Physical and Medical Needs Advisory Service

Who we are

Steve Deacon – Physical and Medical Needs Advisory Lead

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East Cornwall (PL and EX postcodes, plus St Columb and Newquay)

I have worked in specialist settings for over 10 years, teaching and supporting pupils who have a wide variety of Special Educational Needs, Physical Disabilities and Medical Needs. This has included differentiating the National Currirulum, designing and implementing the curriculum for post 16 learners, setting up, designing and using specialist ICT equipment, preparing learners for adulthood, setting up work placements within the local community and overseeing the care and medical provision within educational settings.

Melinda Leishman – Physical and Medical Needs Advisor

West Cornwall (TR postcodes)

For over the past 15 years I have worked with students with Special Educational Needs as both a SENCO and SEN Teacher across mainstream and special school settings.  My experience has enabled me to develop my practice and knowledge in planning and advising on intervention and support for students with Physical, Medical and Additional needs.  My experience has seen me develop inclusive environments, creative approaches and engaging opportunities for students with physical and medical needs within educational settings and off-site activities

If you have a child or young adult with a physical disability or medical needs who attends school, then our service can provide support to both the student and the school in an educational setting.

Through close liaison within the Council’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) support teams and key NHS therapy teams, we work to ensure all students with physical disabilities and medical needs have maximum access to the school curriculum.

We are passionate about inclusivity and in ensuring all students have full opportunity to enjoy and achieve throughout their journey within educational settings.

We want to share our expertise and specialist knowledge with teachers and education based staff to ensure they feel confident in supporting students with physical disabilities and medical needs.

  • Physical access to school equipment, resources, classroom and wider school environment
  • Accessibility and Environmental Audits for students with physical and / or medical needs
  • Effective Transitions to a new educational setting for students with physical and / or medical needs
  • Risk assessments for students with physical and / or medical needs
  • Creating inclusive, enabling and engaging learning opportunities for students with physical and medical needs
  • Advice and guidance in supporting students with Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (alongside Occupational Therapy and Educational Psychology teams)
  • Advice on use of specialist IT to promote inclusivity and independence throughout a student’s journey

For more information about how to make a referral, visit our Referrals page 

The Physical and Medical Needs Advisory Service can advise and support educational settings to make reasonable adjustments and take positive steps to in order to meet the curriculum access needs of children and young people with Special Educational Need and Disabilities.

The Physical and Medical Needs advisers can support an educational setting to identify and assess the access needs of individual children and young people in terms of access to:

  • the curriculum
  • the enrichment curriculum eg school clubs, school trips 
  • spoken and  written information and advice
  • the physical school site

Cornwall’s Local Authority Accessibility Strategy includes an Accessibility Audit Tool to support educational settings. The Accessibility Audit Tool supports settings in ensuring that they can: 

  • Identify adaptations needed, including adaptations for children and young people with sensory needs
  • Create solutions to accessibility issues if adaptations are not possible, such as moving groups to accessible areas
  • Use consultation effectively, asking children and young people about physical accessibility, e.g. access to toilets and changing facilities
  • Think creatively about classroom interiors, e.g. making calm, low-sensory stimulation areas available, thinking about the use of curtains to reduce noise levels, removing clutter etc.

For compliments, comments and complaints contact physicalandmedicalneeds@cornwall.gov.uk or view the information online.