What percentage of HE are SEN?


Well-known member
While some schools do try hard to cater for children with SEN, they don't have all the resources they'd like, may not have the specialist skills and can't provide for SEN children the way a committed parent can.

Are many of the UK's HE children being home educated because they have a SEN? What percentage of home educated children have SENs? Any studies or stats on this?
It's likely to be a higher proportion than that for school, because of the number of people who withdraw their children because the school fails to provide for the needs.

It is probably possible to determine the number of home-educated children with SEN simply because there will be records of them somewhere. This assumes that by SEN you include only those who've had a formal statement.

However, there is no reliable estimate of the total number of home educated children because of those who've never been to school and are not on LA records as a consequence of this. There are about 20,000 known to LAs, and estimates of the total number vary from about 40,000 to over 100,000, depending on whether it helps the estimator's argument to have a higher or lower number.

Elaine Kirk

Super Moderator
Children are individuals and each have their own path to forge through life and along that path their educational needs must be facilitated if they are to progress.
There are children in the state system whose educational needs fall outside those provided by the narrow curriculum and these children are unable, through disability etc or unwilling, to relinquish their right to have their needs met therefore the state system categorises them as SEN and makes some extra provision in some instances for them .
When a family choose not to use the state system and facilitate their child's education themselves then the child's needs aren't 'special' they are 'specific' surely? .
Another way of asking the question would be- How many home educated children would be categorised as SEN if they were in the state system and have to fight for an education suited to their needs?
Last edited:
I estimate that only 1-2% of children with Asperger syndrome are HE. It's probably safe to say that the majority of HE children with SEN once attended mainstream schools as opposed to being HE from the outset.
Hi Dad!

I have read estimates that around 50% of home educated children were or would be categorised as SEN if they were in the school system. As LLondel points out there aren't any exact figures as registration isn't comupulsory.

My son is autistic and has epilepsy. He was in 'the system' from the age of three until he was five and a half, by which point I think we were both on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I took him out of primary school after two terms and he's been home ever since (he's nine now).

There's another group - HE Special - which is a great resource for anyone home educating children with all sorts of disabilities and health problems - I have learnt so much from the other parents on that list over the years.

And welcome to the forum!


Well-known member
Thanks, LHE.

Read your thread elsewhere about your son, the LA, the swimming pool and the yellow card.

Have they confirmed in writing that they've taken him off their register?