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Annual & Transfer (Transitional Conversion) Review Meetings

What is an Annual Review?

If your child or young person has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, the Local Authority (LA) must review the Statement or EHC plan at least once a year based on evidence received. For children under five, a review may take place every six months. It is the school’s responsibility to arrange the Annual Review meeting. Parents can request that the school, pre-school setting or college hold an early or interim Annual Review if they have significant concerns. The majority of evidence will be taken from the report created as a result of an Annual Review meeting. At this review meeting your child or young person’s progress will be discussed to ensure the Statement or EHC plan continues to meet his/her aspirations, goals and needs. If your child or young person’s needs change significantly, anyone raises serious concern about your child or young person’s progress or suggests a change in provision may be required to meet your child concern the Annual Review may be brought forward or an Interim Review meeting may need to be arranged.

What is a Transfer Review?

A Transfer Review is similar to an Annual Review and replaces the Annual Review at the start of the process of converting a child or young person’s Statement into an EHC plan. The Transfer Review uses the Annual Review format to start the new EHC needs assessment necessary to decide what outcomes and provision should be included in the EHC plan. However, the SEND Regulations 2014 makes it clear that the LA must not seek new professional advice if it has previously been provided for any purpose and the person providing that advice, the LA, you or the young person is satisfied that it is “sufficient for the purposes of an EHC needs assessment”.

Why does there need to be a Review meeting?

The purpose of these meetings is to review your child or young person’s Statement or EHC plan or to convert the Statement to an EHC Plan by:

  • Bringing together the views of everybody involved with your child or young person’s education. This generally includes you (where your child is under the age of 16 or or your young person is age 16 or over and has requested for you to be invited), your child or young person and all those involved in helping your child or young person
  • Reviewing the progress your child or young person has made in all areas
  • Reviewing the special provision made for your child or young person
  • Ensuring that targets set previously are being achieved and to set new targets for the next year
  • Recommending amendments to the Statement or EHC plan, or converting the Statement into an EHC plan. The LA will only amend your child’s Statement or EHC plan if there is a major change to your child or young person’s needs i.e. a medical diagnosis. The LA must convert existing Statements to EHC plans in line with the Children and Families Act 2014 transitional arrangements.
  • Considering whether all your child or young person’s goals have been met and whether a Statement or EHC plan is still required

Who may attend?

Please be aware that there is no legal requirement for you to be invited or involved if your young person is aged 16 or over unless they have asked for you to be invited or involved.

Your child or young person’s head teacher or principle must invite:

  • You – providing your child is under the age of 16 or your young person is age 16 or over and has requested for you to be invited - parent’s/carer’s views are very important and you can discuss what your child is like at home, how he/she manages homework, friends, family [n.b You are also allowed to bring someone with you for support if you wish (ie. friend, relative or other support from Parent Partnership or similar)]
  • Your child or young person
  • A relevant teacher
  • A representative from the LA
  • The child or young person’s Social Worker if appropriate
  • Anyone else considered appropriate.

If there is anyone else you feel should be invited (i.e.. private therapists involved in child's care) you will have to tell your child or young person’s school or college you would like to be invited.

It is unlikely that everyone invited will be able to attend the review meeting. The head teacher or principle will try to ensure that the date of the meeting is convenient for you and for those people who have had most contact with your child.

What happens before the meeting?

The head teacher or principle must ask for written reports from: 

  • You - providing your child is under the age of 16 or your young person is age 16 or over and has requested for you to be invited or involved - parent’s/carer’s views are very important
  • Your child or young person
  • Your child’s teachers
  • All others invited to the review meeting.

The head teacher must then:

  • Send copies of the written reports to all those invited to the review meeting at least two weeks before it takes place.
  • Invite further views, including comments from those who are unable to attend the meeting.

If there is anyone else you feel should contribute (i.e. private therapists involved in child's care) their reports can be included even if they are not invited or cannot attend the review.

Will your child or young person be involved?

Pupils should be encouraged to give their views in the review process. The Children & Families Act puts great emphasis on ensuring the child or young person’s views aspirations and goals are central to the whole process. Wherever possible your child or young person should attend all or part of the Annual Review meeting. You may wish to talk to the school about your child or young person’s involvement in the review process. You may also find it useful to download and use materials to record Children and young person’s views from the LA Statutory assessments webpage (www.torbay.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/send/statutory-assessments/) to complete with your child or young person in advance of the meeting.

What should you include in your report?

Comments on:

  • Your child or young person’s progress over the last year
  • What you are happy about and also any concerns
  • What you feel your child or young person’s needs will be in school or college for the coming year
  • What you think you and the school or college can do to help meet those needs
  • Your child or young person’s aspiration and views about school
  • You may also like to include some information about how you feel your child or young person is coping both at school or college and at home

You may find it useful to look at or use the official Annual review or Transfer (Transitional Conversion) review pro forma template as a guide to help you cover all special needs/areas that will have to be considered in the meeting.

What happens at the review meeting?

The meeting will normally include the following:

  • The views of everyone attending the meeting or involved with your child or young person about your child or young person’s past year’s progress
  • Your child or young person’s views, aspirations and goals
  • The extent to which the objectives in the statement or EHC plan, or those agreed at the previous annual review, have been met
  • Objectives for the next year
  • Planning the support from school or college and parents to help achieve these objectives
  • Any further action required and who will be responsible for this (For reviews taking place when your child is in Yr5 this will include discussions about secondary transfer and Yr9 onwards will include post-16 transition, but remember Schools and EPs cannot allocate places the decision rests with the LA)
  • Whether the Statement of SEN or EHC plan needs amending or is no longer needed.

You may also discuss how your child or young person is coping in general and what can be done to help.

What happens after the review meeting?

The school or college prepares a report summarising the results of the review meeting and setting out objectives for the following year. This should be completed within 10 days. The report must be sent to all those involved in the review. The LA must then:

  • Review the Statement or EHC plan in light of the report.
  • Decide whether to accept the head teacher or college recommendations.
  • Tell you, the head teacher or college and anyone else they think appropriate

What happens next?

If it is an Annual Review then the LA must notify you of their decision within four weeks of the meeting. If the LA agrees to maintain the Statement of SEN or EHC plan with no changes the Statement or Plan will continue. If the LA proposes to make any changes (i.e. amend or cease the Statement or EHC plan) they will let you know in writing of any changes they are planning to make and the reasons for them. You then have 15 days to consider these changes. If you agree, the LA will either produce an amended final statement or cease to maintain the Statement. If you do not agree with the changes you can discuss this with a member of the Special Educational Needs Team on 01803 208274.

If it is a Transfer Review, used to convert a Statement of SEN into an EHC plan, the LA must have completed the conversion within 18 weeks of the meeting. You should therefore expect to receive a copy of the draft plan within 14 weeks of the meeting so that you can consider the contents and discuss any of your concerns with an SEN casework officer before the plan is finalised.