (or 11%) in the last year.

They show that there were 84,428 new EHCPs which came into effect during 2023 – up by 17,722 (27%) on 2022.

Furthermore, in 2023 there was a 21% rise in requests for EHCP assessments – up from 114,482 in 2022 to 138,242 last year.

However, the system has been plagued by funding difficulties ever since the 2014 SEND reforms came into effect.

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