Your Weekly Sector News 14/06/24

One Education is proud to be your go-to source for the latest industry news and insights. Keep reading to learn about cuts to special schools, the rise of EHCPs, and new  research on bullying trends in primary and secondary schools.
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Number of EHCPs rises by highest rate in six years

The number of education, health and care plans (EHCPs) has been rising at an average of 10% each year since their introduction in 2014. Now, data shows that the number of children and young people with an EHCP for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England has risen by the highest rate in six years, reaching above 575,000. This has increased by 58,914, or 11.4%, since the previous year – the largest increase since before the pandemic.

EHCPs can remain in place until a young person with SEND is 25. However, data reveals there were 84,428 new ECHPs that started during 2023, rising by 26.6% since 2022. The number of requests for EHCPs also grew by over 20%, up to 138,242. 

However, only half of EHCPs were issued within the statutory 20-week window as the SEND system continues to struggle with the pressure of rising demand and inadequate funding. Almost 40 councils have made Safety Valve agreements with the Department for Education (DfE) to help reduce their high-needs spending deficits. Pepe Di’lasio says that a lack of proper investment has ‘brought the whole SEND system to the brink of collapse.’ He calls on the next government to ensure that funding matches the level of need, whilst placing a greater emphasis on supporting specialist early interventions to address any challenges before they escalate to the point of requiring EHCPs.

From Creative Psychotherapy, to SEND and SaLT support, One Education has a wide range of specialist services that can meet a diverse set of needs and challenges, ensuring that every child has the support they need to reach their full potential. Contact us to learn more.

Only 58% of primary-aged pupils feel safe in school 

A new report published by inclusion charity Diversity Role Models reveals that nearly one in four secondary students do not know, or are unsure if they know, how to report bullying at school. Worryingly, a third feel that teachers do not consistently help when someone is being bullied.

The report marks the culmination of a three-year research project funded by the Department for Education, which involved researchers speaking to 10,000 school staff and 8,435 primary and secondary students. Findings show that in primary schools, the most common form of bullying was based on appearances at 15%. However, bullying escalated in secondary schools, where the most prevalent forms were based on looks at 34%, followed by sexuality at 32%, whilst gender expression and being a girl were tied at 31%.

Furthermore, the research identified a gap between the views of senior leaders, governors, and school staff, and the views of pupils, parents and carers. For example, 83% of governors and staff felt that all students were safe in school. Among parents and carers, 66% felt all students were safe. By contrast, only 58% of primary pupils reported feeling safe in their schools.

The charity states that bridging the gap between students, parents, carers and school staff is essential, ‘with a particular emphasis on centering student voice.’ To help schools improve their response to bullying, the report recommends encouraging the reporting of incidents by students and implementing robust tracking mechanisms.

One Education has a strong track record of promoting pupil welfare and improving attendance outcomes. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help your school build a strong safeguarding culture in which every child can thrive.

Two in three special schools face real-terms cuts 

The School Cuts campaign has published new findings which show two-thirds of special schools have seen real-terms cuts to their budgets between 2010 and 2023. In that time, special schools’ spending power has also diminished by £419 million. Campaigners are calling for £12.2 billion in extra school funding from the next government. 

The School Cuts website was first launched in 2016 by the National Education Union (NEU), Association for School and College Leaders (ASCL), and NAHT school leaders’ union, who campaigned successfully to make school funding a key issue in the 2017 General Election, eventually securing a £21 billion investment in schools. The campaign was relaunched last year amidst concerns that 92% of schools would have to make cuts to cope with cost increases in 2024-25. 

Of the £12.2 billion in extra school funding, campaigners say £3.2 billion will help to restore school budgets to 2010 levels, whilst £4.4 billion will raise capital spending to required levels and 34.6 billion will resolve the crisis in SEND funding. Daniel Kebede, general secretary of the NEU, says that ‘school cuts have left education in crisis, with some of our most vulnerable children paying the price.’ He urges all political parties to make a commitment that whoever wins the election ensures that education receives the funding it needs. 

One Education brings together a team of talented and dedicated professionals, working together to put children first. We’re proud to support schools across a breadth of leadership, business support, and pupil facing services.

To find out how we can help your school, please get in touch. 

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