The "People with Learning Disabilities in England 2015" report by Public Health England estimated the number of children with SLD in English schools at 28,940 and those with PMLD at 10,010. The report also established that 21% of SLD children are educated in mainstream schools (leaving 22,863 in Special Schools); and 19% of PMLD children are educated in mainstream schools (leaving 8,108 in Special Schools). That gives a total of 30,917 SLD/PMLD children in Special Schools in England. Our own research, developed from the Department for Education EduBase, has recorded 600 SLD/PMLD Special Schools in England which gives an average of 52 SLD/PMLD pupils per school.
Using population estimates from the Office for National Statistics we have extrapolated the figures for England to give a pro-rata UK-wide total of 46,300 school-age children with SLD/PMLD of which 36,750 attend a Special School.
Figures for adults are not kept but in the 2001 White Paper “Valuing People” The Department of Health estimated there were 145,000 adults with SLD/PMLD in England and that there would be 166,000 by 2015. Again, extrapolating the figures for England gives a pro-rata UK-wide total of 197,250 adults with SLD/PMLD.
The Public Health England report estimates that 35.5% of children with SLD and 29% of children with PMLD in English schools are entitled to free school meals compared with 15.2% of all pupils.
The Public Health England report states, “The identification of SEN associated with learning disabilities differs considerably between ethnic groups.” Identification rates 25% or more above the national average were recorded among:
In November 2011 we conducted an in-depth survey of Special Needs Teachers. The survey found that through using multi-sensory books:
In addition 86% of the teachers reported that multi-sensory books were used at least weekly including 36% who said daily.
In 2014 Northampton University completed "An Evaluation of Bag Books Multi-Sensory Stories”. The study states, “It is clear from our research that Bag Books are considered to be an important tool for making English and literacy – as well as a wide range of other curriculum topics – accessible and for bringing significant pleasure to a large number of students.”