Reviewing an education, health and care plan (EHCP)

The law states that education, health and care plans must be reviewed annually for children and young people over the age of 5. Children under the age of 5 will have a review of the plan every 3-6 months.  This is called an annual review meeting.

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EHCP Annual Reviews

The meeting is an opportunity for you, your child, and the professionals who support your child to meet discuss progress and review the content of the plan. 

Annual reviews must focus on your child’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHCP.  The review must also consider whether changes are needed to support achieving these outcomes and where the targets remain appropriate.  This is the time to recommend any changes to the outcomes that have been met. 

An annual review is not a decision-making meeting.  At the meeting, recommendations are made to the council who will then make a final decision based on those recommendations together with supporting evidence. 

This video, produced by the Council for Disabled Children, gives an overview of annual reviews.  

What happens at an EHCP annual review  

The EHCP co-ordination team coordinate the statutory process of annual reviews.  They will offer dates in advance to education settings and schools when annual reviews should take place.  They will not necessarily attend an annual review. 

The council have a legal responsibility to ensure that annual reviews take place.  If your child does not attend a school or other institution or is educated at home, the council will arrange the annual review. 

Your child’s views, wishes and feelings should be recorded as part of the review.  Input into their reviews should be done using person-centred planning approaches. 

You can read more about person-centred approaches in our article ‘how to include your child’s views in meetings’

You can download a flowchart that shows a timeline for how annual reviews happen in South Gloucestershire along with guidance on annual reviews.  Further infomation around best practise for Annual reviews is available in the Inclusion toolkit section 5.6. 

Key annual review meetings  

Sometimes an annual review meeting will need to focus on the next phase of your child’s educational journey, for example:

  • early years provider to school 

  • infant to junior school 

  • primary school to middle school 

  • primary school to secondary school 

  • middle school to secondary 

This is sometimes known as a transfer between phases of education and must be completed with the final plan issued by the 15th Feb in the year preceding the phase transfer.  When a young person is moving from secondary school to a post-16 placement or apprenticeship the final plan must be issued by 31 March in the calendar year before the planned change.  

Preparing for adulthood (PfA) review 

All annual reviews that happen in Year 9 must include a focus on preparing for adulthood.  This is when preparing for adulthood planning begins and the process of looking ahead to the move out of school and into adult life begins.  

The ‘preparing for adulthood (PfA)’ section on the SEND local offer will describe what other options are available for your child.  You may also receive input from the council’s PFA Team at a year 9 annual review. You can read more about the PFA team.    

PfA transition planning must be built into the EHCP and, where relevant, should include effective planning for young people moving from children’s services to adult care and health services. 

If your child is moving to Post 16 provision, they will require their EHCP to be amended and completed by the 31 March of Year 11. 

If your child is moving between Post 16 settings, their EHCP should be reviewed and amended 5 months before the transfer is due to happen.  

What an early review is  

An early review (sometimes referred to as emergency review) is one that takes place outside the normal 12 month period.  An early review can be requested at any time by a parent/carer, young person, a setting or practitioner if there are any significant changes of circumstances such as: 

  • a school identifies that a pupil with an EHCP is at serious risk of disaffection or exclusion 

  • your child’s education, health or social care needs have changed and are no longer accurately described in the EHCP 

  • your child’s education, health or social care provision in the EHCP is no longer meeting their needs  

  • it was recommended at the previous annual review  

Further Information  

Supportive Parents who provide the SEND information, advice and support service (SENDIASS) for children, young people and families in South Gloucestershire 

IPSEA is the Independent Provider of Special Education Advice and provides information about annual reviews on their website 

Contact is a national charity that supports families who have children with disabilities. Details about the EHCP annual reviews are on their website.    

 

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