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Derby SAL is an early advice line targeted at SENCOs to help meet the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) or suspected SEND, as early as possible.

What can Derby SAL help me with?

Derby SAL provides a safe space to talk and the opportunity to reflect on both individual cases and whole school or setting issues related to SEND. The team can help explore the best options for service support and identify the most appropriate resources available.

Derby SAL offers:

  • information and advice regarding SEND thresholds, the application of the Graduated Approach or Derby’s Support offer
  • assistance to plan next steps, alternative interventions and strategies or to test your thinking on cases where you may be struggling to meet a child’s needs, there is a risk exclusion or crisis or you are planning for successful transition
  • access to expert advice and guidance through our wider network of support - including holistic provision outside of education for example, health, social care and Local Offer partners.

The Derby SAL officers will work through a series of questions with you to gain insight on the nature of the case to help promote the best discussion and achieve the best outcomes.

How can I access it?

You can contact us online to request a call back. Alternatively, please telephone 01332 956956 or email DerbySAL@derby.gov.uk.

The team are available from 9.30am to 5.30pm from Monday to Friday.

The Graduated Response‌ is Derby City Council's approach to improving the support and outcomes for children and young people aged 0-25 years who have, or may have, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

It is the first level of support that early year’s, schools and college providers offer and follows a stepped intervention approach; each setting has a designated Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who is responsible for co-ordinating the SEND provision, using an Assess, Plan, Do, Review mode.


Useful links

An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan) is a legal document which describes a child or young person's special educational needs, the support they need, and how that help will enable them to achieve the outcomes they want in their life.


Voice of the child tools

The Voice of the child tools have been designed to support direct work and participation with children and young people.


Useful links

A Personal Budget provides a child, young person and family with opportunities for greater levels of choice and control over the provision made. The amount of money provided as a Personal Budget is dependent on the identified outcomes for the child or young person as agreed in the Education, Health and Care plan (EHC Plan).


Useful links

The term ‘transition’ is used to refer to life changes that all children and young people may go through. The transition pathway involves young people and their families working with professionals to think about and plan for the future, considering the young person's needs, wants and hopes.

Preparing for adulthood means preparing for:

  • Higher education and/or employment – this includes exploring different employment options, such as support for becoming self-employed and help from supported employment agencies.
  • Independent living – this means young people having choice, control and freedom over their lives and the support they have, their accommodation and living arrangements, including supported living.
  • Participating in society, including having friends and supportive relationships, and participating in, and contributing to, the local community
  • Being as healthy as possible in adult life.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has published a guide looking at what social workers need to do to help young people with learning disabilities prepare for adulthood. The guidance includes a practice framework which sets out what social workers need in order to do this, including:

  • the right support
  • systems and commissioning
  • an understanding of social care law and theories
  • a commitment to human rights
  • the ability to work in multi-agency settings
  • a focus on the needs and wishes of the person they support.


Useful links

The Children and Families Act is hoping to achieve the following:

  • One responsible local authority for a child or young person’s special educational provision while they are in the community and/or in custody.
  • Continuous and appropriate special educational provision when a child or young person is in custody.
  • To help the resettlement process by identifying need and ensuring that provision continues when a child or young person returns to the community.
  • To make best use of the time the young person spends in detention. This is so that an assessment can get under way and support can be put in place immediately on release.


Useful links: