New figures have suggested the true scale of special educational needs is far greater than the government thinks. Official statistics say 14% of children have a special educational need or disability, which is equivalent to more than 1.2m pupils.
However, it is thought as many as 40% of children will require an educational need leading to calls for improved access to care and support.
The chasm is a concern as the Department for Education could be underestimating the task it faces in providing adequate funding and delivering policies that make a difference.
emotional and physical toll.
The higher figure emerged as BBC Breakfast shone a light on the reality of supporting SEN students and the emotional and physical toll it takes on all involved.
The stress has caused more parents to homeschool because they are no longer satisfied with the standards of education their children.
As a result, the number of children being home-educated since 2012 has risen by 57% across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and that comes at a time when education staff believe not enough is being done to identify children with special needs.
'Schools have a duty to be inclusive'
Commenting on the BBC series, Victoria Short, managing director of Randstad Public Services, said schools faced the challenge of being fair and inclusive while also balancing the books.
“Schools have a duty to provide places for children with special education needs yet the reality is admission and teaching can be a frustrating experience for SEN pupils, their parents and headteachers.
“Home schooling may be on the rise but at the same time we’ve seen a year-on-year increase in the number of applicants applying for SEN roles. There is a desire from our candidates to make a difference."
Randstad prepares candidates for challenges.
“Our inhouse training ensures candidates are fully prepared for the roles they undertake within SEN or for SEN roles and our safeguarding training keeps them up to date with Department of Education requirements.
“There now needs to be willpower from headteachers and the education system to get pupils the support they need and deserve because with the right education in the right environment children can go on to achieve incredible things and do things they never expected.”