Special Educational Needs

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon UUP, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many children in each education and library board area were receiving special educational needs assistance in each of the past six years; and what funding was made available by his Department for special educational needs assistance over the same period.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)

The number of children receiving special educational needs assistance in each education and library board (ELB) in each of the past six years is as follows:

BELB NEELB SEELB SELB WELB Total
2001-02(1) 4,718 3,203 4,649 3,667 4,055 20,292
2002-03 9,991 8,013 9,895 9,036 9,426 46,361
2003-04 10,844 8,934 10,933 9,723 10,269 50,703
2004-05 10,862 9,767 11,306 10,149 11,009 53,093
2005-06 11,211 9,798 11,403 10,552 11,107 54,071
2006-07 12,797 10,275 11,640 11,188 11,762 57,662
(1) Excludes information on SEN pupils at stages 1 to 4 of the COP in primary schools as this data was not collected in this year.

These figures are in respect of children at all stages (1-5) of the Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs (COP) as reported in the annual school census for grant-aided schools and reported by the ELBs for children with statements of special educational needs outside the grant-aided sector.

The following table shows how much funding has been reported by the education and library boards (ELBs) in their accrued expenditure reports to the Department of Education as having been allocated to special needs education in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years. The response provided is therefore by education and library board area and is rounded to the nearest million.

£ million
BELB NEELB SEELB SELB WELB Total
2000-01 17 14 21 15 13 80
2001-02 19 16 23 17 16 91
2002-03 21 18 27 19 18 103
2003-04 26 21 32 22 23 124
2004-05 28 22 31 25 27 133
2005-06 27 27 35 26 27 142

Figures for 2006-07 are not yet available so I have provided figures for the last six years available.

Over the same six-year period additional funding of approximately £19 million has been allocated by the Department of Education to support statemented pupils in the voluntary grammar and grant-maintained integrated sectors.

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