Skip to content

The Specialist Service for Special Educational Needs (SSSEN) works directly with children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans, Graduated Response for Individual Pupil (GRIP) Plans and children in maintained nurseries with long term and complex needs. We work in state funded mainstream nursery, 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 support to the child and school and liaises regularly with parents and carers. Progress is evaluated and reported at the review meeting.

SSSEN provision is specified as the following on EHC plans: "Additional teaching, advice and support will be delivered in school by a teacher from the SSSEN. This will give learning opportunities on at least a weekly basis."

For children supported as part of a GRIP provision or in mainstream nursery placements, an initial assessment will be carried out and then an appropriate support pathway identified.

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.

The service consists of approximately 80 full-time and part-time specialist teachers including the head of service, and is organised into seven area teams.

Criteria for support

In order to receive support from SSSEN, the child must attend a state funded mainstream infant, junior or primary school and have an EHC or GRIP plan with SSSEN named as provision on the plan. Support from SSSEN is agreed by the head of service when the child has significant barriers to learning and complex cognitive and learning needs that meet SSSEN Criteria.

Children in maintained nursery placement 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.

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.

Monitoring and review

We have an annual service development plan linked to the Children's Services plan which is reviewed annually in our service report. Evaluation is undertaken with schools, parents, pupils and other agencies on an annual basis.

Contact details

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

Related documents