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What is an annual review of the statement?

If your child has a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) the local authority must review that statement every year.

This means that a review of the progress the child or young person is making towards the objectives in the Statement must take place at least every 12 months. Statements can be reviewed more frequently where needed.

For pupils in mainstream schools the annual reviews in Year 5 are the key ones where there should be a discussion about what type of school they should attend for the next phase.

If a place at a special school or a resource unit attached to a mainstream school is recommended, the pupil's papers will have to go to a panel for consideration. This will also apply to the review in Year 10 if a place at a special school for post-16 provision is to be requested.

If a specialist place is agreed, the pupil's statement must be amended by 15 February so that they can move to their new school the following September.

Before the annual review

Two weeks before the start of the school term, the Local Authority must inform the headteacher, in writing, of the pupils whose statements must be reviewed that term.

The headteacher will invite you and any relevant professionals to the review meeting. The head will then request written advice about your child's progress and the appropriateness of the statement from you and any professionals the local authority and / or headteacher thinks are appropriate.

At least two weeks before the review meeting, the headteacher will circulate any written evidence and invite comments. Your views are very important. When providing your written advice and reading the advice from others involved in the annual review, you may want to think about the topics you covered when you originally provided parental advice for your child's statutory assessment and checked your child's proposed statement.

The review meeting

Often the review meeting will only involve you, teachers from your child's school and perhaps someone from the local authority. Other professionals do not usually attend a routine annual review meeting, but will attend to discuss specific needs, or if the annual review meeting is to discuss your child's transition. You can take a friend, relative or someone from the parent partnership service to the review meeting to support you.

The review meeting should consider if your child's statement is still appropriate, if there are any amendments to be made to the statement and if the local authority should continue to maintain the statement.

The meeting should look at the progress made in relation to the previous targets and provide a new set of targets for your child for the coming year. These should meet the objectives set out in the statement.

After the review meeting

No later than ten days after the review meeting, the headteacher must prepare and submit a report to the local authority.

The report will summarise the meetings conclusions and include recommendations, with reasons, as to whether the statement should be amended or maintained. The headteacher will also send a copy of the report to you and any professionals involved with the review process.

The local authority will decide whether to make any changes to your child's statement.

They can decide to: 

  • Amend (change) the statement
  • Leave the statement unchanged
  • Cease to maintain (or end) the statement.

You may invite your Parent Partnership Representative to go with you, or anyone else who you choose. Your child may also attend all or part of the review meeting as appropriate. The older they are, the more likely they will be involved.

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