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Special Educational Needs

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on special needs education in North Yorkshire. (98185)

Delivery of special needs education within North Yorkshire is a matter for determination by the local authority (LA). It is an essential function of every LA to make effective arrangements for special educational needs (SEN) by ensuring that the needs of pupils are identified and assessed quickly and matched by appropriate provision. Under section 315 of the Education Act 1996, LA arrangements for SEN must be kept under review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children educated in the private sector in Somerset have been assessed for special educational needs funding in each of the last five years. (98460)

Information is collected on the number of children who have been assessed for statements of special educational need (SEN); the number of children for whom a statement of SEN was made for the first time; and the placement of these children. The available information is given in the following table.

Assessment and placement of children with new statement of special educational needs (SEN) Somerset local authority area

20011

2002

2003

2004

2005

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Total children assessed for SEN

181

90

75

82

85

Of which:

Children assessed under Section 323 of the Education Act 1996 during the calendar year for whom no statement was

13

7.2

15

16.7

7

9.2

9

11.0

6

7.1

Children for whom statements were made for the first time during the calendar year2

168

92.8

75

83.3

69

90.8

73

89.0

79

92.9

Of the children for whom statements were made for the first time, number of children placed in3:

registered in early years education settings

1

1.4

5

6.8

1

1.3

resourced provision in maintained mainstream schools

17

10.1

17

22.7

14

20.3

11

15.1

12

15.2

SEN units in maintained mainstream schools

0

0.0

maintained mainstream schools

103

61.3

29

38.7

25

36.2

24

32.9

29

36.7

maintained special schools

30

17.9

16

21.3

18

26.1

21

28.8

22

27.8

non-maintained special schools, independent special schools and other independent schools

10

6

5

6.7

7

10.1

11

15.1

12

15.2

hospital schools and pupil referral units

2

1.2

1

1..3

0

0.0

1

1.4

3

3.8

Children for whom statements were newly made and educated other than in school or awaiting provision

6

3.6

7

9.3

4

5.8

0

0.0

0

0.0

1 In 2002 a change to the SEN Code of Practice was introduced which could have caused some disruption to time series data. In 2001 Somerset consulted its mainstream schools about increasing delegation. New arrangements were subsequently introduced resulting in a decrease in the number of children with statements placed in mainstream schools.

2 Percentage is given of all new assessments made in the calendar year.

3 Percentage is given of children for whom statements were made for the first time during the calendar year.

Source:

SEA/2 Survey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the formula is for special educational needs funding in Somerset; and how the formula was applied in the last year for which figures are available; (98461)

(2) what the Government’s guidelines are on the spending formula for special educational needs funding in Somerset.

The main SEN factor used by Somerset local authority in their funding formula is called ‘School Action’, which is designed to meet the additional education needs of pupils in mainstream schools. This is based on a commercially available social deprivation index. The index looks closely at numerous wealth/poverty factors, and maps this to the post codes of the pupils for each school, so funding is weighted towards the schools with the most pupils from deprived areas within Somerset. The authority also allocates funds for ‘School Action Plus’, which delegates funding for named pupils with complex needs identified through an audit or statement. The authority also funds SEN co-ordinator activities in individual schools.

Somerset’s section 52 budget statement for the current financial year 2006-07, shows that the authority has allocated through these factors just over £15.5 million. During the year an additional £0.8 million (held in the school specific contingency) is earmarked to schools for changing needs of individual pupils for School Action Plus.

In May 2004 the Department published guidance for local authorities, “The Management of SEN Expenditure” which provides information and suggested approaches for local authorities to manage SEN expenditure. The guidance can be accessed online at www.teachernet.gov.uk/senexpenditure.