The Data Source
The statistics I have compiled are based on Appendix 2 of the Annual Reports of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) for each of the last 3 years. To find out how to order originals free of charge go to www.sendist.gov.uk; however make sure you quote the publication name rather than the TRI reference number , as I found that some of the numbers were wrong when I last tried.
The reports go up to 31st August each year, and are typically published in December; so the next one will be for the year ending 31st August 2003. I will endeavour to add this and subsequent statistics as soon as they are published.
If you want to do some analysis yourself, make sure that you also get hold of any amendments issued subsequently - these are important as the figures do seem to be rather error-prone, and I suspect that some of the figures are still suspect. A good example (for now) is provided by the figures for Conwy - see below.
Interpreting the Data
For the time being, there are just two tables, both contained in a single file. The first table shows the absolute number of appeals per county, sorted by last year; London is shown in a separate section at the end of the table.
The second table shows the number of appeals per 10,000 school population - obviously a fairer way of comparing one LEA with another. It is also sorted by last year.
If there is a high level of parental satisfaction with the LEA's treatment of SEN children in a particular county, the level of appeals will be low, and the LEA will appear towards the bottom of the table; if parents are dissatisfied, the LEA will appear towards the top. Bear in mind that London is in separate table at the bottom, as most of its figures are among the worst.
As a further yardstick, you can compare the growth rate in appeals against your LEA, or the number of appeals per 10000, with the national weighted average shown at the top. In the second table there are columns showing the ratio of appeals per 10,000 to this average. A figure of 1.0 is slap on the average; a figure less than 1 is better than average, and a figure of 1 above average. Any figure more than 2 means that dissatisfaction with the LEA in question is more than twice the national average, and should be a source of serious concern.
The SENDIST Annual Reports do contain other statistics such as the success rate of appeals, unfortunately not by county. Nonetheless I will endeavour to collate these over the years and put them up when time allows.
If you think there may be something wrong with the figures shown, one way to check is to take the number of appeals in a given year (in the first table), multiply it by 10,000 and divide it by the number of appeals per 10,000 (in the second table). Then repeat the exercise for another year. If the two numbers are very different, then either the LEA boundary has changed significantly, or there is an error. If you try this on Conwy for 2001/2 and 2000/2001, you will see what I mean. If you think that I may have made a mistake, do please send me an email.
Viewing and Downloading the Tables
To see the statistics you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you have already got it just left-click on this link; alternatively right-click to download the file. If you don't have it, I strongly recommend that you get it , as it is extremely useful and is free of charge. Just click on the image below, follow Adobe's instructions then return and click on the link above.
If you would like a copy of the underlying Excel spreadsheet, just send me an email.