Following a lead from @scope on Twitter, "Excellent article from @jreynoldsMPon the battles families with disabled children face & the current #ChildrensBill", I find that in a knowledgable article for Progress Online, "Transforming the Lives of Disabled Children", Jonathan Reynolds MP repeats a statistic I have read elsewhere: "it is estimated that only 13 per cent of disabled children or those with SEN will actually be entitled to [an Education, Health and Care Plan]."
Where does this figure come from? I seem to have seen it in several places elsewhere, including as I recall, in blog by Richard Hawkes CEO of Scope, which may have briefed Jonathan Reynolds MP.
On the face of it - and I tested this statistic a few days ago on one of Paces' Trustees, who was duly shocked by it - only 13% of disabled children and those with special educational needs qualifying for an EHC Plan is indeed shocking: undoutedly a wretched example of "the cuts" on the most vulnerable.
Yet consider this:
Education, Health and Care Plans are intended to replace Statements of Special Educational Needs.
Currently, 2.7% of the total pupil population have such a Statement.
Currently, 20% of the total pupil population are designated as having a special educational need.
In other words, currently, a maximum of 13.5% of the total pupil population with special educational needs (20/2.7*100=13.5) has a Statement of Special Needs: a percentage remarkably similar to that 13% quoted by Jonathan Reynolds MP (and others).
In fact, the figure quoted by Jonathan Reynolds applies both to pupils with special educational needs or a disability taken together ("... only 13 per cent of disabled children or those with SEN ...")
As there are children with a disability who do not have a special educational need, the total of both categories must exceed the 20% of children with a special educational need. In which case, currently, the percentage of pupils with a Statement falls as a percentage of the total population of those with special educational needs or disabilities, when the number of children with disabilities (but not SEN) is included.
You can test it for your self. Take a number. Say there are currently 20% of pupils with SEN. Say there are currently a further 5% of pupils with a disability but no SEN. The total population together is 25%. 25 / 2.7 = 10.8%.
On this calculation, the estimated "only 13%" of pupils who will be entitled to an EHC Plan, is actually more not less than currently.
So, assuming the data and my arithmetic are correct:
1. How many pupils will really be entitled to an EHC Plan?
2. Where does the figure of "only 13%" originate?
3. Is what's going on here more to do with politics than statistical data and analysis or the interests of those (currently 2.7%) most educationally vulnerable children in our society? It's certainly confusing.
PS. A liitle more confusion: Jonathan Reynolds' article is entitled "Transforming the Lives of Disabled Children". Or should that be children with special educational needs, who may or may not have a disability rather than disabled children, who may or may not have a special educational need?