Nearly 6,000 school children in Suffolk currently have a health and care plan to identify what support they need to help with their special educational needs.
However, a further 12,000 pupils have special educational needs which do not require a education health and care plan (EHCP).
Currently, just 2,000 places exist at either special schools or specialist units for those with more complex needs. While only pupils on EHCPs can gain a special school place and many can be taught in mainstream schools, the figures mean that thousands of pupils are competing for just a small pool of places.
The number of youngsters on EHCPs alone has nearly doubled from the 3,000 in 2014 on what were then called Statements of SEND.
Rachel Hood, Conservative cabinet member for education, said: “I am committed to making sure that all children receive the right education in the right setting.
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“Of course, there are challenges with this, particularly as the number of children who need specialist education provision continues to grow. However, we have plans in…