School Admission Criteria

Cann Bridge School is a registered Plymouth City Council maintained special school with a Pupil Admission Number (PAN) for 108 children and young people aged 3-19 years with complex needs; with their cognition and learning needs identifying a severe learning difficulty. Most learners have complex communication and interaction needs, including those identified as part of a specific learning difficulties associated with Downs Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Condition, physical disabilities or a complex medical condition.

The school has places for 88 learners aged 3-16 years and a further 20 places in Post Bridge College (Key Stage 5/Post-16) for students aged 16 to 19. 

Cann Bridge provides education specifically for learners needs that cannot be met in a mainstream school environment. All children who attend must have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which describes their individual areas of special needs which informs his/her individual education plan, or undergoing a statutory assessment.

Our school provides for children whose needs are captured by the following agreed definition: 

  • Pupils will have complex needs. This means that they will have co-existing conditions that overlap and interlock, creating a complex profile.
  • One of the areas of need indicated in pupils’ EHCs will be cognition and learning. The level of need for pupils with regard to their cognition and learning will be consistent with a severe learning difficulty. Complex communication and interaction needs, including those identified as part of an ASD profile may also be indicated on pupils EHCPs.
  • The co-occurring and compounding nature of pupils’ complex needs will require a personalised learning pathway that recognises their unique and changing learning patterns.

 How to access a place at Cann Bridge School

Parents/Carers will be consulted about their chosen school as part of the process of obtaining an EHCP for their child. As part of this process, professionals working with your family will suggest suitable schools for you to visit. Professionals are also welcome to attend to provide support.  

Visits can be arranged by contacting our school office on 01752 207909 or emailing Please note which professional has recommended you visit and whether your child has an EHCP or undergoing a statutory assessment.

Following the visit, where a child has an EHCP and attends a mainstream setting, a parental request for a change of placement to a special school or specialist provision can only be made at either an EHCP annual or interim review meeting. A request for change of placement must be supported by a recent report from an Educational Psychologist and any other professionals working with the child.

For more information see Visiting and placements in a special school – Plymouth Online Directory.

The Local Authority are the Admitting Authority for Cann Bridge School and make the final decision regarding awarding places. All admissions to Cann Bridge School are made through this route for learners from any other Local Authority area.

The Local Authority’s Children and Young People’s 0-25 Service Single Multi-Agency Matching (SMAP) Panel discuss applications to place children at Cann Bridge following consultation with the school.  

Professionals are also encouraged to visit the school to increase their knowledge and understanding of our provision as it is constantly evolving.

Once a School Place has Been Agreed

If a place has been offered to your child at Cann Bridge we will work with you to find the best way to undertake a positive transition.

We have a supportive process for managing the entry of all new learners into school, whatever their age, which covers all aspects of their needs including: education, health and care.

Admissions may take place at any time during the year, if places are available.

For further information please read our  Admissions and Attendance Policy.