Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

Headlines

  • Wakefield has a growing cohort of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
  • Around 15% of pupils in Wakefield have been identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities.
  • The three main primary needs for SEN Support pupils are Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD), Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH).
  • The main types of need among pupils with an EHC plan are Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH).
  • Pupils living in our more deprived communities are more likely to have SEND.
  • White British children are slightly more likely to have their special educational needs identified than other ethnic groups.
  • The number of EHCPs that Wakefield have implemented and are monitoring has risen by approximately 10% year on year over the last five years.
  • Current demands on specialist provision and the growing trend over the past few years, means we will need to continue to increase our provision in this area.

The Population

The Children and Families Act (2014) places a duty on Local Authorities to identify all children with SEN (Special Educational Needs) and disabilities in their area. The Act introduced reforms to the SEN system, detailed in the SEND Code of Practice (2015).

Children and young people aged 0 – 25 have special educational needs if they have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children and young people of the same age. These children and young people may need extra or different help from that given to others.

Early accurate identification for children and young people with SEND will enable joint partners from education, health and social care to ensure appropriate provision to meet their needs and improve outcomes for this group.

There are two levels of intervention for children and young people with SEND who are considered to have additional needs. These are:

  • SEN Support which consists of help given in addition to that provided by an educational settings usual curriculum and is deliverable with their delegated funding already available.
  • Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is for children and young people who need a greater level of help to make progress. It is a single multi-agency plan that is put in place following a formal assessment. It is a statutory legal document for children and young people aged 0 – 25 who are in education, apprenticeship or training.

In the Code of Practice Children’s SEN are generally thought of in the following broad areas of need:

Communication and interaction includes speech, language and communication need (SLCN) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Cognition and learning – Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including:

  • Moderate Learning difficulty (MLD)
  • Severe Learning difficulty (SLD)
  • Profound and Multiple Learning difficulty (PMLD)
  • Specific Learning difficulty (SpLD)

Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)

Sensory and/or physical needs includes vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI), multi-sensory impairment (MSI) and physical disability (PD).

The Challenges

Around 8,400 (15.6%) of school age children in Wakefield have been identified as having a special educational need or disability (January 2021 school census). This is in line with national and Yorkshire and Humber averages but below our statistical neighbour average.

Wakefield has seen increases in the academic year 2020/21 in both the numbers of school aged pupils with SEN Support at 12.2% (from 11.9%) previous year and EHCP at 3.8% (previous year 3.6%). The proportion with an EHCP is above the national figure (3.7%), Yorkshire and Humber (3.3%) and our statistical neighbour average (3.6%). At SEN Support, Wakefield are in line with the national figure (12.2%), below Yorkshire and Humber (12.4%) and our statistical neighbours (13.0%).

Footnote: The above totals include all state-funded nursery, primary, secondary and special schools, non-maintained special schools, pupil referral units and independence schools.

The dashboards below show the percentage of pupils by SEN provision, comparing Wakefield to national, regional and statistical neighbour averages. At Sen Support Wakefield is 12.1% and with an EHCP (3.5%).

Footnote: These and the other charts below include all state-funded nursery, primary, secondary and special schools, non-maintained special schools, pupil referral units. They do not include independent schools.

The locally calculated school census figures differ from the nationally represented figures very slightly (less than 10 pupils) due to additional assurance processes that the local authority completes following validation of the school census. This includes removing duplicate pupils (pupils being recorded at more than one school) from the dataset.

The top three primary needs recorded for pupils with SEN Support are:

  1. Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD),
  2. Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN),
  3. Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH).

There are 16.3% of children and young people with SEN Support that have a secondary need. The top secondary needs are also SLCN, SEMH and MLD.

The most common types of need among pupils with an EHC plan are:

  1. Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD),
  2. SLCN,
  3. Severe Learning Difficulty (SLD).

Almost half of children and young people with an EHCP have a secondary need. The top secondary needs are also SLCN, SLD and SEMH.

The most common type of need nationally for those with an EHCP is Autistic Spectrum Disorder and for those with SEN Support, Speech, Language and Communication needs.

The interactive dashboards below show the prime and secondary needs of pupils in Wakefield.  The filters on the right of the dashboards can be changed to show different time periods, areas and gender.  To show the data for different areas, first select the area type using the drop down menu, then select the area of interest using the drop down menu where it says “Select Area Name”.  The chart will then update to show the information for the selections you have made.

Information from the 2020 Wakefield School Health Survey undertaken across Year groups 5, 7 and 9 showed that significantly more pupils with SEN have a poor diet, oral hygiene, likely never read a book, scared of going to school due to bullying, have someone who smokes inside their home, are likely to be unhappy with life at the moment and are worried about school work and exams.

Year groups 7 and 9 were asked additional questions about lifestyle and aspirations. Young people with SEN are more likely to think it is okay for young people to smoke, have tried smoking and tried vaping. They are less likely to want to go to college or university after high school but are more likely to want to start a family.

Pupils in Year 9 were also asked about drugs and sexual activity. SEN pupils were more likely to have been offered and taken drugs compared to pupils with no SEN and have more likely to have sexual intercourse.

The full picture is available at School Health Survey 2020 (wakefieldjsna.co.uk)

Produce infographics

Projections

The number of children living in Wakefield aged 0-24 years is expected to increase slightly over the next few years. In 2030 it is estimated there will be around 9% more children and young people, applying this percentage increase to the current SEN population indicates there may be around 9,200 children with SEN in 2030.

The Inequality

The prevalence of SEND varies greatly across the different sections of our population in Wakefield.

Children in years 4, 5 and 6 are more likely to have their special educational needs identified. In Wakefield we identify early which enables the correct support to be put in place sooner. Our percentage of EHCPs for children under 5 are higher than our regional and statistical neighbours.

Prior to the reforms the age range didn’t extend beyond age 18. In Wakefield we have seen an increase year on year for Post 16 EHCPs from 0 in 2015 to 532 in 2020. We have widened our offer to meet the increased needs for this range and now have more pathways into employment.

Pupils living in our more deprived communities are more likely to be SEND.

White British children are slightly more likely to have their special educational needs identified than other ethnic groups.

Fewer children with English as an additional language are recognised as having special educational needs (12% compared to 16%).

In line with national figures a higher proportion of children with SEND are eligible for free school meals than those in the general school population.

Pupils with special educational needs are more likely to not be in employment, education or training (NEET).

The full picture is available at  Post-16 Education and Training (Wakefieldjsna.co.uk)

Service Provision

In addition to universal services, a range of additional services are available for children and young people with SEND, details of these can be found on our Local Offer.

Education:

Wakefield’s educational settings include:

  • 116 mainstream primary schools
  • 18 mainstream secondary schools
  • 3 Local Authority Pupil referral units
  • 4 special schools
  • 13 Resource units
  • 3 independent/private schools
  • 3 colleges

A parent, young person over 16 or any professional involved with a child can make a request for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. The Local Authority are responsible for making the decision on whether to progress to that assessment and whether to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) based on the level of special educational need identified and the prescribed provision required to meet those needs.

The number of EHCPs that Wakefield have implemented and are monitoring has risen by approximately 10% year on year over the last five years. Currently 30% of the children and young people with an EHCP are in Specialist provision. From our analysis of the current needs and the growing trend over the past few years, we will need to continue to increase our provision. A SEND Provision Plan has been produced to address this. SEND Provision Plan

Education Psychology Service (EPS) apply psychology in working with children and young people to understand child development, human behaviour and emotions, social relationships and learning.

Portage Home Visiting Team provide a home based educational approach for children aged 0-5 who have special educational needs and disabilities.

Education Improvement Teachers support children and young people aged 0-19 (25 with SEND) where there are barriers to their access to and progress in education.

Education Therapy Team (ETT) provide short-term therapeutic interventions within school settings for children and young people who are at risk of exclusion.

SEN Assessment & Review Team (SENART) implement and monitor statutory processes in regards to children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) via Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) across the 0 – 25 age range.

 SEND Development Team coordinates projects across Education and Inclusion that develop the offer for children and young people with SEND and their families, ensuring that SEND legislation and reforms are embedded, and supporting the priorities of the SEND strategy.

 Post 16 Team support young people with regard to Preparation for Adulthood, supported internships and encouraging young people with SEND into employment and community activities.

 Short Breaks Team co-ordinate the provision of short breaks for children and young people with complex needs and their families.

Wakefield Inclusion and SEND Support Services (WISENDSS) work with educational settings, children and young people to remove barriers to inclusion, including special educational needs, and support full access to education. This can be done peripatetically or in resourced provision.

 Alternative Provision oversee the management of pupil referrals and liaison with Pupil Referral Units & Wakefield Hospital School.

School Exclusion Team & Education Welfare Service supports children who are at risk of exclusion.

Virtual School’s Team supporting children in care

Health:

(to be populated)

 Care:

Complex Care Needs Team are a social care team that works to support children, young people and their families who have complex care needs.

Short Breaks Assessment Team provide a holistic assessment of ned for care and support for specialist short breaks services. These are for children and young people with complex needs, who do not meet the criteria, and cannot access universal and targeted services. Short breaks support children to experience fun activities at home and in their community and give families a break from their caring role.

Children’s First Hubs provide a range of services including targeted support to families with complex or multiple issues.

Wakefield offers a range of short breaks provision which can be accessed vis the above teams.

Community Assets

Information and publications

Children and Families Act (2014)

SEND Code of Practice (2015)

SEND Strategy (December 2020)

SEND Provision Plan

Local Offer

National Educational Health and Care Plans Statistics (SEN2 data)

National Special Educational Needs Statistics (School Census data)