83.6% increase in the number of pupils with SLCN as the primary area of need

News - 27 Jun 2017

Between 2011 and 2016, there was an 83.6% increase in the number of pupils with SLCN (Speech, Language and Communication Needs) as the primary area of need vs an increase of 5.4% in overall pupil numbers.

When this statistic was shared on social media, lots of people quite rightly wanted to know the source of the data so they could be sure of its reliability.  So here is a step-by-step explanation of where the statistic has come from with links to the raw data.  If you uncover any other interesting statistics within this data, please do share them with @nasen_org and @AdamBoddison

Two data sets were used, both of which are available for download from the Department for Education website:

  1. Special educational needs in England: January 2011. Main tables: SFR14/2011
  2. Special educational needs in England: January 2016.    National tables: SFR29/2016

 

2011 Data

Within the 2011 spreadsheet, table 11 breaks down the number and percentage of pupils by primary area of need (as recorded by schools in the January census).  The penultimate column shows us that the number of pupils with SLCN as the primary recorded as their primary area of need in 2011 was 120,605 pupils. 

2011Data

Similarly, the first row of data on table 1a shows that the total number of pupils on roll in 2011 was 8,123,865.

2016 Data

Within the 2016 spreadsheet, it is table 8 that breaks down the number and percentage of pupils by primary area of need.  The penultimate column shows us that the number of pupils with SLCN as the primary recorded as their primary area of need in 2016 was 221,456 pupils. 

2016DATA

Similarly, the first row of data on table 1 shows that the total number of pupils on roll in 2016 was 8,559,540.  The same row also confirms the 2011 figure, which is repeated to show the changes over time.

Calculation

We now have the following data:

Calculation

This allows us to conclude that between 2011 and 2016, there was an 83.6% increase in the number of pupils with SLCN (Speech, Language and Communication Needs) as the primary area of need vs an increase of 5.4% in overall pupil numbers.

 

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