No. The person who is going to hold the review meeting must invite certain people, but they cannot compel or insist that they attend.

The people who must be invited to attend are:

  • you as the parent
  • the provider of relevant early years education or the head/principal of the school, post-16 institution or other institution your child attends 
  • an officer of the LA who exercises education functions in relation to children and young people with SEN 
  • a health care professional (identified by the ICB), and 
  • an officer of the LA who exercises social care functions in relation to children and young people with SEN. 

Other people could also be invited but these are the ones that must be invited.

However, annual reviews must take into account your views, wishes and feelings. This is a legal requirement under regulation 19 of The SEND Regulations 2014. So, if you think it is important that a particular person attends the meeting, you should say so and why. LAs and other public bodies have a duty to act reasonably, so explain why it is important for a particular person to attend, and they will have to consider this in deciding whether to attend or not.

For example, if you want your LA SEND officer to attend, say so and why. They will have to take into account your views and wishes and these reasons to be acting reasonably. In addition, the Code says that “As part of the review, the local authority and the school, further education college or section 41 approved institution attended by the child or young person must co-operate to ensure a review meeting takes place. This includes attending the review when requested to do so.” (para 9.173).

Remember that people can attend review meetings remotely, which may help a professional who would like to attend but will struggle to do so ‘in person’. You can ask for the meeting to be held remotely to accommodate this, or if the meeting is to be ‘in person’, ask for that person to be allowed to attend remotely.