Skip to content

The Derbyshire Early Years Special Educational Needs Panel is a multi-agency group that considers placements and services for Derbyshire children aged 0 to 5-years-old with complex special educational needs.

The Early Years SEN Panel aims to: 

  • support the early identification of SEN and disabilities
  • ensure that children’s needs are identified and assessed quickly, and matched by appropriate provision
  • monitor children’s progress at regular intervals to ensure that provision continues to be appropriate to the child’s identified need
  • coordinate provision through the development of close partnerships between parents, the local authority, health and the private and voluntary sector
  • promote inclusion in mainstream early years settings wherever possible, and in-line with parental wishes

The Early Years SEN Panel consists of representatives from the following agencies:

Information for parents and referrers

Everyone working for the Local Authority and the National Health Service has a legal duty to keep information about you and your child confidential. All services working with you and your child need up-to-date information. We only ever use or pass on information if there is a real need to do so.

For more information about what we share, who we share it with, how we store your data and your rights, please read Derbyshire County Council's Privacy Notice.

DCC Support services work with a range of special needs and range of ages. The EY SEN Panel referral form is specifically for children aged 0 to 5-years-old with Special Educational Needs. If accepted by the support service(s), the child will receive specialised early intervention and support with their learning. Criteria for each support service is available on this Local Offer website through the links from this page.

The referral form contains 2 sections:

Section 1: This should be completed by all referrers.

NHS colleagues can use this section of the form to notify the Local Authority (Derbyshire County Council) of any child 0 to 5-years-old who has special educational needs. This meets the requirement of the 2015 SEND Code of Practice. Completion of section 1 of the form will be considered as notification only, the child's data will be recorded on the DCC database, Synergy. NHS colleagues wishing to make a referral to DCC services, please see information in section 2.

Section 2: Please use section 2 for referral to the following support services:

Parents/carers must agree to the referral being made and show this by signing in section 2 of the referral form. Referrals without a parental signature cannot be accepted.

Except for referrals to the Derbyshire Portage service, referrals must include a description of the child's developmental profile using the EYFS. In addition, there should be evidence of work completed by the Early Years setting with the child as referenced in the Graduated Response (SEND Code of Practice 2015). For DPS referrals there must be a detailed description of need.

Please also note referrals to the EYSEN Service or SSSEN made by other professionals require a report from the early years setting the child attends. This report must clearly identify the interventions that the setting has already made through the graduated response and not just be a description of the child's developmental levels.

In the 2015 SEND Code of Practice, specialist support services are clearly identified at the specialist level of support and not universal or targeted. As such, any referrals to the EYSEN service SSSEN that do not show evidence of intervention through the assess, plan, do, review model, will be declined.

In exceptional circumstances, the Vision, Hearing and Physical Impairment teams will accept referrals without evidence of a graduated response if there is an immediate sensory or physical need that creates a barrier to accessing a setting.

For referrals to the EYSEN and SSSEN specialist teaching services, the child (if in receipt of a funded nursery place), should already be in receipt of Early Years Inclusion Funding. Referrals to the EPS should also have a robust graduated response, which will often include Early Years Inclusion Fund (EYIF) being in place.

Applications for assessment places in specialist nurseries

These referrals can only be made by settings for children who are currently supported by one of the Derbyshire County Council (DCC) specialist support services.


Co-ordinator of the Early Years Panel: Rebecca Jones, Head of EYSEN

For queries about the Early Years Panel, please email:

Related documents