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

SSSEN support can be requested for children in Derbyshire schools who are at SEN Support. SSSEN support can be requested for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) if they are attending a Derbyshire school and a resident of Derbyshire.

Support from SSSEN is agreed when the child has significant barriers to learning and complete learning needs. Whilst a decision will be made by considering all aspects of each individual child, there are several key points of guidance to inform whether SSSEN is appropriate as provision.

  • ‘Significant’ can be interpreted by looking at the delay in learning. The upper threshold of delay is 2 years linked to children in Year 2 (end of Key Stage 1) still working at below National Curriculum Year 1 expectations. This can be then translated for other year groups. However, it is not sufficient to make a decision only based on evidence stating that a child in Year 5 is working below Year 3 National Curriculum objectives etc. Subject specific and/or standardised assessments with chronological age band equivalents provide more specific evidence.

SSSEN Formative Footprints, P levels or an equivalent can provide specific assessment evidence, as do Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) assessments providing these are broken down into age bands clearly as appropriate to targeted support.

Nursery - SSSEN provides support in maintained nurseries only. To access SSSEN support the nursery will need to show that a child has complex and long-term needs and that an appropriate graduated response has been delivered. It is expected that the nursery will provide appropriate assessment information.

Reception age - Significant delay demonstrated through EYFS assessments, evidenced through detailed developmental information as appropriate at targeted SEN support. This could be using Derbyshire’s EYFS Celebratory Checkpoints or similar. Communication and Language is recognised as a key indicator of cognitive need.

Year 1 - Upper threshold at end of Year 1 – P7, SSSEN Formative Footprint 4 or equivalent.

Year 2 - Upper threshold at end of Year 2 – P8, SSSEN Formative Footprint 5 or equivalent.

Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 - Either SSSEN Formative Footprints, P Levels or equivalent standardised assessments showing a delay of at least 2 years.

  • The ‘significant’ delay of more than 2 years must also be evidenced across several areas of learning i.e., language, reading, writing, spelling, mathematics to demonstrate that the needs are complex. For example, a delay of more than 2 years in only one area would not usually lead to SSSEN being allocated. 
  • In addition, the cause of the learning delay needs to be considered. If the child’s primary need is SEMH and the child may not have been accessing the full school curriculum, then this would not necessarily indicate complex learning needs. Similarly, if a child has health/medical needs and has missed time in school, then again this may be more linked to accessing education rather than a complex learning need. It is important that the delay can be evidenced and linked to cognition and learning as the primary need. 
  • Individual consideration will be given to children whose primary need is not cognition and learning. For example, communication and interaction or sensory needs may link to a delay in areas of learning, but SSSEN will be allocated based on additional difficulties in cognition and learning rather than a delay associated with a different primary need.
  • In terms of specific learning difficulties, most children with Dyslexia/Dyspraxia/Dyscalculia should be able to be supported by school staff. SSSEN can only be allocated for those with severe needs.
  • It is also important to consider the school provision in place already to meet the child’s needs ie if a school have not focused on appropriate interventions to meet the needs within their normally available resources, then SSSEN are unable to be allocated as additional support. The Derbyshire Graduated Response provides further guidance.
  • This guidance will be applied to all SSSEN referrals to ensure that allocation of provision is equitable and transparent. All referrals are considered by the SSSEN panel.
  • SSSEN requests for children in Year 6 will not be accepted after February half term.

Criteria will be reviewed regularly and updated to consider further changes in assessment protocols.