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Special Educational Needs: Per Capita Costs

Volume 495: debated on Monday 29 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average cost of educating a pupil with special educational needs was in a (a) special school, (b) mainstream primary school and (c) mainstream secondary school in the latest period for which figures are available. (282649)

The Department’s records, based on financial data taken from local authorities’ Section 52 Budget returns and the January 2008 School Census, estimate the average gross cost of educating a pupil with special educational needs (SEN) during the 2008 -09 financial year is as follows:

School type

Average cost per pupil with special educational needs (£)

Special school


Mainstream primary


Mainstream secondary


These estimated figures include planned expenditure on provision for pupils with statements and the provision for non-statemented pupils with SEN.

The special school figure differs from that given on 15 June 2009, Official Report, column 136W, to the hon. Member as the calculation of that figure was based only on the Individual School Budget for special schools.

The above special school figure includes other additional costs often incurred by local authorities, such as support for inclusion, inter authority recoupment, fees for pupils at independent special schools, educational psychology services, local authority functions in relation to child protection, therapies and other health-related services, parent partnership, guidance and information, the monitoring of SEN provision and inclusion administration, and assessment and co-ordination. Hence the higher figure. The above figure does however exclude any allowance for SEN related transport costs.