Annual Reviews to Move to on-line Meetings


Education Health and Care Plan’s Annual Reviews and Microsoft ‘Teams’:

The statutory responsibility to conduct an annual review for a child with an EHCP has not been relaxed and the Shropshire SEN Team have requested that schools conduct annual review meetings within the identified timeframe and return documentation to the SEN Team as usual.

The lockdown situation has meant that many schools have been proactive in developing different ways of holding the annual review to ensure that the meeting remains person centred. SEN officers and other practitioners have shared positive feedback where they have attended annual reviews that have been conducted via the Microsoft Teams platform; parents have also commented on the success of these meetings, despite some initial worries, mainly regarding the technology. 

As we move forward the SEN Team has requested that all annual review meetings are arranged using ‘Teams’ and that all practitioners working with the child/young people are invited to attend the meeting or contribute a written report. Parents carers may still choose to attend a Teams meeting by going into school and joining the on-line meeting from there, especially if they have a poor signal at home or if they do not have sufficient data to access the meeting.  If parent carers are happy to join the on-line meeting from their home this is also ok. 

You don’t need to have a paid Teams account to join a Teams call. Parent carers should be able to access Microsoft Teams as a guest, as long as they have an email account, such as Outlook, Gmail etc, after they have been sent a link by the meeting host (most likely to be the school or college). Teams can be accessed from a mobile phone, to do this it is recommended that you download the mobile app.  If you have the app, select Join Microsoft Teams Meeting in the meeting invite to open the app and join the meeting. If you don’t have the app, you’ll be taken to the app store where you can download it. Note: Try to download the app before the meeting starts. It might take a minute or two, depending on your internet connection.

If you don’t have a Teams account, select Join as a guest and enter your name to join the meeting as a guest. If you have a Teams account, select Sign in and join to join with access to the meeting chat and more. Depending on the organizer’s settings, you may join the meeting right away or go to the lobby where someone else can admit you.

Annual Reviews are an essential part of ensuring progress for children and young people with EHCPs.  They provide the opportunity to make sure that the support remains personalised and responds to changing needs as the young person gets older.  They can only be effective however if all those involved in providing advice or support, are fully involved in this annual discussion. By using the Teams virtual platform the hope is that this is more readily achieved.  If you have any concerns about contributing to an Annual Review in this way please discuss this with your school SENCo.


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