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Key facts about children with SEND in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

A summary of the key facts about children with SEND in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

How many children have SEND in LLR?

In April 2020 there were nearly 22,000 children with SEND in LLR.  This makes up 13.7% of our overall school population which is just under the national average of 14.8%.  Children in primary school are most likely to have support for SEN and we know that nationally the numbers peak at age 10, declining through secondary education.  The numbers of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) continues to rise as they journey through school.

What school provision do children access?

Most children receive an education in a mainstream school, with only 2,313 children across the area receiving education in a Special School.  There are 12,142 children in primary schools with SEND from the LLR area and 7,513 children in secondary schools.

What are the main reasons for a child receiving support for SEND?

The primary needs of children with SEND across the area are:

Specific Learning Disability

  • Number: 2,477
  • % of Total: 11.3%
  • National Average: 12.5%

Moderate Learning Disability

  • Number: 6,547
  • % of Total: 29.8%
  • National Average: 20.4%

Severe Learning Disability

  • Number: 836
  • % of Total: 3.8%
  • National Average: 2.7%

Profound Learning Disability

  • Number: 175
  • % of Total: 0.8%
  • National Average: 0.9%

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

  • Number: 3,543
  • % of Total: 16.1%
  • National Average: 17.1%

Speech, Language and Communication needs

  • Number: 4,087
  • % of Total: 18.6%
  • National Average: 21.7%

Special Educational Needs Hearing

  • Number: 391
  • % of Total: 1.8%
  • National Average: 1.8%

Special Educational Needs Visual

  • Number: 355
  • % of Total: 1.6%
  • National Average: 1.1%


  • Number: 55
  • % of Total: 0.3%
  • National Average: 0.3%

Physical Disability

  • Number: 664
  • % of Total: 3.0%
  • National Average: 2.9%

Autistic Spectrum

  • Number: 1,630
  • % of Total: 7.4%
  • National Average: 11.0%

Other Difficulty

  • Number: 732
  • % of Total: 3.3%
  • National Average: 4.4%

No specialist assessment

  • Number: 474
  • % of Total: 2.2%
  • National Average: 3.3%

Total Overall

  • Number: 21,966
  • % of Total: 100%
  • National Average: 100%

What do children, young people and families tell us about the services they receive?

We know that we are delivering services in the local area that make a huge difference to the lives of children, young people with SEND and their families and carers.  We also know that there are areas for improvement in our provision, identified by children, young people and families and highlighted through Joint Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) SEND inspection findings for Leicester and Leicestershire.  Key areas for us to work on include:

  • Strategic planning to improve outcomes in Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Quality of Education Health Care Plans in Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Assessment of Children and Young People’s Social care needs in Leicester City
  • Joint commissioning to support health needs post 19, the development of a joint commissioning strategy for SEND and a co-ordinated approach to preparing for adulthood in Leicester and Leicestershire

What do we commission to meet this need?

We commission a wide range of universal, targeted and specialist services to meet the needs of children with SEND.  Many of the services are commissioned by Council and CCG’s individually but they are delivered as integrated pathways to help children, young people and families experience joined up support.  Some services are delivered by Councils themselves, and others are commissioned from independent or voluntary and community organisations.

Get details of services commissioned by partner agencies and the level of funding committed to each type of provision.

It is important to note that schools and further education facilities are increasingly acting as commissioners of services in order to meet the varied needs of children attending.  It is expected that the work included in the delivery of this strategy will start to map this commissioning activity in schools and in further education and, that we will involve them in discussions about future provision.

Parents and carers are also increasingly acting as commissioners through the use of personal budgets.  Here the Council or CCG makes funding available to parents and carers so that they can source their own support to meet the child’s individual need.  This approach can help to increase choice and support families in developing bespoke, personalised packages of care.  These personal budgets are agreed by the relevant teams in the Council or CCG in line with each agencies agreed process.

More information about children and young people in LLR can be found in the Joint Strategic Needs Analysis document that each area produces. Links to the latest versions can be found on our Linked strategies and key documents page.