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What is an Annual Review?
All statements of Special Educational Needs (other than those of children under 2 years of age) must be reviewed at least annually. This process allows parents, pupils, schools, Local Education Authorities (LEAs) and other professionals involved to consider the pupil's progress. The Review considers whether any amendments need to be made to the description of the pupil's needs or the provision within the child's statement to meet those needs. It is the responsibility of the LEA to make sure the Review takes place within 12 months of the issue of the child's statement, or the previous review. (9:1)
Parents must always be informed about the Annual Review and be invited to contribute and attend the Review. Reviews are particularly important at times of transition for the pupil: from primary to secondary or Year 9 when the young person is considering further education and career / employment opportunities.
Purpose of the Annual Review
To assess the child's progress in meeting the objectives set out in the statement. Recording of information by schools and professionals in planning the support for the child
In a first Annual Review: to agree the targets recorded in the IEP. In other reviews assess the progress of achieving targets set out in the Individual Education Plan (IEP)
To review the special provision: any special equipment required to access the National Curriculum. Assessment and reporting arrangements
To consider modifying or disapplying the National Curriculum
To consider appropriateness of maintaining the statement
To plan targets for the coming year if the statement is to be maintained.
Annual Reviews at School
Other than Annual Reviews held in Year 9 the following procedures should be followed:
LEA should write to all head teachers not less than two weeks before the start of each term with the list of their pupils who will require an Annual Review that term. The school should provide a report of each Annual Review meeting before the end of each term or 10 school days after the meeting takes place.
For all children transferring between phases (eg. primary to secondary), excluding early education settings, suggestions should be made in the year prior to transfer so parents can consider school options at the same time as other parents. The child's statement must then be amended by 15th February of the year of transfer, in light of the recommendations of the Annual Review, the parents' views and preferences and consultation with the LEA and/or schools concerned. All arrangements for a child's placement should therefore be completed no later than the beginning of March before transfer.
Seeking Written Advice
The Headteacher initiates the review process within school but can delegate this responsibility to a teacher, usually the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).
In seeking written advice for the review meeting the school must contact the following:
The child's parents
Anyone specified by the authority (e.g. Educational Psychologist)
Anyone considered appropriate by the head teacher (e.g. class teacher)
The school must circulate all written submissions/reports (including submissions by those unable to attend the review meeting) at least two weeks before the meeting.
The Annual Review Meeting
The school must invite to the meeting:
The child's parents (if the child is looked after by the local authority, under a care order, the child's social worker or foster parents)
Relevant teacher (e.g. class teacher/SENCO)
Anyone the LEA considers appropriate (e.g. Educational Psychologist)
Any person the school considers appropriate
Copies of advice should be circulated to all attendees at least two weeks before the meeting. (If English is an additional language within the family, then translation of the relevant language should be provided and translation support available at the meeting). Equally where the child and/or the parents have a sensory disability then their needs should be taken into account.
Schools, where possible, should actively involve the child in the Annual Review process, seeking their views and involving them in the target setting for the coming year.
Conduct of the Meeting
The meeting is usually chaired by the Head teacher or delegated to a responsible person within the school - e.g. SENCO or Deputy/Head of Year.
Those present at the meeting should consider:
Does the statement remain appropriate?
Are any amendments required to the statement?
Should the LEA continue to maintain the statement or cease it, if the child's needs can be met through School Action Plus?
Any new targets to be set to meet the objectives set out in the statement.
From discussions at the meeting it is possible that amendments to the statement might need to be made
Significant new evidence may have emerged not recorded in the statement
Significant needs recorded within the statement are no longer present
Provision to meet the changing needs of the child and targets set for the coming year
Change of school, either at transfer (primary to secondary) - the need for specialist provision.
The Head teacher's report on the meeting to the LEA should include any amendments and any disagreement on those amendments. The report should be submitted to the LEA within 10 days or the end of school term, whichever is earlier.
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