Information about Covid19:
Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

Frequently Asked Questions about SEN and Covid-19

Please see the most frequently asked questions below. These are in repsonse to the Covid-19 pandemic and Special Educational Needs. We want this to be interactive and welcome your feedback and new questions. Please send any questions you have to togetherforfamilies.covid19@cornwall.gov.uk. We will endeavour to add them, with an answer to this page.

  • This FAQ shares questions sent into the CDCQuestions@ncb.org.uk email inbox.
  • We may edit some of the questions
  • Where questions are on similar themes or have similar answers we may group the questions together.
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The FAQs

Do all children and young people with an EHC plan need to attend their school or setting in September?

We expect all children and young people to go to school in September. Those with education health and care (EHC) plans should attend the named school or setting (section I of their EHC plan). Education providers will work with families and young people to support the return to face to face education. The risk assessment is an important tool to plan and support attendance.

How can I support a transition to a new setting?

On Cornwall Council's Local Offer there is guidance for pupils with SEND that are due to start at a new setting in September 2020. This offers practical advice and guidance on what settings can do.

Both the old setting and their new one should for share the risk assessment.

How can I get advice about risk assessments?

We have a document to cover this on our response page.

Are special educational needs services available?

Yes. Special educational needs (SEN) services have not stopped throughout the spring and summer. View the SEN File to see the range of services we offer.

What is happening with Annual Reviews?

Annual reviews continued throughout the year using phone or computer link. It is possible that some people will continue this since the Council has adapted to working this way.

These are essential for children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

Any overdue reviews need to take place as a matter of urgency.

What are the arrangements for EHC needs assessments and new education health care plans?

These continued throughout the spring and summer in Cornwall. EHC plans that we were due to issue were not affected by Covid-19. Our Statutory SEN Panel continues to meet weekly and any new EHC plans are being issued as usual.

How can I contact social care if I don’t have access to a named social worker?

If you need a social worker, or for general advice, please contact the Early Help Hub 01872 322277 earlyhelphub@cornwall.gov.uk.

Can an I make an EHC needs assessment request throughout the pandemic?

Yes, although there are some extra considerations. These include:

  • Whether the child's assessment can easily happen at a school (or setting).
  • How easy it is to provide all the information
  • Our staff's capacity. We have had to make some other priorities in response to the pandemic.
  • Teaching/ education staff capacity

Please be aware that the assessment may take longer than normal. If you have any specific questions please email. StatutorySEN@cornwall.gov.uk

Do all children and young people with an EHC plan need to attend?

If a child or young person with an EHC plan has a social worker, they will work with the education setting in relation to attendance. If they have a parent who is a key worker, the family may wish the child or young person to attend an education setting. Settings need to work with families and young people on an ongoing basis about the arrangements for each individual with an EHC plan. A risk assessment informs this process. Please read ‘Guidance for schools and settings named in children and young people’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans’ for more.

We have a pupil who will need an enhanced transition to a new setting in September – what can we do to support this?

The Local Authority is producing guidance for pupils with SEND who start a new setting in September 2020. This offers practical advice and guidance on what settings can do and how the Local Authority services can support this. Once finalised, the document will be available through this webpage.

We advise schools who have pupils with SEND starting in September, to contact the professionals who know the child. For example:

  • SEND services
  • Autism Team
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • other health professionals

They can discuss how they can support the transition. It is also a good idea to contact the new setting and give them all information about the pupil’s needs. This will help them plan support in place for the start of September 2020.

How can I get advice about risk assessments? We have a document to cover this on our response page.

How can I contact social care if I don’t have access to a named social worker?

If you need a social worker, or for general advice, please contact the Early Help Hub 01872 322277 earlyhelphub@cornwall.gov.uk.

Can I contact SEND Services for support?

Yes. SEND services are available to advise and support. It would be best to contact them through the shared service inboxes in case individual advisors are absent from work. These are listed below:

Visit the Together for Families Covid-19 Response pages. These have other helpful advice/information including developing emotional resilience.

If you have immediate concerns or are worried about a child or young person's safety please telephone the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) on 0300 123 1116

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