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Special Educational Needs

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children were (a) classified as having special educational needs, (b) given a statement of special educational needs and (c) classified as having emotional and behavioural difficulties in each year since 1990, broken down by (i) sex and (ii) local authority. (205077)

Information on the number of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) by gender is only available from 2002 onwards.

Information was collected from schools on pupils who are supported at “School Action Plus” and those pupils with statements of SEN about their main or primary need and, if appropriate, their secondary need for the first time in 2004.

We publish national level information on the number of pupils identified with SEN, by gender, and with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties at School Action Plus and with statements of SEN annually. From 2004 the figures can be found in the Statistical First Release ‘DCSF: Special Educational Needs in England’, the latest of which can be accessed at:

Figures for 2003 and earlier were published in the Statistical Bulletin: ‘Special Educational Needs in England’, which can be accessed at:

Equivalent publications are available for earlier years.

We publish a local level analysis for a range of data on SEN, which can be found in the additional tables at the aforementioned websites. A local level analysis of the number of pupils with SEN and those with statements of SEN by gender in each year since 2002 as well as local level figures for the number of pupils with behaviour, emotional and social difficulties in each year since 2004 could only be produced as disproportionate costs.