Credit: Video is from the Council for disabled children (CDC)
More information and access to online training and resources is available on the CDC website. The training is free to access and aimed at staff employed to deliver Independent Support locally, staff working in local Information, Advice and Support services, local authority SEND teams and others who might benefit from the learning.
Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans must be reviewed every 12 months (if a child is under five years old, reviews must be six monthly).
The purpose of the review is:
- to listen, consider the young person’s views on how the year has been, discussing areas of strength and difficulty,
- to bring together the views of everyone who supports the child,
- to review the special educational needs and consider whether there are any changes,
- to review how well the outcomes in the EHC plan are being achieved and whether the long term targets remain challenging and appropriate,
- to review provision and consider whether there are any changes required,
- to set new targets for the next year, which the school will work towards outside of the EHC Plan.
The templates and forms to be used during an annual review are below.
Annual Review Documents
- 1a Guidance for Professionals Dec 2020 (download docx)
- 1b Guidance for Parents Carers Dec 2020 (download docx)
- 2 Annual Review Meeting Report (download docx)
- Preparing for Adulthood Year 9 (download docx)
- Appendix 1 Young Persons Views (download docx)
- Appendix 2 Parents Views (download docx)
- Appendix 3 Class Teacher Views (download docx)
When does the Annual Review take place?
The first Review must be held within 12 months of the date when the EHC plan was issued, and then within 12 months of any previous Review.
The timing of the Review will be different for each child/young person and can be any time during the school year. Annual Reviews can be held less than a year since the last Review if there are important issues to discuss. If the child is under 5, a review is carried out every 6 months. There may be times when the Annual Reviews will need to be scheduled at specific times.
For children and young people moving to a new school (phase transfer), the Review and any amendments to the Plan must be completed by 15th February in the year of the transfer.
The key phases of transfer are from:
- early years provider to school
- infant school to junior school in the Maidenhead system (Year 2)
- first school to middle school in the Windsor system(Year 4)
- primary school to secondary school in the Maidenhead system (Year 6) and
- middle school to upper school in the Windsor system (Year 8)
For young people moving from secondary school to a post-16 institution or apprenticeship, these must be completed by 31st March.
For looked after children the Annual Review should, if possible and appropriate, coincide with one of the reviews in their Care Plan and in particular the personal education plan (PEP) element of the Care Plan.
Who will be invited to the meeting
The education setting will usually set the date of the review meeting and hold the meeting. The education setting will invite:
- you the child’s parents/the young person
- a range of professionals including: a representative of the school/setting/college, a local authority SEN officer, a health service representative and a local authority social care representative.
any other relevant professionals or a member of staff from the receiving school if the child/young person is moving school.
You can also bring a friend, relative or independent person to the Annual Review. If you would like an independent person to attend the meeting to help you express your views you can also contact the Information, Advice and Support Service (IAS)
What happens before the meeting
Usually 4-6 weeks before the Review meeting (and at least 2 weeks before the meeting) the education setting will invite you to the meeting and will also request advice and information from you, your child/young person and the professionals invited to the meeting.
You and your child/young person will be asked about what you think is working well, any concerns you may have, any changes that need to be considered to the outcomes in their plan or provision for the coming year and your hopes and aspirations for the future.
Two weeks before the meeting, the education setting will send out copies of all the reports, information and advice about your child/young person’s progress to everyone invited to the meeting.
What happens at the meeting
The meeting will usually be chaired by the education setting and will focus on your child/young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes in their EHC plan.
You and your child/young person will be asked for your views and should feel free to ask any questions about the reports provided or comments made.
The purpose of the Review is:
- To see if there have been any changes in your child/young person’s circumstances and needs.
- To check your child/young person’s progress towards the identified outcomes in the EHC Plan and their longer term aspirations and celebrate successes over the last year.
- To review if the education, health and care provision is effective in ensuring good progress towards outcomes.
- To review interim targets set by the education provider and set new targets for the coming year and where appropriate agree new outcomes.
- To agree if the EHC Plan remains appropriate, whether changes are required or if the EHC Plan is no longer needed.
Any existing Personal Budget will also be reviewed at the meeting
All Annual Reviews from Year 9 onwards will also have a particular focus on preparing the young person’s transition to adulthood, including employment, independent living and participation in society. As this will involve looking at options for the next phase of education, representatives of post-16 institutions can also be invited to these Review meetings.
What happens after the meeting
The education setting writes a report outlining what was discussed and sends a copy of this report to the family, everyone invited to the meeting and to the Local Authority within 2 weeks of the meeting. The report sets out recommendations about any amendments required to the EHC plan.
Within four weeks of the review meeting, the Local Authority will consider this report and decide whether to keep the EHC Plan as it is, amend it, or cease to maintain it and will send a letter (amendment notice) to you/the young person to inform you of the decision.
If the Authority decides not to amend the Plan or to cease it, you/the young person have the right to appeal that decision and will be given information about the time limits for doing so.
If the Authority is going to amend the EHC Plan, these changes will be sent to you and you will have 15 calendar days to send in any comments or meet with the Local Authority to discuss this. The Local Authority will then send you the final amended EHC plan within 8 weeks of sending you the amendment notice.
Further information is available in Chapter 9 of the SEN and Disability Code of Practice (0-25 years).
You can also contact the Children and Young People Disability Service (CYPDS) with any queries about the Annual Review process.