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Special Educational Needs

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) primary, (b) secondary and (c) special schools have (i) two to four per cent., (ii) four to six per cent., (iii) six to eight per cent., (iv) eight to 10 per cent. and (v) more than 10 per cent. of its pupils in care. (247862)

The information requested is shown in the table. This is based on data obtained via the school census.

The census shows 34,390 pupils aged five to 19 attending primary, secondary and special schools who are classed as being in care as at January 2008. Data published by the Department as SFR 23/2008: Children looked after in England (including adoption and care leavers) year ending 31 March 2008, shows 47,600 children aged between five and 19 as being looked after as at 31 March 2008. The school census does not cover all looked-after children; information is not collected for pupils in alternative provision, including pupil referral units, FE colleges, voluntary provision and those not in education or training. These differences in coverage partly explain the difference in the numbers from each source. It is possible that the school census undercounts the number of looked-after children in primary, secondary and special schools where they are unaware of a child’s looked-after status. The improvements in care planning arrangements and increased focus on education through the implementation of the Children and Young Person’s Act 2008 will ensure that schools have the information they need about a child’s looked-after status. In particular, all maintained schools will be required to appoint a designated teacher for looked-after children on the school’s roll. Through our wider Care Matters programme, the Department is funding 11 local authorities to pilot the role of a virtual school head to work with schools which have looked-after children on roll.

Primary, secondary and special schools1, 2, 3, percentage of pupils in care per school4 as at January 2008, England

Primary schools1

Secondary schools1, 2

Special schools3

Percentage of pupils in care per school

Number of schools

Percentage of schools

Number of schools

Percentage of schools

Number of schools

Percentage of schools

0%

10,451

60.74

383

11.32

120

11.43

0.1% to 2%

6,229

36.20

2,939

86.88

130

12.38

2.1% to 4%

456

2.65

49

1.45

225

21.43

4.1% to 6%

50

0.29

11

0.33

188

17.90

6.1% to 8%

12

0.07

1

0.03

126

12.00

8.1% to 10%

3

0.02

0

0.00

79

7.52

More than 10%

4

0.02

0

0.00

182

17.33

Total

17,205

3,383

1,050

1 Includes middle schools as deemed.

2 Includes CTCs and academies.

3 Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools, excludes hospital schools.

4 Pupils classed as being in care in a particular school as at January 2008 expressed as a percentage of the headcount of all pupils in the same school, includes both sole and dual (main) registrations.

Source:

School Census.