Experiences in a child’s early years lay a foundation for health and wellbeing and our services for children and families have an important role in building future resilience.
By identifying those most at risk of poorer outcomes later on, our resources can be targeted where they are needed most so that we can respond to risk and vulnerability.
The number of 0-4 year olds is expected to decrease by about 1,300, while the number of 5-15 year olds is projected to decrease by about 2,200 between 2019 and 2029 1.

All data relates to statistics that pre-date Covid unless stated otherwise

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Special Educational Need

The percentage of children with Special Educational Need has increased in Dorset each year since 2017. The percentage with either a statement or an EHC Plan has increased every year since 2016. There has been a more pronounced increase since Christchurch schools have been removed from the Pupil Census. Schools in Christchurch had a lower proportion of SENs pupils3.

  • One in four of pupils with an EHC SEN plan are classified as Autistic Spectrum Disorder and just under one in five have speech language and communication needs
  • It is likely that a pupil may have more than one special educational need.
  • 60% of pupils with an EHC Plan are educated in Mainstream Schools in Dorset.
  • Three quarters of Dorset Council School Pupils with an EHC are boys and just under two thirds with SEN Support are boys. This is very similar to the national picture.
SEN Pupils in Dorset Council Schools
SEN Pupils in Dorset Council Schools

Education

  • In 2019 72% of pupils achieved a ‘Good Level of Development’ at the end of Reception year, an increase of 1% on 2018 and the same as the national figure.
  • 67% of pupils achieved the ‘Basics’ measure (standard pass or higher in English and Maths GCSE), this is above the national figure of 60%. For pupils eligible for Free School Meals the figure was 46% compared to the national figure of 38%4
  • 15% of primary pupils claim Free School Meals, marginally below the national average4
Percentage of Pupils GCSE pass English and Maths 2018-19
Percentage of Pupils GCSE pass English and Maths 2018-19

What are we doing about it?

There is evidence to show that what a child experiences in early years, starting in the womb, affects health and wellbeing in later life. Early intervention is therefore key and cutbacks in spending on this for short term financial gain can lead to greater long term costs, both financial and social

By creating Locality Areas, the council is working with partners and communities to ensure children get the right help, at the right time and in the right place, to prevent difficulties for families from becoming bigger problems. The idea is that organisations work together to ensure positive outcomes for children and young people and support them all the way from birth to getting a job.

Through working with our partners to ensure that we all take a ‘whole family approach’, the council uses early intervention programmes, such as the Troubled Families programme, which aims to reduce demand and dependency on costly reactive public services by families experiencing complex issues, and deliver better value for the taxpayer.

The council works with partners to support parents and children in the early years through a range of Early Childhood Services. This includes information and advice; parenting support; group work activities; support to access childcare; help with preparing for school; and education and training opportunities.

Evidence suggests that smarter working with the whole family leads to improved outcomes and better value for money and, as some will need ongoing support, there needs to be a continuum of services to support vulnerable people over time.

Headline Figures

67,900

Total children2

3.9%

Primary school children with a SEN or EHC plan

479

Children and young people in care in Dorset

67

Looked after children in every 10,000 in Dorset

60%

Pupils with an EHC Plan educated in mainstream schools

Headline Figures

67,900

Total children2

3.9%

Primary school children with a SEN or EHC plan

479

Children and young people in care in Dorset

67

Looked after children in every 10,000 in Dorset

60%

Pupils with an EHC Plan educated in mainstream schools


Sources

  • 1 2019-based trend population projections (experimental), Dorset Council
  • 2 2019 Mid-year estimates, 0-17 year-olds, ONS
  • 3 Dorset Council, Children’s Services
  • 4 LG Inform and Department of Education

40 Reports

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16 Related Datasets

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  • 2020 Mid-Year Estimates, Unitary Authority, Historical District and above

    Published: 27 July 2021

    Annual Mid-Year Estimates produced by the Office for National Statistics

    Downloads: 265

  • 2019 Ward Level Population Estimates

    Published: 23 December 2020

    2019 Office for National Statistics Experimental Population Estimates for Dorset wards

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  • Births Deaths and Natural Change by Country and Local Authority

    Published: 08 December 2020

    Local Authority births, deaths and natural change from Mid-Years 2002 to 2019

    Downloads: 390

  • 2019 LSOA Level Mid-Year Estimates

    Published: 08 December 2020

    2019 Population estimates for Lower Super Output Area Geographies in Dorset

    Downloads: 504

  • Internal Migration for Mid-Years 2002-2019

    Published: 08 December 2020

    Internal Migration by 5 year age group for Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council

    Downloads: 412

  • 2018 based ONS Population Projections for Dorset

    Published: 07 July 2020

    2018 based Office for National Statistics Sub National Population Projections for current and former Dorset geographies in five year age groups.

    Downloads: 862

  • 2018 Parish Level Mid Year Population Estimates

    Published: 23 March 2020

    2018 best fit Output Area population to parish geography for all persons by five year age groups.

    Downloads: 676

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019- National and Dorset Council Ranks

    Published: 03 January 2020

    The English Indices of Deprivation helps identify and prioritise areas to assist the government and other agencies both national and local in narrowing the gap between deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of the country.

    Downloads: 776

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Dorset East Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Dorset East SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 784

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Dorset West Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Dorset West SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 1158

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Mid Dorset Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Mid Dorset SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 1002

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - South East Dorset Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across South East Dorset SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 1064

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Dorset North Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Dorset North SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 992

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Dorset South Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Dorset South SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 693

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Dorset Council Maps

    Published: 25 November 2019

    The combined map base pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Dorset for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation (IMD) map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture for Dorset. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 649

  • Local Area Interactive Tool

    Published: 28 February 2016

    An interactive spreadsheet for comparing data about children and young people across all local authorities in England. (external website)

    Downloads: 1558

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