North Yorkshire County Council takes the view that only a very small number of children with 'severe or complex' special educational needs will require a statement (see here). This can be phrased in terms of the 'bottom 2% of children with SEN' - which in itself is a misleading phrase, and takes no account of the strengths or weaknesses of children with autism (legal discussion here). Neither of these phrases are used as criteria in the SEN Code of Practice (see para 7:34).
So let's crunch the numbers. The calculation is an estimate as we don't know how many children have autism, but we'll use the commonly accepted approximation of 1%. Data are from 2010.
Total no of pupils NYCC (1) 90550
No of pupils with autism (est) 906
No of pupils with ASD statement (2) 346
Percentage of ASD pupils with statement (est) 38%
We can compare this to the national average:
Total no of pupils (England) (3) 6951000
No of pupils with autism (est) 69510
No of pupils with ASD statement (4) 42105
Percentage of ASD pupils with statement (est) 60.57%
North Yorkshire maintains fewer statements for children with SEN in general, and delegates more money directly to schools, but the discrepancy here is stark. In both cases though, the numbers indicate that autism is a severe and complex condition which often requires the highest levels of support.
If NYCC was in line with the national average, there would be another 203 children with autism with statements. This gives some context to the Council's rather alarmist report highlighted in the previous post on this blog.
School Action Plus
Interestingly, there are more children with a statement than at School Action Plus:
No of pupils with ASD at SA+ (NYCC) 144
Percentage of ASD pupils at SA+ (est) 16%
This is born out at the national level too:
No of pupils with ASD at SA+ (Eng) 19470
Percentage of ASD pupils at SA+ (est) 28.01%
Percentage of pupils at SA+ or statement (NYCC, est) 54%
Percentage of pupils at SA+ or statement (England, est) 88.58%
These estimates are likely to be lower than the actual numbers as the figures do not take into account undiagnosed children.
The number of children at School Action is not available
1 Table 15A, Special Educational Needs in England 2011 (DfE)
2 p44, Children with a Statement of SEN, Children at School Action Plus and Children at School Action April 2010 Report (NYCC)
3 Table 1, National Pupil Projections (DfE)
4 Table 1.2, Children with Special Educational Needs - An Analysis 2011 (DfE)