Children with Disabilities and Learning Difficulties

Children with disabilities face a range of inequalities, including accessing services, health outcomes and educational attainment (A Needs Assessment for Disabled Children in Derby City, 2013). Children will be considered to have a learning disability (LD) if they meet any of the following conditions

  • they have been identified within education services as having a Special Educational Need (SEN)
  • they score lower than two standard deviations below the mean on a validated test of general cognitive functioning (equivalent to an IQ score of less than 70) or general development
  • they have been identified as having learning disabilities on locally held disability registers (including the registers held by GP practices).

In Derby, the Local Authority and GP practice registers of those with a LD are comparable.

The Learning Disabilities Observatory (a collaboration between Public Health England, the Centre for Disability Research at the University of Lancaster, and the National Development Team for Inclusion) has published a local Learning Disabilities Profile that can be accessed from their ‘Improving Health and Lives’ website.

Of note in Derby are the lower number of children with moderate LD known to schools; higher number of children with profound and multiple LD known to schools; lower number of children with LD known to schools. In relation to health Derby achieves a significantly better (lower) admission rate for non-psychiatric ambulatory care sensitive conditions in people with LD, and is significantly better at identifying people with LD in general hospital statistics.

There are 3261 children recorded with Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) in Derby.

Pupils with statements of special educational needs (SEN)

The percentage of all Derby children with SEN statements increased in 2013 from 2.5% to 2.7%. Nationally, the percentage has remained constant at 2.8% for the last five years.

State-funded primary schools:
The percentage of statements have remained constant for the last three years (in 2013 national is 1.4% and Derby is 1.0%).

State-funded secondary schools:
The percentage of statements have decreased nationally (from 2.0% 2011 to 1.9% in 2012 and 2013) but increased in Derby (from 1.3% in 2012 to 1.8% in 2013).

Pupils with SEN without a statement of special educational needs

The percentage of all Derby SEN children without statements has reduced by 3.5% since 2010 (19.9% in 2010, 18.8% in 2011, 17.9% in 2012 and 16.4% in 2013). This trend is reflected both nationally and across our comparator authorities.

State-funded primary schools:
The percentage of Derby SEN pupils without statements have decreased over the last three years from 17.4% in 2011, 16.5% in 2012 to 15.6% in 2013 (nationally there has been a slight increase from 17.1% in 2012 to 17.4%).

State-funded secondary schools:
The percentage of Derby SEN pupils without statements has decreased from 20.4% in 2012 to 17.8% in 2013 (nationally they have increased from 18.3% in 2012 to 19.0% in 2013).

Assessment and placement of children with new statements of special educational needs (SEN)

The percentage of Derby pupils placed in resourced provision in maintained mainstream schools has remained higher than the national average (Derby - 17.1% in 2010, 8.6% in 2011 and 16.2% in 2013, compared to around 3% nationally).

Pupils for whom statements were newly made

The national figures have remained similar between the years 2009 and 2010 (around 69%) but dropped in 2011 to 64.1% and further in 2012 to 60.1%. Locally, the figures have fluctuated over the years from 72.7% in 2009, 63.7% in 2010, 64.1% in 2011 and 59.9% in 2012.

Placement of children for whom the authority maintains a statement of special educational needs

The percentage of children who were placed in maintained mainstream schools has decreased both nationally and locally since 2012 (nationally 39.1% in 2012 to 34.8% in 2013, Derby 26.6% in 2012 to 19.2% in 2013).

Percentage of pupils with statement of SEN or at school action plus by their primary type of need

Locally, the distribution across the types of SEN is similar to last year

State-funded primary schools
Derby's largest change is in 'moderate learning difficulty' which has seen a decrease of 2.6% since 2012.
For the last four years, the largest type of special educational need amongst SEN pupils in state-funded primaries was 'speech, language and communications needs'.

State-funded secondary schools
Both nationally and locally, the largest type of special educational need amongst SEN pupils in state-funded secondaries was 'behaviour, emotional and social difficulties' (same as the last three years).

All special schools
Derby has seen a 6.1% increase in 'moderate learning difficulty' since 2012.
For the last four years, nationally the largest type of special educational need amongst SEN pupils in special schools was 'severe learning difficulty'. Locally, it was 'hearing impairment' (which continues to be higher than our comparator authorities and nationally).


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