JSNA > Starting Well

Some pupils need special or different arrangements, sometimes just for a short time, sometimes for the whole of their school life. Pupils who need this extra help have special educational needs, which can significantly affect a child or young person’s ability to learn.

Nationally, many children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) have poorer outcomes than their non-SEND peers.

  • They are six times more likely to have mental health difficulties than those without SEND and twice as likely to be overweight and five times as likely to be obese than the general population
  • The proportion of children in special schools with a substantial amount of plaque on their teeth is double that of those attending mainstream schools (4% and 2% respectively for 5 year olds and 20% and 10% respectively for 12 year olds) 
  • 20% of Children receiving SEN support meet the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at key stage 2 compared to 70% without identified SEN.
  • 6% of working age people being supported for learning disabilities were in paid employment.   49% of disabled people in work compared to 81% for those without a disability  

Better understanding of the needs of this population will allow us to commission more effective services and provision to meet needs and improve outcomes. With effective joined-up support across education, health and social care, young people with SEND may lead fulfilling lives with improved participation and achievement in employment, education, training, have improved health outcomes, and be engaged in their communities.

SEN in County Durham

In County Durham pupils with special educational needs have their need met through a graduated approach:

  • For some young people minor adaptation in the classroom is sufficient to meet needs
  • For those with more complex needs, schools will develop an individual SEN Support plan and with parental agreement be recorded on the SEN register.
  • Children and Young People with the most complex needs receive an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

For the latest data and insight into SEND in County Durham please view the resources below.

The documents we publish on this page are either legally required to be made available for inspection, for information and analysis purposes or may have been supplied by the public and so in some cases may not be fully accessible. If, for any reason, you cannot access the documents and need an alternative format, please email ina@durham.gov.uk.

Factsheets and Reports

SEND JSNA Summary Factsheet (PDF; 130Kb)

Factsheet of Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in County Durham (PDF; 2Mb)

LG Inform SEND report for County Durham – see below

In County Durham in 2019 there were:


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