SEND Strategies and Policies

On this page you will find many strategies and policies which support Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). 

The SEND Code of Practice describes the principles used by professionals working with children and young people who have SEND.

These include:

  • Taking into account the views of children, young people and their families
  • Enabling children, young people and their parents to take part in decision making
  • Collaborating with partners in education, health and social care to provide support
  • Identifying the needs of children and young people early
  • Making high quality provision to meet the needs of children and young people
  • Focusing on inclusive practices and removing barriers to learning
  • Helping children and young people to prepare for adulthood

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Strategy aims to:

  • Have high aspirations for all children and young people
  • Narrow the achievement gap between those with SEND and their peers
  • Include most children/young people in their local early years settings. schools and colleges

The partners we developed this strategy with are:

  • Services from the Together for Families Directorate
  • Health commissioners and providers
  • Mainstream and specialist schools and settings
  • Parents/carers of children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities

The strategy sets out our partnership priorities relating to SEND.

It includes children and young people where their disability has an impact on their education. These children have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Following our Local Area Inspection of SEND in February 2023 we are reviewing our SEND strategy.

Read our Local Area Inspection report

The current SEND strategy has been reviewed and updated:

Download our Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Strategy

Download our SEND Transformation Plan

We must ensure that our post-inspection improvement plans and revised strategy are signed off and approved across the partnership. We will publish links to the reports throughout the process below:

We are also developing a new SEND strategy that will be co-produced. This includes engagement with children, young people and their families.  As well as our partner organisations. Information on how and when parents/carers can get involved will be included in our SEND updates. Partner organisations will receive these through existing channels. 

View our SEND newsletters

Other strategies and policies supporting SEND can be found below.

The Accessibility Strategy shows the vision for children and young people with SEND. We want them all to have:

  • An inclusive education
  • Opportunities to achieve positive outcomes

We want to support them to realise their ambitions and to belong in their wider society.

The strategy has a number of priorities and principles of inclusion. Find out about these in the strategy document below:

Download the Accessibility Strategy

School Accessibility Plans

Schools must have a written Accessibility Plan. The Accessibility Plans can be appended to or be part of the SEN Information Report.  More information about accessibility plans and the accessibility audit can be found here:

View the Accessibility Plan Toolkit

As part of our Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly “One Vision’ partnership planning with children, young people and families, we committed to the development of a refreshed, positive and inclusive strategy for “celebrating neurodiversity”. 

The aim is to improve developmental outcomes and experience of children, young people and families in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and ensure those who have additional needs in their developmental journey receive an appropriate supportive response.

We are committed to a ‘whole system approach’ across education, health, care, families, and communities to enable every child, young person and their family, with neurodevelopmental needs, to live well, thrive and prosper. 

Following a period of review of evidence base, guidance, outcome data and engagement with children, young people and families and a range of professionals working with them, we have now developed a comprehensive strategic plan.

The core aims of the strategy are to:

  • Focus on understanding diversity and not just focussing on deficits
  • Move to a system of earlier identification and help
  • Focus on meeting need
  • Create a whole system cultural change with a focus on outcomes

As part of the implementation of the strategy, we are rolling out training on our Neurodiversity Profiling Tool. By using this tool the intention is to consider needs and work with families on a plan, to help them by providing practical guidance, skills and strategies to support their child or young person. 

The strategy was approved by:

  • Cornwall Council Cabinet
  • Council of the Isles of Scilly Full Council
  • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board

View the Celebrating Neurodiversity Strategy 

The final designed version of the strategy will be published shortly.

You can find out more on our Celebrating Neurodiversity page.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice 2001 advises on a range of strategies for pupils with complex special educational needs:

  • To recognise the various complexities of need
  • To recognise the different responsibilities to assess
  • To meet these needs and the associated range and variations in provision

Some pupils may benefit from attending both a special and mainstream school. The following principles help explain who handles your child's learning.


A child with SEND or Learning Difficulties/Disabilities (LDD) should have their needs met in an appropriate setting. This can be in a special school and a mainstream school. You can register them at both.

We will ask the views of the child and his/her parents.

We will offer children with SEND/LDD full access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum.


The Child Support Agency (CSA) will decide whether to seek a dual registered placement. They do this in conjunction with the pupil, the parents and the two schools .

Parents may express a preference for any maintained school they wish for dual registration. The CSA checks that a school can provide the support needed. 

Only children with a statement of SEND will be considered for dual registration. Any dual registration agreement will be written into the statement of SEND.

The statutory duties are with the governing body at whichever the child attends on a particular day. Funding arrangements will be transparent and have total clarity.

We will work with the school to provide transport if needed. Costs will be covered by the CSA.

Short-term targets will be set out in an Individual Education Program (IEP). Each school will produce an IEP. This will record that which is additional to or different from the differentiated curriculum plan. 

The IEP will include the following information:

  • What teaching strategies will be used
  • The provision to be in place
  • A review date
  • The expected outcomes.

It will be reviewed at least once a term.

The school where the child attends for the majority of the time does the annual review. Representatives from both schools will attend.

Funding Arrangements

There are different funding arrangements for the different categories of placement as follows:

Formal Dual Registration

The school where the pupil is formally dual registered will receive the following funding:

Mainstream School

  • The age weighted pupil unit (AWPU) for the amount of time in that school, together with
  • The band allocation for their time in school.

The deployment of the resources generated will be a decision for the headteacher and governors of the mainstream school.

Special School

The place and pupil element of the funding for the time the pupil attends the school. E.g., two days per week in a mainstream school and three days per week in a special school. This will generate for that mainstream school 0.4 of AWPU + 0.4 banding allocation. For the special school it will be 0.6 of place value + 0.6 of pupil element.

A Trial Placement before Dual Registration

Some individual pupils will not be formally dual registered although they will be placed in a mainstream school. This will be on a part-time basis for a trial period. The CSA special education budget will support such placements. Decisions on support will be made in conjunction with the two schools and the CSA. The mainstream school will employ a Learning Support Assistant. This post will be paid for from additional funding from the CSA. The mainstream school will manage this member of staff. Such placements are time limited and will not extend for more than two terms. A decision will be made after two terms to move to formal dual registration. This could be either on this funding basis or some alternative arrangement.

Experiential Placements

Other pupils in special schools will be placed in mainstream schools to gain experience. Support for these placements will come from the host special school budget. Staff used to support individual children or groups of children will be from the special school. They will work in cooperation with the staff in the mainstream school.

Guidance for Schools

How the Children and Families Act reinforces Schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010

Schools comply with the Children and Families Act and Schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010 when they:

  • Link their accessibility plan to the SEND information report or 
  • Includes the plan within the report

Details of the SEN Information Report requirements are at paragraph 6.79 of the SEND Code of Practice

Cornwall Council aspire that all SEN Information Reports link to the Cornwall Local Offer. We publish them on the Support in Cornwall website. This helps make sure the Local Offer has a good overview of provision. for children and young people with SEND.

Please send the link to your SEND Information Report to

Find out more on the SEN information report page.

What Schedule 10 states about accessibility plans

The responsible body of a school in England and Wales must prepare:

  • An accessibility plan
  • Further such plans at such times as may be prescribed

An accessibility plan is a plan for:

  • Increasing how much disabled pupils take part in the school's curriculum.
  • Improving the physical environment of the school to increase disabled pupils' access. This should include all benefits, facilities and services.
  • Improving equality in accessing information to all pupils. This is paragraph 3 of schedule 10 to the Equality Act 2010.

Main duties of schedule 10

  • The duty not to treat disabled pupils less favourably and
  • The reasonable adjustments duty. This means taking reasonable steps to avoid disadvantaging disabled pupils.

Reasonable adjustments

This requires schools to make sure that pupils with SEND can take part in the education provided. It ensures they can enjoy the other benefits, facilities and services provided for all pupils. Many reasonable adjustments are inexpensive. They often involve a change in practice. This is instead of buying expensive pieces of equipment of extra staff.

A school’s duty to make reasonable adjustments is an anticipatory one. The school needs to make plans in advance about what pupils/students with SEND might need. Then they can consider what adjustments to make. 

Auxiliary aids and services

Extra provision under the Equality Act 2010 was introduced in September 2012. It relates to the need for schools to provide auxiliary aids and services for disabled pupils. This is part of the Reasonable Adjustment duty. Many auxiliary aids are found in inclusive schools as a matter of course. For example:

  • Coloured layovers
  • Pen grips
  • Adapted PE equipment
  • Adapted keyboards
  • Computer software

Overcoming disadvantage

If a school places a pupil with SEND at a disadvantage compared to other pupils, they must take reasonable steps to try and avoid that disadvantage. Schools will be expected to provide an auxiliary aid or services if this would help achieve equality.

Guidance for families

Is your child disabled under the Equality Act?

The Equality Act says that a person has a disability if they have:

“a physical or mental impairment. The impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”

  • Substantial means being more than minor or trivial.
  • Long-term means lasting, or likely to last, for at least 12 months.
  • A physical or mental impairment includes:
    • Learning difficulties
    • Mental health conditions
    • Hearing impairment
    • Visual impairment
    • Medical conditions and hidden impairments such as dyslexia
    • Developmental coordination disorder
    • Autism
    • Speech, language and communication difficulties

More information can be found in the "Supporting pupils with a disability in school" section of the 'Physical Disability or Medical Needs page, about:

  • What schools must do to support pupils who have a disability
  • what to do if you think your child’s needs are not being met by their school

When a pupil is identified as having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) schools must put effective provision in place. They must ensure that all barriers to learning are removed.

Most pupils with SEND in mainstream schools are provided for at SEND support. This is the support that schools provide for pupils who have identified SEND. But they do not meet the criteria for an Education, Health and Care Assessment.

The law requires the Local Authority to set out what it expects educational settings to offer pupils with SEND at SEND Support. This is called the Graduated Response.

The Graduated Response ensures that early years settings, schools and colleges: 

  • Take immediate action when a pupil is identified as having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). 
  • Informs the pupil's family as soon as the pupil's SEND is identified. 
  • Works in partnership with the pupil, their parents and carers, including them in decision making.
  • Removes all barriers to learning by putting effective support for the pupil in place.
  • Reviews the support put in place for children and young people with SEND at least termly. 
  • Involves the child or young person, their parents and carers in reviews.
  • Gains advice from specialist professionals if necessary.
  • Uses Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycles to inform changes to a child or young person's SEND support.

The guidance documents below set out the minimum standards for pupils with SEND across Cornwall.

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) was updated in 2005. It applies to everyone involved in the care, treatment and support of people aged 16 and over. They must be living in England and Wales, and unable to make all or some decisions for themselves.

The act ensures that:

  • It empowers those who lack capacity to make as many decisions for themselves as possible.
  • Any decision made or action taken on their behalf considers their best interests.
  • Decisions about mental capacity are made on an individual basis, and may vary according to the nature of the decision.
  • Someone who may lack capacity to make a decision in one area of their life may be able to do so in another.

Find out more on the Mental Health Foundation website. The Government has information on here about how to make decisions under the Mental Capacity Act.

Download an Easy Read summary of the Mental Capacity Act

Transition from Childhood to Adulthood

The Care Act says that if someone will have needs when they turn 18, the Local Authority (LA) must assess them. This can be a child, young carer or an adult caring for a child. The Council will assess a child at this stage if we believe there is 'significant benefit' of doing so.

This is regardless of whether the child or individual currently receives any services.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence has developed resources to help with transitions. Council staff, young people and carers can plan for transition to adult care with these resources.


Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service