Moving to Cornwall with an Education, Health and Care Plan

Moving into Cornwall 

This information is for families considering moving to Cornwall and who have a child or young person in the family who has an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) or a statement of SEN.

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Admission to Cornwall schools for children with EHC plans or statements of SEN is arranged by the Statutory SEN Service in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice. Families do not need to make an application via the online admissions system nor apply direct to schools.

Although the information here relates specifically to schools in Cornwall, the Statutory SEN Service has the same responsibilities for any child or young person aged 0-25 moving into Cornwall with an EHC plan or statement of SEN and may wish to attend early years or post-16 settings; therefore, the same processes will apply.

Education provision available in Cornwall

Please bear in mind:

  • All local authorities have a different mix of types of school and you may find that the type of school your child currently attends is not available in Cornwall.
  • Cornwall is a rural county and there can be considerable distances between schools, especially in sparsely populated areas of the county.
  • The majority of children and young people with EHC plans or statements of SEN in Cornwall are educated in mainstream settings, schools or colleges, receiving appropriate additional support to meet the needs identified in their EHC plan or statement of SEN.
  • A small number of primary and secondary schools have Area Resource Bases (ARBs) for children with complex and significant needs.
  • There are also four special schools in Cornwall, three catering for children and young people with severe learning difficulties and complex needs, one school catering for children and young people with complex communication difficulties and disabilities.
  • All children and young people attending either ARBs or special schools have EHC plans or statements of SEN. Places in ARBs and special schools are allocated by the local authority Statutory SEN panel. Availability of these placements varies across each school year.  

When should a request for a school place be made for a child or young person who has an EHC plan or statement of SEN?

If your child has an EHC plans or a statement of SEN, and you are considering moving to Cornwall, it is helpful if you contact the Statutory SEN Service as early as possible for advice and to discuss your intended move. We can provide advice on schools in Cornwall or discuss whether your child could stay at the school they are currently attending.

If you can provide proof of your new address in Cornwall and it is within eight weeks of the date of your move (or within twelve weeks if you are employed in the British Armed Forces), the Statutory SEN Service can liaise with your current local authority to request a copy of the current EHC plan or statement of SEN and any other information needed.

What happens next?

  1. We have to decide whether to adopt your child’s current EHC Plan or statement of SEN or whether to start a statutory reassessment of your child’s needs. In most cases, we adopt the current EHC plan or statement of SEN. We have six weeks from when we become aware that a family has moved to advise them of our decision.
  2. If we adopt a child’s current EHC plan or a statement of SEN, we have to try to match the ‘provision’ as closely as possible. However, it is not always possible to match it exactly, as schools and availability of school places vary from authority to authority. The named Statutory SEN casework officer will discuss the available options with the family.

Confirming a place in a setting 

Although we can begin the process, we cannot confirm a school place until a family arrives in Cornwall. By law we have to allow time to consult the governing body of the school the family wishes their child or young person to attend. We will always try to ensure that the child or young person is able to start an educational setting as quickly as possible following the move. However, parents/carers should be prepared that their child may not be able to start at a new educational setting straight away.

Health

If a family moves into Cornwall, the first step they can take for their young person’s health is to register with a GP, as this will be the first step in accessing most health services in the county.

It is still important that we know about the move as early as possible so we can make sure parents or carers are aware of what the options are. We will need the new address and contact details so that we can make sure any information about a child or young person’s EHC plan or statement of SEN reaches is sent to the correct address.

Young people will not necessarily be entitled to transport if the school named in their statement is no longer the nearest suitable school to the new address. The named Statutory SEN casework officer will be happy to discuss the available options with the family.

When a family moves out of Cornwall, the responsibility for the child or young person’s EHC plan or statement of SEN transfers to the new authority. Parents /carers will need to contact the new authority as soon as they can. Not all authorities work in the same way so the transfer process in the new authority may be different to Cornwall. However, the new authority will still have 8 weeks to advise a family of the decision to either adopt the child’s or young person’s current EHC plan or statement of SEN, or start a reassessment.

It is helpful for us to know in advance if a family is leaving Cornwall,so that we can ensure the child or young person’s paperwork is ready to send to the new local authority promptly.

Health

If a family moves out of Cornwall, the first thing they should do is register with a local GP in the new area. The new area should also have a Local Offer, listing the health services and sources of support for families of young people with SEND.