Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Supporting the inclusion of children and young people (CYP) with SEND.

Evidence shows that children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) have lower levels of educational attainment than those without SEND, this means that they may be at risk of disadvantage. It is essential that leaders continue to identify those with SEND and provide support so children can make progress.

Key data

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)

Pre COVID-19 pandemic, there was a steady increase over time in the percentage of children with SEND achieving a good level of development.

Following the pandemic, in 2021-22, 19% of children with SEN achieved a good level of development - 6 percentage points lower than the 2018-19 figure of 25%.

The percentage of children with no identified SEND who achieved a good level of development also decreased to 71% in 2021-22 compared with 77% in 2018-19.

Key Stage 1 (KS1)

The percentage of pupils who achieved the expected standard in KS1 teacher assessments (TA) dropped in both SEN and non-SEN categories following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find a detailed table in the DfE document linked above.

Key Stage 2 (KS2)

18% of pupils with SEND achieved the expected level in reading, writing and mathematics in 2021-22 compared to 69% of those with no identified SEN.

This is a reduction compared to 2018-19 when 22% of pupils with SEND and 74% with no identified SEN achieved expected levels.

Pupils with SEND have lower progress scores compared to those with no identified SEND. This is lowest in writing TA.

Key Stage 4 (KS4)

The average attainment 8 score for pupils with SEND support in 2021-22 was 34.9 compared to 52.5 for those with no identified SEND. It was 14.3 for those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

In 2021-22, 22.5% of pupils with SEND support achieved grades 5 or above in English and mathematics GCSEs, compared to 55.8% of pupils with no identified SEND. This was 7% for those with an EHCP.

Post 16

37.1% of pupils identified with SEND in year 11 achieved Level 2 (equivalent to 5+ A*-C or 9-4 at GCSE) including English and mathematics by age 19 in

This is 42.2% lower than pupils with no identified SEND.

Further support

For more advice and strategies to support children with SEND who may be at risk of disadvantage, see our SEND toolkit pages.