Learning disability statistics: children

Incidence of learning disabilities are most common amongst younger boys.

  • It is estimated that there are 286,000 children (180,000 boys, 106,000 girls) age 0-17 in the UK with a learning disability.
  • Approximately 200,000 children in England are at the School Action Plus stage of assessment of SEN or have a Statement of SEN and have a primary Special Educational Need (SEN) associated with a learning disability. Of these, four out of five have a moderate learning difficulty, one in twenty have profound multiple learning difficulties.
  • In very early childhood, only severe learning disabilities are likely to be apparent
  • Children from poorer families are more likely to have a learning disability
  • Moderate and severe learning difficulties are more common among ‘Traveller’ and ‘Gypsy/Romany’ children. Profound multiple learning difficulties are more common among ‘Pakistani’ and ‘Bangladeshi’ children
  • Overall, 89% of children with moderate learning difficulty, 24% of children with severe learning difficulty and 18% of children with profound multiple learning difficulty are  educated in mainstream schools (Source: People with Learning Disabilities in England 2011)