More children in need in the North East than anywhere else in England, but the gap is narrowing

The North East had by far the highest rate of children in need in the country throughout 2015-16, new national statistics reveal.

During this period, 8.22% of the children in our region were identified as children in need, compared to 6.67% in England.

However, the rate in the North East this year is the lowest it has ever been in the past five years, having reached its height in 2012-13 (9.12%).


North East England
2011-12 896.6 651.9
2012-13 912.5 645.8
2013-14 885.7 680.5
2014-15 886 674.4
2015-16 822.2 667.1

The North East local authority with the highest rate of children in need was Northumberland at 11.4%; this is the sixth highest in the country and Middlesbrough is also in the top 10 nationally with almost 11%.

Top 10 local authorities by rate of children in need (per 10,000 children):

  1. Blackpool – 1464.9
  2. Southampton – 1453.9
  3. Wakefield – 1437.7
  4. Isle of Wight – 1276.4
  5. Coventry – 1142.6
  6. Northumberland – 1139.6
  7. Rotherham – 1127.8
  8. Hull – 1127.2
  9. Middlesbrough – 1098.1
  10. Nottingham – 1076.2

Of the 12.7% of children in need in the North East who were recorded as having a disability, almost half (49.4%) had a disability related to learning, whilst 17.8% had a disability that affects behaviour.

Nationally, abuse and neglect is the primary need at assessment for just over half (50.6%) of children in need. In the North East, it is a smaller proportion (45.49%), but the percentage where the primary need is family dysfunction is significantly higher; 25.18% compared with 17.4% in England as a whole.

Schools were the source of referral for 12.59% of cases in the North East. This is lower than nationally, where schools provided 16.7% of all referrals.

When broken down to local authority level, the percentage of referrals from schools shows significant difference from one area to another. In Darlington schools made 29% of referrals, whereas in Sunderland figures show that schools made no referrals.


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