The data shows that 170 young people across the country are starting Education, Health and Care Plans (ECHPs) each day, with nearly half a million children on these plans in total.
The County Councils Network (CCN) has long warned that legislative changes in 2014 which extended EHCP support eligibly were driving up significant costs for councils. County leaders say they are supportive of increasing eligibility, but funding has not matched demand.
The government is currently consulting over planned reforms to special educational needs and disabilities services.
Below, CCN responds to the LGA’s data.
Cllr Keith Glazier, Children’s Services Spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said:
“These latest figures show that the number of young people in receipt of Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCPs) continues to rise. The County Councils Network projects that the number of EHCPs for councils in county areas could rise by 49% between 2018 and 2023, adding significant pressure to their high needs budgets.
“The government’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities White Paper recognises these pressures, which were created as a result of legislative changes in 2014, and proposes a new set of national standards. These standards, linked to associated funding, could provide the clarity required for both local authorities and parents alike. It is also vital that other public sector partners, such as schools and health organisations, fully share the responsibility of tackling these challenges.
“It remains to be seen whether the proposals will fully address these demand-led pressures in EHCPs. We will be submitting a full response to the consultation in due course.”