EHCP Annual Review Process
A child or young person’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan must be reviewed at least once a year by the Local Authority. This is to ensure it continues to provide the support the child or young person needs. The annual review is the statutory process of looking at the needs and provision specified in an EHC plan, and deciding whether these need to change.
The Annual Review is more than just a review meeting. It is a process that must be completed on or before the anniversary of when the EHCP was first issued or the anniversary of the last review. It is laid down in law and in the SEND Code of Practice (CoP). There are five steps involved.
Although the overall review process is the Local Authority's (LA) responsibility, it is usual practice for steps one to four to be delegated by the LA to the school, or other education provider, referred to on this page as the host.
Watch the following video from CDC for more information on annual reviews.
EHCP Annual Review Timeline
The host will write to all the professionals involved with the child or young person. This may also include specific professionals employed by the school. They must also write to the parent or young person inviting them to contribute their views, wishes and feelings.
This should include their view of the current arrangements. It should provide an opportunity to discuss changes which the parent or young person may want to be made to the EHCP.
These reports should be sent to the host within two weeks of the request being made.
“Reviews must focus on the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC plan. The review must also consider whether these outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate.” (CoP 9.166)
The host will then send out invitations to all those required to attend (CoP 9.176), at least two weeks before the date of the Annual Review meeting.
The host is also required to circulate copies of all the reports they have received with the invitations. This will usually be the same people they contacted in Step 1. It may also include others if it is thought their assistance or contribution may be required.
The Annual Review meeting should be held in the style of a Person-Centred Planning Meeting. Whatever format the meeting takes, it must enable full involvement of the parent, child or young person and consider their views wishes and feelings especially when making decisions. (CoP 9.166 to 9.168 and Section 19 Principles).
Including the 7 points below will help to ensure that the meeting does not simply focus on how things have been in the past year in school, but will be looking forward.
The meeting should:
- Focus on progress made towards achieving outcomes
- Establish whether the current outcomes remain appropriate and if required agree new ones
- Review the short-term targets and set new ones
- Review the special educational provision and the arrangements for delivering it to ensure it is still appropriate and enabling good progress
- Review any health and social care provision and check its effectiveness towards achieving the outcomes
- Check if the aspirations have changed
- Check if the parent or young person would like to request a Personal Budget
Reviews must be undertaken in partnership with the child and their parent or the young person, and must take account of their views, wishes and feelings, including their right to request a Personal Budget.
After the meeting, the host must prepare a report that includes any recommendations for amendments to be made to the EHCP. This should include where there are differences of opinions and not just the general consensus. This must be sent to everyone who had been invited and the LA within two weeks of the meeting taking place.
Upon receiving the report, the LA must decide which one of the three following options applies. Whether the EHCP:
- Should remain unchanged
- Needs to be amended
- Should be ceased
The LA must inform the parent or young person of this decision within four weeks from the Annual Review meeting and this date should be no later than the anniversary of either when the EHCP was first issued, or the last review meeting.