Annual reviews for education health and care (EHC) plans

The yearly process to review an EHC plan, a legal document that sets out a child or young person's special educational, health and social needs, and how those needs should be met.

At least once a year, an education, health and care plan must be reviewed to see if it is still required and needs updating (amending).

The annual review itself refers to the last part of the process where we review your child’s plan following the annual review meeting.

You should always attend review and planning meetings. If you cannot attend, ask if the meeting can be rescheduled to a time when you are available. 

The process

  1. Step 1

    Collection of information

    We will make sure that a meeting to review your child’s plan takes place. We may ask the school to arrange this on our behalf and provide a report of the meeting.

    You will be given at least 2 weeks' notice of the date of the meeting and any professional relevant to your child’s plan must also be invited.

    The school must seek advice and information about your child from all those invited to the review meeting and any information received should be circulated at least 2 weeks before the meeting takes place.

  2. Step 2

    Annual review meeting

    The review meeting usually takes place at the education setting your child attends. It must focus on your child’s progress towards achieving the outcomes set out in the plan.

    It should also consider any changes that might be needed to the outcomes, the way your child’s needs are described, or to the provision set out in the plan.

    You should be given the opportunity to participate fully in the review meeting.

  3. Step 3

    Headteacher’s report of the meeting

    Following the meeting, your child's education setting must prepare and send a report of the meeting to us and to everyone invited, within 10 working days of the meeting date.

    The report must set out any changes that have been suggested. It should also include any differences of opinion and not just the general consensus.

  4. Step 4

    Reviewing the plan

    The actual review happens at the end of the process when we review your child’s plan in light of the report.

    We will then decide whether to:

    • keep the plan as it is
    • change the plan
    • or cease to maintain the plan

    We will send you and the school their decision within 4 weeks of the review meeting.

    If the we decide to amend the plan, we will aim to start the process straight away. We will send you a copy of the existing plan and a notice that sets out the proposed changes.

    You will have 15 days to respond to the proposed changes. You can ask to meet with us to discuss them if you want to. Contact your key worker or the SEN Service if you wish to do so.

    We will issue an amended final plan within 8 weeks of sending the proposed changes to you.

    Once the amended plan is issued, you have the right to appeal against the content of the plan to the First-tier Tribunal for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 

    This right also applies if we decide not to make any changes to the plan following a review.

  5. Step 5

    Following the annual review meeting

    The school will send the completed annual review paperwork to the EHC casework team within 2 weeks of the meeting taking place.

    The EHC casework team has 4 weeks from the date of the meeting to make a decision as to whether to maintain, cease to maintain (discontinue) or amend the child or young person’s EHC plan.

    If the EHC casework team makes amends to the child’s EHC plan, the team will send the new EHC draft plan to you as a parent or carer.

    You then will have 15 days to review the content and, if relevant, request to name a particular school.

    The EHC casework team will then issue a final amended EHC plan as soon as practicable and within 8 weeks after sending the initial EHC draft plan.

    Whatever the decision, the EHC casework team will provide details on how to exercise your right to appeal via the First-tier SEND Tribunal (SENDIST).

What you need to do to prepare

You will be given at least 2 weeks’ notice of the annual review meeting.  

You should ask for information in advance about the meetings so that you can make the best use of them.

Take time to prepare for the meetings. Use them as an opportunity to think about how further education or training can support any career plans and lead to employment.

You can bring someone with you to these meetings with you if you think this will be this useful. This can be a family member, friend or someone from a service that you find helpful.

Before the meeting

Before the meeting, make sure you understand:

  • where the meeting is
  • the time
  • who will be there
  • why it is happening
  • what you want to achieve
  • what outcomes others might want
  • the views of your child

You should also consider:

  • your feelings – how might you behave?
  • others' feelings – how might they behave?

Make sure to:

  • write down all the questions you want to ask
  • check you have all the information and paperwork you need

During the meeting

Make sure you have understood everything that was said. If you don’t understand something being discussed, you can ask the person talking to explain it more clearly.

At the end of the meeting you should:

  • be happy with the way things have gone
  • feel that agreements have been reached that we can all stick to
  • know what the next step is
  • know who is coordinating action
  • know whether you will get notes or minutes of the meeting
  • know if you will see the review form (AR02) before it is sent to us
  • know when progress is going to be reviewed

Year 9 review

It may seem too early to be preparing for adulthood when your child is in Year 9, but it is important to start thinking about what they will want to do when they leave school.

The Year 9 review should start with the young person’s aspirations and ideas for adult life and how these can be met.

This is an opportunity to look beyond educational needs and to include wider aspects of life such as their:

  • health needs
  • personal and social development
  • training and employment
  • transport needs and independent travel
  • housing and leisure activities

Your expectations for your child's adult life should also be included.

Any specialist communication needs, including interpretation or translation services, should be identified and support provided at the review meeting.

You and your child should be helped to identify any key individuals, such as advocates, that you want to be present for the review.

Other relevant professionals should be invited to the review and should provide information to support the review.

Year 10 and 11 reviews

The Year 10 and 11 reviews should be carried out in the same way as the Year 9 review with:

  • the young person’s aspirations and ideas at the centre
  • any specialist communication needs identified and support provided at the review meeting
  • key individuals identified that you or your child want to be present for the review

The SENCO or another designated member of staff in the school should help the young person prepare for the review by helping them to develop a person-centred plan.

Other relevant professionals (as before) should be invited to the review and should provide information to support the review:

  • careers advisors need to be involved to ensure applications for post-16 education are made and timed to meet deadlines
  • transition workers need to establish when the young person is likely to cease full-time education either from school or further education

If a young person has a disability and is likely to be eligible for adult services, their children’s social worker should make a referral to the learning disability transition team in adult social care when the young person is aged 16. 

The transition team will be available to provide the young person and their parents or carers with general information and advice about adult services including personalisation, and advice regarding benefits and charges.

The transition plan should be updated with key action points and those responsible for carrying them out. A lead person will be confirmed to oversee the delivery of the plan.

Additional actions at the Year 11 review

The transition plan needs to include:

  • issues around transport – the post-16 transport policy will differ from the home-to-school transport policy
  • moving from school to college – agreeing with the young person that their information may be shared with a post-16 education provider and course tutors
  • ensuring the young person has access to careers and learning advisor support
  • funding applications and longer-term plans
  • health services, including the young person’s GP, are made aware of the young person's needs
  • agreement on who coordinates the next review

EHCP annual review resources

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