ALMOST one quarter of children with special educational needs in the region are not getting the help they need as they transfer from primary to secondary school, figures have shown.

Stockton was the worst area in the survey, with figures showing the local authority failed to deliver plans for half of its SEN children by the February deadine as they prepare to move into secondary school this September.

However, Stockton Borough Council said it had processed all of the plans it received by the deadline, and said it was the area's schools which were responsible for the delay.

Councils say there are now over 14,500 children and young people under 25 with SEN in North East.

Figures obtained under Freedom of Information by specialist education lawyers Simpson Millar show how more than 100 councils across the country failed to meet the statutory deadline of 15 February for issuing final transtition EHCPs to thousands of SEN children.

Local authorities have a legal duty to deliver it by 15 February – in time for parents to help their children make the move, or appeal against the contents of it to a specialist Tribunal.

Education solicitor Samantha Hale from Simpson Millar said: “Hundreds of parents will have received their child’s final transition plan late this year – potentially near or after the end of term. There is then little they can do in terms of preparing their child for the new school, including meeting and talking to staff, since everywhere is closed during summer. Practically and emotionally, this is a real worry.”

Cllr Ann McCoy, cabinet member for young people on Stockton Council. said: "The Council received a higher than usual number of late applications which meant work on these plans had to continue after 15 February.”