Annual reviews

The law requires the local authority to review a statement of special educational needs within a year of finalising it and at least every year thereafter (every 6 months for children under 5). This review is known as the annual review or statutory review.

Early or interim reviews can be called if necessary, for example, if there have been major changes in your child's needs or circumstances.

The purpose of an annual review

The purpose of the review is to bring together the views of everyone who is involved with your child (including you) to:

  • record any changes which need to be made to the information about your child
  • consider your child's progress and whether targets set have been achieved
  • make sure the statement is still appropriate for your child's needs
  • plan ahead and set new targets for the next year

It is an important opportunity for you and your child to put your views across to the school or early years setting and the local authority. You know your child best, so it is important for you to be involved and attend the meeting.

Organising the meeting

The headteacher must organise the meeting, which is normally held in the school or early years setting, and will invite:

  • parents or carers
  • the pupil whenever possible
  • people who have worked with your child in school
  • professionals who have been involved with your child (for example, educational psychologist, support services)
  • health professionals who have been involved with your child (for example, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, school doctor)
  • your social worker, if you have one
  • a representative from the local authority
  • anyone else you, or the headteacher feels would be able to give helpful information or advice

Before the review meeting

You will receive an invitation to the review meeting. Check that the time and date are convenient for you. Ask the headteacher to change, if necessary, so you can attend.

The people who are invited to the meeting will be asked for a report. Some people who are invited may not attend or write a report. You should be sent copies of reports two weeks before the meeting, but sometimes some reports are not available until the day of the meeting.

You will be asked to send in some written comments on how you feel about your child's progress and how well your child's needs are being met in the school or setting. It is helpful if you can complete the form, which asks for your views, and return it to school.

Your child should be asked, where practical, how they feel about their progress, their likes and dislikes and school in general. This is generally recorded on a form, which may be sent to you to complete with your child, or may be completed with them at the school or setting.

What parents and carers can do

You know your child best and your views are very important. If you write them down, they can be copied for everyone at the meeting.

Generally the school or setting will send you a form to complete. You can use this form, adding more detail on a separate sheet, if appropriate, or you can write a letter or a list. You can use these written comments to help you to put your views across at the meeting.

You could comment on:

  • your view of you child's progress over the past year
  • what has pleased you
  • what you have concerns about
  • any significant events you feel may have affected your child's progress
  • what you hope to see your child achieve in the next year

You can ask for someone from our service to help you to complete forms, look at reports and attend the annual review meeting with you.

The review meeting

The person chairing the meeting should introduce everyone so you know who they are and what they do.

Your child's progress will be discussed and information shared. You can ask questions or ask for an explanation if you are unclear about anything that is said.

You will be asked for your views. It will be helpful if you have already written these down, but you may want to add further comments after you have heard what other people have to say. If you don't agree with something, try to explain why. Your views will be taken into account and recorded.

The annual review meeting should consider:

  • Are any changes needed to the information recorded about your child?

  • What are you and your child's views of the past year's progress and hopes for the future?

  • What are the views of the school or setting and other professionals about your child's progress?

  • How well is your child meeting the objectives in the EHC plan, and their targets?

  • Should there be any changes to the objectives?

  • Is the information in the EHC plan still appropriate, or does it need to be amended?

  • Are any changes needed to the school or setting's facilities and staffing?

  • What new targets should be set for the coming year, to be used to update the individual education plan (IEP)?

Someone at the meeting will take notes and record any suggestions about further action.

After the review meeting

A report of the meeting, summing up what was said and making recommendations, is completed, and is sent to the local authority, along with all the reports that were submitted. Everyone who went to the meeting, or sent a report will be sent a copy. If you disagree with anything in the report, you should discuss this with the school.

The local authority will contact you to tell you if they agree with the recommendations that have been made following the review meeting. If there are changes in provision or placement, the local authority will consult you about amending the EHC plan.

Special arrangements

Year 5/6

The annual review in Year 5 should consider your child's transfer from primary to secondary school, so there is time for planning and for you to consider the available options. The Year 5 review should be held in the summer term so that the amended EHC plan can be issued by 15 February of the year of transfer. The special educational needs coordinator of the secondary school may be invited to attend the Year 5 and Year 6 reviews. The SEND officer from the local authority usually attends the Year 5 review.

Year 9

A transition review is held to make recommendations and plans for your child's move into adult life.

Help or advice

Contact us if you need any further help or advice.

You can also contact the caseworker or local inclusion officer.

Links to useful documents