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The Specialist Service for Special Educational Needs (SSSEN) provides support for children referred by schools who meet service criteria. We work in maintained nurseries and infant, junior and primary schools within Derbyshire.

Our role

The service aims to ensure the inclusion and achievement of children with special education needs and build expertise and capacity within schools in Derbyshire, in line with current local and national strategies.

What we do

SSSEN provides teaching and inclusion support to the child and school and liaises regularly with parents and carers. Progress is evaluated and reported at the review meeting.

The service works in partnership with schools, parents, carers and other professionals to deliver a high-quality teaching and inclusion support service which maximises personalised learning and promotes individual inclusion for all children. Schools can also purchase additional training and consultancy from the service.

Criteria for support

In order to receive support from SSSEN, the child must attend a state-funded mainstream nursery, infant, junior or primary school.

SSSEN support can be requested by schools for all children in Derbyshire schools who are at SEN support and children with an EHCP who are in Derbyshire schools, and a resident of Derbyshire. As part of the request for children of school age, schools will need to provide evidence of an appropriate graduated response over time. Specialist support for children with an EHCP who are not resident in Derbyshire is funded by their home LA and not Derbyshire.

Children in maintained nursery placements can access SSSEN support through the Early Years SEN Panel referral form in the related document section of this page. To access SSSEN support, the nursery will need to show that a child has complex, long-term needs, and that an appropriate graduated response has been delivered.

SSSEN will undertake an assessment for all children new to caseload and identify the appropriate support pathway. At review, the SSSEN teacher will recommend if the service should continue using assessment information and SSSEN criteria. The decision to discontinue SSSEN support is made following the recommendations on the SSSEN review report, in-line with SSSEN criteria.

Contact details

Alex Butler
Head of Service (SSSEN)
Email: or telephone: 01629 532722
For general enquiries relating to SSSEN, please email:

Related documents