The annual review of the statement (Wales)

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This advice applies in Wales only. Read information for families in England, Northern Ireland or Scotland.

Changes to the education system in Wales

A new system of support for children with additional learning needs (ALN), called the ALN framework, was introduced on 1 September 2021 to replace the existing special educational needs (SEN system).

Statements of SEN and annual reviews are part of the old system of support for children with ALN and are being phased out from now until Summer 2024.

If your child starts to receive support in education for the first time after 1 September 2021, their support will come under the ALN framework. They will receive support through an Independent Development Plan (IDP) and not a statement of SEN.

If your child is currently receiving support through a Statement of SEN because they received it before 1 September, this will continue in place, with annual reviews, until it is transferred to an IDP.

The information on this page might be useful until that point.

What is an annual review?

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

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 that 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