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Special Educational Needs

Department for Education written question – answered on 13th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Addington Lord Addington Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of vulnerable students who are not attending the available school places for those with special educational needs.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

69,000 of the children and young people in attendance on Thursday 7 May were classed by schools as vulnerable. Of these, around 20,800 were children and young people with special educational needs who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, and 35,000 were children in need (reported by schools as having a social worker). The remainder were unknown, where schools either did not provide this information or the children were classed vulnerable for other reasons.

The department is working with educational settings and local authorities to improve our understanding of the total number of vulnerable children for whom continued attendance at educational establishments would be beneficial and appropriate. We are asking local authorities to work with educational providers, families and the child or young person to carry out a risk assessment to judge whether the child or young person’s needs cannot be met safely at home. Many children and young people with EHC plans can have their needs safely met in the home environment. Attendance may not be appropriate for some children, including because of health considerations for them and their family. Full guidance on the definition of vulnerable children and options for continued attendance can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

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