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Special Educational Needs

What is an Annual Review of a statement?

The Local Authority must review your child’s statement of special educational needs every 12 months (if your child is under five years old, reviews must be six monthly). The purpose of the review is:

  • to bring together the views of everyone who helps your child
  • to review how well the aims set in the statement are being achieved
  • to set new targets for the next year.

The annual review is in four parts:

  • collecting information
  • holding an annual review meeting
  • the headteacher’s report of the review meeting to the Local Authority
  • the Local Authority’s review of the statement.

The headteacher of your child’s school will arrange the meeting. Before the meeting they will ask for written reports from you, your child’s teacher and any other professionals who know and work with your child. You will be sent a copy of all the views that have been received before the meeting.

The annual review meeting will be held at your child’s school. The headteacher must invite parents/carers, your child's teacher and a representative from the Local Authority. You may also bring along a friend, adviser, relative or an independent parental supporter if you wish. The headteacher may also invite representatives from relevant health services or a representative from Children's Social Care Services or anyone else they think will be able to provide helpful information and advice, eg learning support assistant.

After listening to everyone’s views at the review meeting, the school will set new targets. The headteacher will send a report to the Local Authority recommending any changes that the people at the meeting (including you and your child) felt should be made to the statement. The school will send you a copy of the report (within 10 working days of the meeting).

The Local Authority will decide whether they should make any changes to your child’s statement. They will write to all those involved in the annual review, tell you about the changes they wish to make, the reasons for them and ask you for your views. You have 15 days to arrange a meeting with the Local Authority to discuss any changes to the statement.

Changes might be made to the statement if:

  • your child’s needs have changed significantly
  • the Local Authority decides that different kinds of additional help are necessary
  • your child has to move to a different school.

This is called an 'amended final statement of special educational needs'. You have the same rights as when the statement was first made for resolving disagreements with the Local Authority and the right to appeal.

Annual reviews will not always lead to changes in your child’s statement.

From Year 9 onwards a transition plan is prepared, as well as the annual review report. It is updated at each annual review meeting which follows until your child leaves school.

The transition plan looks at your child's needs in preparation for leaving school and beginning adult life.

If you require help in discussing the suggestions or just need advice, you can ask the Parent Partnership Service.