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EHC Plan Annual Review

If your child or young person has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), it must be kept under review. This takes place at least every 12 months and would focus on your child’s or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes set out in their plan and if they are still appropriate.

If your child is under 5 the Local Authority should review the plan every 3-6 months to make sure the provision is appropriate.

If your child/young person is moving into school or a new educational setting their EHC plan must be reviewed and amended in time to allow enough time to plan their support at their new placement.

All reviews taking place from year 9 onwards must include a focus on adulthood (employment and independent living). 

What happens at a review?

  • Any information or reports gathered would be looked at to see if it can be used by the early years setting/school/college to support your child/young person’s progress.
  • The Educational, Health and Social Care provision would be reviewed to decide if it is still relevant and helping your child/young person make progress towards their outcomes set out in the plan.
  • Is the EHC plan still appropriate? Has there has been a change to your child’s or young person’s circumstances? If so, changes to the plan may be needed. E.g. Additional provision, change of placement or if the EHCP is still needed at all.
  • Agreement on outcomes and any interim targets.

The review is an opportunity to reflect on your child’s progress, celebrate successes and to plan for the coming year. The reviews are undertaken with you and your child/young person and must take account of your wishes, thoughts and feelings. The Annual Review consists of four parts:

  • Collecting information
  • The review meeting
  • The report of the review meeting
  • The local authority decision following the review meeting. This may lead to amendments being made or the plan being ceased.

When will it happen?

The first review must take place within 12 months of the date the EHC plan was issued and then within 12 months of the previous review. The local authority must then notify parents of their decision following the review meeting within 4 weeks of the date of the meeting (and this must be within the 12 months’ time limit).

The local authority writes to the school, setting or college at the beginning of every term to tell them which children’s reviews are due that term. They also give a list to the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Social Care department so that Health and Social Care professionals can plan in advance to attend review meetings and/or provide information for the review.

The school then arranges a date and time for the annual review meeting. The school must invite (with at least 2 weeks notice) the following people:

  • Parents/carers, or the child/young person
  • A representative from the school, setting or college - usually the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo)
  • A representative from the Health service and a Social Care representative
  • Anyone else relevant to the review should also be invited.

If there is anyone else you want to be there, you can ask for them to be invited. You can take a friend or relative with you if you wish. RIASS can also support you at these meetings.

Collecting Information

The school, setting or college must ask for advice and information about your child or young person from everyone invited. Any reports gathered must be sent out to all those invited at least two weeks before the meeting, so that everyone has time to read the reports. Your views are extremely important and should be recorded.

You might like to think about:

  • Your views regarding your child’s progress over the past year
  • What has gone well
  • Any concerns you may have
  • Things that might have affected your child’s progress
  • What you hope to see achieved during the next year.

If you would like any help with this, contact Redbridge Information, Advice and Support Service (RIASS) 0208 708 8939 riass@redbridge.gov.uk

The school should make sure that your child’s views are also recorded. If written reports are not sent out in advance and you are given the reports at the beginning of the meeting, you can ask for the start of the meeting to be delayed whilst you read them.

The review meeting

Most review meetings will be held at and led by the educational setting. It is also their responsibility to make sure a signer or interpreter is present, if needed.

Wherever possible your child should be actively involved. They should give their views on how well they have done over the year, talk about any problems and share their hopes for the future. If they do not want to come to the meeting, someone should help them write down their views.

The meeting must focus on your child or young person’s progress towards the outcomes set and what changes might need to be made to help them achieve these outcomes. The meeting will also need to look at whether the plan is still appropriate. This includes looking at how your child is included in school life and any changes needed to support greater inclusion. This may include a discussion as to whether the school is still the most appropriate place for your child to attend.

If differing opinions are expressed at the meeting, then all the different views should be written down so that the local authority is aware that not everyone is in agreement.

The meeting is a time to start planning for the coming year. New targets may also be discussed and agreed.

If your child receives transport to and from school, then this may also be reviewed at the meeting to make sure it is still needed.

The review meeting is not able to make any decisions about changes to the plan. They can make recommendations, but it is the local authority who make the final decisions.

Report of the review meeting

The school must prepare a report and send this to everyone invited to the meeting within two weeks of the date the meeting was held. This report must set out any recommendations for changes to the EHC plan. The report will make clear if any disagreements about progress, needs or changes occurred.

The local authority will look at the information in the report and any recommendations made. Within 4 weeks of the date of the meeting they must inform you of their decision. They can decide to:

  • Keep the EHC plan as it is
  • Amend the EHC plan
  • Cease to maintain the EHC plan.

The local authority must write to parents, and send a copy of the letter to the school, telling them what they have decided to do, and why.

If they decide to amend the EHC plan they should start this without delay. If they decide not to amend or to stop the plan they must inform you of your right to appeal against the decision, the time limits for doing this and the requirement for you to consider mediation if you are thinking of appealing.