SEND Education Sufficiency Review

Waltham Forest Council has a statutory duty under section 14 of the Education Act 1996, to ensure there is a sufficiency of school places available to meet the needs of all children and young people living within our authority. This includes having regard to the need to secure provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). In addition, s315 of the Education Act 1996 requires that arrangements for children with SEND be kept under review. 'Special educational needs' is a legal definition and refers to children with learning difficulty or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children the same age. 

An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is ordinarily available through special educational needs (SEN) support and sets out the additional support required to meet those needs. 

Waltham Forest has experienced a significant increase in the number of children and young people with EHCP’s requiring specialist provision to ensure they are able to have their complex needs fully met and receive the specialist support that is required for them to thrive. It is projected that demand for specialist places will continue to grow across all areas of primary need. 

In order to achieve these goals, future demand for places for children with SEND must be monitored to ensure the correct provision is in place at the correct time. We are in the process of reviewing current SEND placement arrangements and have the opportunity to consider our commissioning options in this respect thereby providing parents and carers with greater choice when considering placements for children and young people with high needs. We expect the SEND Sufficiency review to be available later in the Spring Term (2024 – subject to governance time frames).