Annual Reviews of an EHC Plan
The annual review is the statutory process of looking at the needs, provision and outcomes specified in an EHC Plan, and deciding whether these need to change.
How often should the EHC Plan be reviewed?
An EHC Plan must be reviewed as a minimum every 12 months. This ensures that an EHC plan actively monitors children and young people’s progress towards their outcomes and longer-term aspirations. In some circumstances, is may be appropriate for the EHC plan to be reviewed early. For example, if the educational placement is at risk of breaking down. This is often referred to as an ‘interim’ review.
What is the purpose of the review?
An EHC plan review will focus on the child or young person’s progress towards achieving their outcomes and considers whether these outcomes remain appropriate. The EHC plan review will also review the education, health and social care provision made for the child or young person to ensure it is being effective. As part of the annual review, those attending will consider the continuing appropriateness of the EHC plan in the light of the child or young person’s progress or changed circumstances and whether changes are required or whether the EHC plan should be discontinued.
Who arranges the annual review?
In most cases, the school will hold and convene the annual review on the local authority’s behalf, holding the meeting at the educational setting. Reviews are generally most effective when led by the setting as they know the child or young person best, will have the closest contact with them and their family and will have the clearest information about progress and next steps.
Do parents need to prepare for the review?
It is useful to prepare for the meeting as the annual review is parents’ chance to formally consider the content of their child’s EHC plan. It may be that all is going well, the current outcomes and provision remain appropriate, and the plan doesn’t need amending. Or the child or young person’s needs could have changed significantly, and the provision in place to meet those needs will need to be updated.
Will the EHC plan be amended every year?
Whilst an EHC Plan is unlikely to remain the same over time, it is also not intended to be amended on a very frequent basis. Unless there are significant changes to the needs, outcomes, and provision, it may be that the EHC plan remains relevant in its current format, and the decision following the annual review is to maintain the plan as it is.
What happens when a child or young person is moving between phases of education*?
An EHC plan must be reviewed and amended in sufficient time prior to a child or young person moving between key phases of education, to allow for planning for and, where necessary, commissioning of support and provision at the new setting. For young people moving into post 16 education, the deadline for the LA to complete the review and any amendments is 31st March in the calendar year of the transfer. For all other children and young people, this must be completed by 15th February.
Is there support for families throughout the annual review process?
Yes. Central Bedfordshire Special Educational Needs & Disability Information, Advice & Support Service (CBSENDIASS) are a free impartial and confidential trained team with expertise in supporting parents/carers, children and young people on any issue related to SEND.
Further Information and who to contact
For further information on the annual review process, or to discuss your child’s EHC plan, please contact Central Bedfordshire SEND Team. Every child and young person in Central Bedfordshire with an EHC plan has an allocated SEND Officer and Senior SEND Officer within the SEND Team who will be the point of contact for schools, families and professionals and responsible for carrying out statutory duties and processes relating to the EHC plan.
Whilst it is not necessary for the allocated SEND Officer or Senior SEND Officer to attend every annual review, they will attend where there is a specific request for them to do so and there are circumstances where input from a member of the SEND Team would be beneficial as part of the annual review process. Where a child or young person does not attend a school or other institution, Central Bedfordshire SEND Team will convene the annual review meeting and complete the steps outlined in the process above.
* The key transfers between phases of education are:
- early years provider to school
- infant school to junior school
- lower school to middle school
- primary school to middle school
- primary school to secondary school
- middle school to secondary school
- secondary school to a post-16 institution or apprenticeship
- upper school to a post-16 institution or apprenticeship
Children and young people with EHC Plans : Preparing for Adulthood Reviews
At Year 9, and every review thereafter , annual reviews must include a focus on preparing for adulthood (PFA)
PFA reviews will be centred around the individual and explore children and young people’s aspirations and abilities , what they want to be able to do when they leave education or training after 16 and the support they need to achieve their ambitions.
EHCP PFA reviews should include outcomes and planning about :
- Education & Employment
- Independent Living
- Community & Inclusion
The Council for Disabled Children booklet EHC Exemplar yr 9 and beyond has more information.