Sunday, 23 January 2011

Statements, questions.

What we are looking at here is a comparison between the number of children with statements as a percentage of the school population in North Yorkshire compared to other local authorities, given by the lower quartile (bottom 25%), average (median) and upper quartile (75%).

The quartiles give us an idea of how spread out the percentages are across all local authorities - that is 25% of local authorities are within the lower quartile, half are within the median and 75% are within the upper quartile.

North Yorks peak year for maintaining statements was 2003. In April of that year came the Big Bang (see this post) whereby the county began delegating more money directly to schools, in it's view obviating the need for statutory assessment and statementing for a much larger proportion of children (currently around 1000 children) and putting more responsibility on schools to meet need directly.

What this graph shows - although it doesn't go back quite as far as 2003 - is that the number of statements maintained by North Yorkshire is proportionately far smaller than most other local authorities.

Let's now look at the percentiles, which are a way of ranking local authorities:

2005     9.30%
2006     9.30%
2007     8.70%
2008     7.40%
2009     8.00%
2010     7.30%

That means, eg in 2010, 7.30 percent of local authorities maintained fewer statements as a percentage of the school population, and 92.70% maintained more than North Yorkshire.

So the percentiles show that North Yorkshire is continuing to shrink the number of statements maintained compared to other local authorities. The total number of statements maintained in England is reducing at a much slower rate, and has almost stopped.

The data range underlines what a postcode lottery the system is. In one local authority a child may be statemented, in another that same child wouldn't.

North Yorkshire has a real determination to reduce the number of statements it maintains. But does it matter that fewer children are statemented in the county? Can North Yorks demonstrate gains due to delegation? More efficient use of resources? Better academic results? Is it working?

More to come.

School pop data 2005, table 12: link   
No of statements 2005 table 14: link
School pop data 2006: table  12  link
School pop data 2007, Table 12 link
School pop data 2009, Table 10a link
School pop data Table 10B, 2010 link
Number of statements 2006-10; table 19 link

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