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Education

On this page you will find advice and guidance about education and training in Cornwall for children and young people with SEND.

All schools are required to put in place effective provision for pupils with SEN to ensure that barriers to learning are removed.

Current educational provision for children with SEN

The majority of children and young people with SEN, including many of those with a Statement of SEN or EHC plan, have their needs met in mainstream settings and schools.

The children and young people with the most complex needs access a statutory education, health and care assessment. The outcome of an assessment can be an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

The Graduated Response

When a pupil is identified as having Special Educational Needs schools must put effective provision in place and ensure that all barriers to learning are removed. The following documents set out the minimum standards for pupils with SEN across Cornwall. The aim of these documents is to inform inclusive, enabling and consistent practice across schools and educational settings in Cornwall.

The documents are organised by

  • Mainstream Schools
  • Early Years Settings
  • Parent Guide

You can view all of these on the Graduated Reponse page on the Cornwall Council website.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) Information Report

There is a statutory requirement for schools to produce a SEN Information Report which describes what they offer children/young people with SEND.

In Cornwall, we would like schools to provide a link to their website where the SEN Information Report is published for the Local Offer. If the link is provided then the school will have the orange Local Offer flash.

To view each school's SEN Information Report please choose from the Primary or Secondary School list using the purple buttons on the right hand side of the page.

For information on what must be included in a SEN Information Report please visit the Cornwall Council website.

Early education

For early education and childcare providers, including maintained nurseries, please refer to the childcare section.

Post-16 Education and Employment

Information can be found on our Youth Local Offer Education and Employment area.

Applying for a school place with an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) or with a Statement of Educational Needs(SEN)

If your child has an EHC plan or Statement of SEN, you are not required to make an application through the online admissions system.

For further information:

Children and young people in special schools and area resource bases all have Statements of SEN or EHC plans. On extremely rare occasions this may not be the case as the child has an assessment placement.

The following specialist settings are available. 

Child Development Centres

There are five Child Development Centres (CDCs) in Cornwall that facilitate multiagency assessment, use the Early Support model to support families, provide outreach support and ensure a smooth transition into school.

Area Resource Bases

There are twenty Area Resource Bases (ARBs) in Cornwall. They are integral to the mainstream schools that host them and enable inclusion.

The admissions process for an ARB or special school place is via an education, health and care (EHC) statutory assessment or through the information and evidence gathered at an annual review meeting.

The decision about allocation of these places is the responsibility of the Statutory SEN Panel. There is no longer a separate application form or admissions panels for special schools and ARBs.

Key points about special school and ARB admissions:

  • Information from annual review meetings need to include clear evidence about current provision, pupil progress and any available parental preference for school placement.  Any change of provision eg from mainstream to ARB, will be considered at SERP. There will be extraordinary panel meetings at particular times of the year to manage the increased number of applications eg prior to secondary transfer

  • Information about children in the early years who may require a specialist placement when starting school is collated by professionals who work with children and families in the early years. This information is shared with the SEN Assessment and Provision Team.

  • In some rare circumstances eg when a family move into Cornwall from abroad, a child or young person with very complex needs may be placed in a special school or ARB prior to the conclusion of an EHC assessment. This is an assessment placement and is also agreed by SERP.

Special Schools

There are four special schools in Cornwall. These special schools comprise a Multi Academy Trust (MAT). They cater for children and young people with complex or severe and profound learning difficulties.
The admissions process for a special school (or an area resource base) is via:

  • a statutory Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment, or
  • through the information and evidence gathered at an annual review meeting 

The views of parents/carers and young people are central to both these processes.

There is no longer a separate application form or admissions panels for special schools and area resource bases (ARBs) and the decision about allocation of places is the responsibility of the Statutory SEN Panel.

Key points about special school and ARB admissions:

  • The information presented in SEN Review forms needs to include clear evidence about current provision, pupil progress and any available parental preference for school placement. Any change of provision e.g. from mainstream to ARB will be considered at the SERP. There will be extraordinary panel meetings at particular times of the year to manage the increased number of applications e.g. prior to secondary transfer.
  • Information about children in the early years, who may require a specialist school placement, is collated by professionals who work with children and families in the early years. This information is shared with the SEN Assessment and Provision Team.
  • In some rare circumstances e.g. when a family move into Cornwall from abroad, a child or young person with very complex needs may be placed in a special school or ARB on an assessment placement prior to the conclusion of an EHC assessment. This is also agreed by SERP.

To view these schools, please use the Special schools and ARBs filter

Alternative Provision Academies including the Community Hospital Education Service

Alternative Provision Academies (APAs) in Cornwall (previously known as Pupil Referral Units or Short Stay Schools) are attended by pupils who have been permanently excluded from schools or who are at risk of exclusion.  Pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, including some who have statements of SEN and or EHC Plans, may also attend APAs.  The APAs and the Community Hospital Education Service (CHES) are run by Acorn Academy Cornwall who are commissioned by Cornwall Council.

Out of County Provision

Due to their very complex needs, a small number of children and young people are educated in independent specialist provision.

Also see; Section 41 Secretary of State approved list of independent schools and colleges 

Further and Higher Education

Further education (FE) colleges make a wide range of SEN provision for young people with additional needs. 

Please note that the FE providers listed have given us their information and it is not a comprehensive list. 

Going to university and getting a degree can significantly improve disabled young people’s chances of getting a successful career.

Higher education students in England can get money to help towards their individual needs through a Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA).

These organisations provide advice for disabled people and those with health conditions considering where to study:

The Equality Challenge Unit provides practical advice for careers advisers and other student service providers who support disabled students and recent graduates moving into work.

The chosen University's student support services are required provide relevant support to those with a disability.

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