The annual review of the statement

Information for families in England and Wales

Under the Welsh education system, children or young people with more complex needs might have a statement of special educational needs. These must be revied once a year.

Although some children in England still have statements, these are being replaced by Education, Health and Care plans. If you're new to the SEN system and live in England then you might want to start on our page An introducation to special educational needs.

What is an annual review?

Your child's statement must be reviewed at least once a year. This is a legal process.The law and SEN code of practice sets out how this must be done. The review is a chance to look in detail at your child's progress in the past year, and decide whether any changes need to be made to the statement. Your views and your child's views are an important part of this process.

What does the annual review process involve?

The headteacher will invite you to a meeting at school. You may be sent a form to complete before the meeting. The headteacher should also invite other professionals who are supporting your child, and ask them to send in a report before the meeting. Key school staff such as your child's class teacher/form tutor, the head and the SENCO (special educational needs co-ordinator) are usually at the meeting. Everyone at the meeting will give their views about your child's progress in the past year and discuss how well the support in the statement is working.

After the meeting, the head teacher sends a report to the local authority summarising the views and recommendations which came out of the meeting. You should receive a copy of this report. The local authority will look at the report and decide whether to:

  • amend the statement
  • leave the statement unchanged
  • 'cease to maintain' or end the statement.

The local authority must send you details of any amendments they are proposing and invite you to give your views and/or discuss this. The official decision from the local authority completes the annual review process.

If you are not happy with the decision to amend, not to amend, or to end the statement, you have the right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

Written by our experts, read more answers to common questions from parents

Information for families in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Although this information applies to England and Wales, we also support Scotland and Northern Ireland. Give our helpline a call on 0808 808 3555 for information and advice on any aspect of raising a disabled child or call your local contact. Find out our details in the In your area section.