21% of children with special needs didn't have secondary school place by deadline

One in five primary school children in Cheshire East with special needs did not have a secondary school place by the February deadline.

Cheshire East Council failed to provide a place for twenty-three children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by the February 15th cut off date, though places have now been allocated for them all.

However, due to an error when completing a Freedom of Information Request this figure was reported in the national press as 79% of children in Cheshire East who needed a plan did not have one on time, rather than 21%.

Councillor George Hayes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: "As the result of an administrative error, we can confirm that 23 children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) didn't have a named secondary school on their education, health and care plan by the February deadline.

"This represents 21 per cent of the total, not 79 per cent which has been previously reported. I can also now confirm that all of these 23 children have the necessary and appropriate provision in place.

"Having the right amount and type of provision for our children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities is important to us. We recognise that we need that we need to increase the number of specialist school places in the borough, as the current number doesn't match our requirements.

"Aligned to our commitment in this area, the council, working in partnership with the Department for Education, has recently launched a search to find a high quality organisation to run a new special free school in the borough.

"The building of this new school, for 40 pupils with complex needs aged between 4 and 16, via this competition is an integral element of our plans for improvement."

Cheshire East Council