Hundreds of pupils with special educational needs should be attending the district’s best schools, according to Essex County Council.

Essex County Council has released its five year plan to help youngsters with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and has named sending them to good or outstanding schools as its top priority.

Its report states: “Where schools offer good or outstanding provision; children and young people with SEND can be supported to achieve their ambitions and make good progress.”

There are currently 6,905 pupils across the county with a statement of SEN, which sets out what extra help they need.

This equates to 3.3 per cent of the school population whereas the national average is 2.8 per cent.

 This financial year Essex County Council received £958m total funding for schools and as part of national changes gave each school £6,000 for every pupil with an SEN statement, in addition to the basic £4,000 funding for each pupil.

The school can apply for extra funding if the £6,000 does not cover the child’s needs.

Prior to April 2013 Essex County Council had required schools to pay for 12.5 hours of learning support assistance.

Special schools receive £10,000 per pupil.