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DSPL7 The Hub

Our Children, Our Area


ISL information

DSPL areas work closely with Integrated Services for Learning, a multi-professional service working in four integrated area teams across the county helping schools, settings and families to improve outcomes for children and young people with additional and special educational needs.  DSPL7 sits alongside the team in St Albans and Dacorum (StADac).

Services include:

  • Ask SALI
  • Attendance
  • Early Years SEND
  • Educational Psychology 
  • Educational Support for Medical Absence (ESMA)
  • Inclusion
  • SEND Impementation and Support Officers (SISOs)
  • Specialist SEND Advisory Teachers
  • Statutory SEND team


The SEND Advice Line for Inclusion (or 'Ask SALI') is a new phoneline for SENCOs and other school professionals to call, to get advice about meeting the needs of their children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.  The advice line is staffed by 4 advice and guidance officers (SENDIAGOs) from a range of different professional backgrounds.  Their knowledge of the different SEND pathways and first hand experience of working with services means that they are well equipped to support schools and settings.  


SENCos and other professionals can contact Ask SALI by calling 01438 843310 8.30am - 5pm from Monday to Friday.  The team can also be contacted via email at

Bookable appointments are available at the start and end of the day.


The Attendance Team have a responsibility to make sure parents ensure their child attends school regularly and on time. This is all children, not only those with SEND.  Schools can refer to the attendance team for statutory intervention or advice in situatation such as where a child may have many authorised absences.  The team often becomes involved when:

  • attendance is below 80%
  • absences have occurred in the previous 8 weeks
  • majority of absences are unauthorised

Schools can make referrals by completing the ISL service request form and the ISL Baseline Assessment form.

Parents can make referrals by calling the Customer Service Centre - telephone 0300 123 4043

Early Years SEND

The EY team support early years settings (like nurseries or pre-schools) where children between the ages of birth to five are not making the educational or developmental progress that's expected, or where children may require specific, specialised support to meet their social and emotional needs. 

Educational Psychology (EP) Service

The EP Service helps schools, settings and families to understand and manage a wide range of developmental issues and special educational needs. They use psychological based approaches to assess and intervene to enhance the learning, emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people aged 0-25 years.


Currently, the EP team are focussed on completing statutory work for Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments and are not carrying out individual work in schools.


The Education Support for Medical Absence (ESMA) team is a teaching service for students who are unable to attend school for medical reasons.  The service helps pupils continue their education around their needs and works towards getting them back into school life as soon as possible.

Inclusion Team

The Inclusion team is responsible for:

  • all admissions to schools for pupils who are considered at risk of permanent exclusion
  • all admissions for pupils returning from ESCs into mainstream school
  • advice and guidance to schools in relation to exclusions
  • Local Authority duties in respect of the administration for exclusions


The area inclusions officer for DSPL7 is Anjana Walia -       


Schools seeking advice on suspensions and exclusions can ring the new advice line     

SEND Implementation and Support Officers (SISOs)

SISOs are part of the Ask SALI team.  They have in-depth knowledge of the different SEND pathways and first-hand experience of working with SEND services.  They act as a bridge between school, families and the Statutory SEND Service and  work closely with schools to ensure that children's needs are met, and that families are well supported in the journey. 


The 2 SISOs for DSPL7 are Faye Den Heijer and Thelma Mugovera.

Specialist SEND Advisory Services (SEND SAS)

The SEND Advisory Service is currently going through a consultation about proposed changes regarding a new operating model which will be effective from April 2024.  See letter below.

SEND SAS provides specialist advice, guidance, modelling of strategies and interventions.  The team of specialist advisory teachers have additional qualifications and/or expertise in their field and are supported by a team of skilled practitioners.  Specialist advisory teachers support the following areas of special educational needs and disabilities: 

  • sensory impairment (visual, hearing and deafblind),
  • physical and neurological impairment,
  • speech, language and communication needs,
  • specific learning difficulties (now a traded service). 


To make a referral to the service complete the Service request and the ISL baseline assessment forms.  Referrals are not currently being accepted for the SpLD advisory service.

Statutory SEND Team

The Statutory SEND Team deliver all of the local authority’s statutory duties in relation to SEND: managing the statutory EHC needs assessment process, reviewing Education, Health, Care plans (EHC plans) and commissioning of educational placements/packages for children and young people who have EHC plans.

Within statutory SEND, there are three teams: 

  • the Assessment team (
  • the Provision, Outcomes and Placement team (
  • the Resolution and Reconciliation team

Contact the SEND duty line on 01442 453300


Schools can also contact the DSPL7 EHCCos

Primary - Alice Dillon (

Secondary - Liz Crooks (

To contact any of the teams for advice, follow the link below to find the Contact Line poster for each service.