ONS report shows need for personalised education support

2 mins read

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Tags: education, send, schools, ONS

Schools in England must be more responsive to the individual needs of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), according to a report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The new research highlights some of the difficulties families face in accessing support and recognises the importance of reasonable adjustments in supporting young people with SEN.

The report shares the experiences of young people aged 11-16 years with SEN, parents, carers, and school staff. Pupils who contributed to the report attend both mainstream and special schools.

Contact welcomes the publication of this report. Its findings show why it is so important that the Department for Education responds to the SEND Review Green Paper consultation.

Report findings

The report found that:

  • Pupils whose educational support needs were left unmet often felt frustration and anger. Teaching staff in turn often misconstrued this as ‘bad’ behaviour.
  • Parent carers experience difficulties navigating systems to ensure their child’s support needs are met. Parents describe the system as stressful, lengthy and complex.
  • Good communication and relationships between staff and pupils and their families has a positive impact on experiences at school.

Report recommendations

The report’s recommendations include:

  • Schools need to consult with young people to ensure they get support in line with their unique learning preferences. Schools must also ensure pupils don’t feel stigmatised by receiving extra support.
  • There needs to be flexibility in meeting an individual young person’s needs.
  • Schools should be more responsive to young people’s needs, for example by providing more training to help staff identify and meet needs.

Read the full report online.

Need advice?

Visit our education pages to find out what support you and your child are entitled to.

Don’t live in England? We have lots of education advice for families in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland too.