What is an Annual Review?
An Annual Review is a meeting that school arranges to review a young person’s Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). An Annual Review review must be held at least once every year. This is to make sure that the young person is making progress, views are shared by everyone involved in the young person’s life and that the information about the young person is still appropriate.
Annual Reviews are arranged by Demeter House School on behalf of the placing authority and are usually held at the site (Upper or Lower School) where the young person is educated. Invitations are sent to relevant professionals and outside agencies that may be able to report on how well a young person is progressing.
The views of the young person are crucial to the Annual Review process. Prior to the meeting, the SENCo will conduct an informal interview with the young person to gather their views. The young person is also actively encouraged to participate in their Annual Review.
What is the purpose of an Annual Review?
- An Annual Review is held to check a young person’s progress against previously agreed outcomes (usually set at the young person’s previous Annual Review).
- Demeter House School provides specialist provision for our young people. Such provision is carefully planned and an Annual Review is a key opportunity to gain useful information which can be used towards planning appropriate provision for the young person in the future.
- We know that a young person can go through many transitions and changes in their life. This includes changes in their special educational needs as they grow and develop. An Annual Review provides the chance to make changes and/or amendments to the information that a young person and their family want professionals to know through their Statement or EHCP.
- An important part of the Annual Review is looking to the future. Thinking about what is important to and for the young person as they progress at Demeter House School provides the bedrock of our purpose as a school. During the Annual Review SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) outcomes are identified and agreed by everyone present.
What happens before an Annual Review meeting?
Before the Annual Review meeting we will invite the parents or carers of a young person, the young person, a representative from the Local Authority (SEND Team), the young person’s teacher/keyworker and any other professionals that have relevant input in the young person’s life.
Whilst this may seem like a lot of people, remember that discussions will be held in relation to education, health and care.
We will ask for written reports from parents or carers, the young person and all other people invited to the Annual Review. These reports will be shared with everyone two weeks before the meeting, which gives everyone the chance to come prepared for the Annual Review meeting. Sometimes it is likely that not everyone invited will be able to attend the Annual Review meeting and this is why written reports are important.
What happens during the Annual Review meeting?
During the meeting the views of the young person, parents or carers, school and other professionals are shared. We aim to celebrate what has been working well for the young person and promote the progress that they have made against their previous outcomes. We will also discuss any areas for development, which can be included in the young person’s outcomes for the future.
Amendments or additions to the young person’s Statement or EHCP are considered and if a young person is in year 9 or above then preparation for adulthood is a key focus of the Annual Review meeting.
The setting of new, SMART outcomes is essential in the Annual Review meeting and identifying specific actions by those invited, and who will be responsible, are agreed and documented.
What happens after the Annual Review meeting?
Following the Annual Review meeting we will send a report to the Local Authority which will recommend any changes and amendments to the young person’s Statement or EHCP.
A copy of the report will sent to parents or carers and any other professionals, where appropriate, within two weeks of the Annual Review meeting.
The Local Authority must then decide if the recommendations included in the Annual Review report are actioned and these changes will be consulted with parents within four weeks of the Annual Review meeting. The Local Authority may also request the views of attendees at the Annual Review meeting where amendments or changes are made.
If parents or carers do not agree with the changes made by the Local Authority they have the right of appeal at Tribunal.
For further information, please contact our SENCo team at school.