How does provision for health, educational, and social needs differ between boroughs?

PUBLISHED: 12:10 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:10 28 November 2017

Council support for children with additional educational, health and social needs has changed. Picture: PA images

Council support for children with additional educational, health and social needs has changed. Picture: PA images

PA Wire/PA Images

If you’re a parent of a child with special needs, you will have seen changes to available support since new government legislation was launched in 2014.

20 weeks graph 20 weeks graph

Children and young people aged up to 25 who require extra help for their educational, health and social needs now receive an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

It’s a legal document outlining the extra help each child must receive from their local authority and replaces the previous “statement” of special educational needs (SEN) which focused on learning needs.

The government has stated all statements must be transferred over to plans by next April 2018, apart from a minority of cases where support needs may have changed.

However, EHC assessments are not automatically granted by councils and some parents say they are struggling to get the help they desperately need.

At a national level, there was a 35pc increase between 2015 and 2016 in the number of local authorities who refused to carry out EHC or SEN needs assessments on children while at tribunal level, 86pc of council decisions were overturned.

The most recent Department of Health data has also pulled up interesting variances between east London boroughs.

Tower Hamlets was the third lowest of several east London boroughs to issue new EHC plans within 20 weeks, measuring from the date of the assessment to when the EHC plan is given.

In 2016, the council only managed to deliver 57.8pc of new EHC plans within 20 weeks - excluding exceptional cases - compared to 99.3pc in 2015.

However, the figures show there was a rise in the number of plans, from 140 in 2015 to 211 in 2016, demonstrating an accelerating workload.

In contrast, neighbouring boroughs Barking and Dagenham provided 83.1pc of its new EHC plans within 20 weeks in 2016, while the figure in Havering was 79.7pc, followed by Redbridge with 51pc and 33.3pc in Newham.

Regarding the transfer of existing statements to EHC plans, Tower Hamlets has fared better than some of its east London neighbours.

This year, there were 1,206 children or young people with a EHC plan compared to 1,006 with a statement.

In comparison, Barking and Dagenham had 867 statements and only 365 plans, while Havering had 580 statements and 556 plans.

Overall, Tower Hamlets has 2,212 children or young people with an existing statement or plan in place for 2017 - the second highest of any London local authority except for Croydon with 2,491.

A council spokeswoman said: “A high proportion of pupils with statements or EHC plans is likely due to a combination of many factors including high levels of deprivation in the borough, as Tower Hamlets has the highest child poverty rate in the country.

“Analysis of our school census data also tells us that pupils with a statement or EHC plan are more likely to be eligible for free school meals than pupils with no SEN needs.

“Also, all of the special schools in Tower Hamlets are rated as Outstanding by OFSTED, which may attract parents of children with SEN needs to move into the borough.”

Related articles

Latest East London News Stories

A room designed to help people with mental health issues has opened at the Royal London Hospital.

Mum says Overland was a lifeline for her son but Mayor Biggs wants to close it.


Two men who used their east London shops to handle stolen mobile phones from a £1 million series of store burglaries were ironically traced by GPS mobile tracker data.

Yesterday, 21:12

A woman has died after being hit by a train at Bethnal Green station today.

Yesterday, 11:00

Women have served in the Royal Air Force throughout its 100 year history though the fight for equal opportunities took almost as long.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Yesterday, 08:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.

Fri, 22:29

A drug dealer is facing a life sentence for the murder of a father who was shot and stabbed on the doorstep of his home in Bromley-by-Bow.


Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now