The Annual Review
A parent's guide and information for those involved in the Annual Review of Statements of Special Educational Needs
Why does my child's statement need an Annual Review?
The law requires all statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) to be reviewed every 12 months. In some cases, particularly if there is increasing concern about a child's progress, or if the child is at risk of being permanently excluded and if the parents, school and the Local Authority agree, then an Annual Review of the Statement can be brought forward. A review period can also be at more regular intervals with the agreement of all those involved.
The purpose of the review
To assess the child's progress towards meeting the objectives in the statement and to collate and record information that the school and others can use in planning support for the child.
In the case of a first annual review; to assess the child's progress towards meeting the targets agreed and recorded in the IEP following the making of the statement and in the case of all other reviews to assess progress towards the targets in the IEP set at the previous annual review.
To review the special provision made for the child, including the appropriateness of any special equipment provided, in the context of the National Curriculum and associated assessment and reporting arrangements.
Where appropriate, the school should consider providing a profile of the child's current levels of attainment in basic literacy, numeracy and life skills and a summary of progress achieved in other areas of the curriculum.
Where the statement involves a modification or in (in very few cases) disapplication from the National Curriculum, the school should indicate what special arrangements have been made for the child.
To consider the continuing appropriateness of the statement in the light of the child's performance during the previous year and any additional special educational needs becoming apparent during that time, and thus to consider whether to cease to maintain or make amendments to the statement.
If the statement is to be maintained. to set new targets for the coming year so that progress towards the targets can be considered at the next annual review.
Who will attend?
Your child's Head Teacher must invite:
- the child's parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The Annual Review cannot legally take place unless the head teacher can show they have made numerous recorded attempts to encourage the parents to attend and have given a number of opportunities for this to happen. Parents or Guardians can take an Independent Supporter with them to the meeting.
- The teacher who knows the child best. In primary schools this will probably be the class teacher. In a secondary school it could be the Special Needs Co-ordinator, form or year tutor.
- a representative from the Local Authority.
- The Connexions Personal Advisor (Year 9 onwards).
The Head teacher may invite:
- a representative from the, Iocal health authority;
- a representative from Social Services;
- the Educational Psychologist; and
- anyone else whom the Head teacher feels will be able to provide helpful information.
It is unlikely that everyone invited will be able to attend the review meeting but the head teacher will try to ensure that the date fixed for the meeting is convenient for those people who have the most contact with the pupil. As stated, any date must be suitable for at least one parent or guardian.
What happens before the meeting?
You may be given a form. or sheet which you can use to record your comments on. Your child may be asked to contribute to the review as well. You can help your child fill in their form as you complete yours. Everyone must commit themselves to the challenge of ensuring pupil participation.
The Local Authority must write to the Head Teacher no less than one term in advance with a list of all pupils on roll at the school who will require an annual review, giving the date by which a report of the annual review is required by them. The head teacher must ask for written reports from you, your child's teacher and all others invited to the meeting. The head teacher must then :
- Send copies of the written reports to all those invited to the review meeting at least two weeks before it takes place.
- Invite further comments, especially from those who are unable to attend the meeting.
As parents, you are strongly encouraged to send comments to the school for inclusion in the review meeting.
The requirement to send documents to all those involved two weeks before a meeting is a legal requirement. In some cases, for example, where a review is early and has been brought forward in the interests of the child, the parents and others involved can agree for the review to go ahead within that two week period.
Is my child involved?
Yes. It is possible, your child can also submit a written report on what has happened during the previous year on a form which is provided.
If appropriate, your child should take place in all or part of the annual review meeting.
What should I include in my report?
Please comment on:
- your views of the past year's progress
- what has pleased you
- what continues to cause you concern
- any significant events which might have affected your child's progress
- what you hope to see achieved during the next year.
What happens at the review meeting?
The meeting will normally take place at your child's school and it will consider :
- your views of the past year's progress as well as the views of your child and the school.
- the extent to which the objectives in the statement, or those agreed at the previous annual review, have not been met
- National Curriculum requirements
- targets for the coming year
- any further action required and if so, who will be responsible
- whether the statement needs amending or ceasing.
What happens next?
The school prepares a report summarising the results of the review meeting and setting out targets for the following year.
The report must be sent to all those concerned in the review whether or not they were able to attend the meeting. The Local Authority must then:
- review the statement in the light of the report;
- make recommendations; and
- send those recommendations to all concerned in the review