Annual Reviews

If a child or young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) the Local Authority (LA) must review the EHCP at least once a year.

The Review must focus on progress towards achieving the outcomes or goals set out in their EHCP and:

  • From year 9, focus on preparing for adulthood
  • For children under 5, the review should take place every 3-6 months

Reviews must take into account the views, wishes and feelings of children, young people and parents. If there’s any concern about progress, the review may be brought forward.

What is an Annual Review of an Education, Health and Social Care (EHC) plan?

Below are some FAQ’s that explain further about the Annual Review of an ECHP.  Alternatively, you can contact the service directly to ask questions or seek support at a meeting.

Why does there need to be an Annual Review?

An Annual Review is held to consider if the outcomes or targets have been achieved. New outcomes and provision can be set if needed, and aspirations changed.

The purpose of the meeting is to review the EHCP by:

• Bringing together all those involved in helping achieve the outcomes set out in the plan

• Gathering and considering information so that it can be used to support future progress

• Reviewing the effectiveness of any special educational, health or social care provision made for a child/YP

• Considering whether any changes need to be made to the EHCP including medium and long term outcomes

• Considering whether an EHCP should continue

Who may attend?

The Head Teacher must invite:

• Parent/carers or the young person

• A relevant teacher, who may be the class teacher or form/year tutor, the SENCO, or some other person responsible for the provision of their education

• A representative from the Local Authority.  Your SENAT Officer will be invited, however, they will not be able to attend every review. If you have any concerns, make sure that you contact them to let them know you would like them to be at the meeting

• A Health Service representative and a Local Authority Social Care representative if required

• Anyone else the Head Teacher/Principal considers appropriate

It is unlikely that everyone invited will be able to attend the review meeting. The Head Teacher/Principal should try to ensure that the date of the meeting is convenient for you and for those people who it is important to have there.

What happens before the meeting?

The Head Teacher/Principal must ask for written reports from:

• You (the school/college may give you a form to use if you wish)

• Teachers or tutors

• Other people invited to the review meeting

The Head Teacher/Principal must then:

• Send copies of the written reports to all those invited to the review meeting at least two weeks before it takes place

• Invite further views, including comments from those who are unable to attend the meeting

What should I include in my report?

Comments on:

• Progress over the last year

• What has pleased you, and also any concerns

• What needs to be considered in school/college for the coming year

• What you think you and the school/college can do to help meet those needs

• The child /YP’s views about school/college

How children and young people are involved:

• Pupils should be encouraged to give their views in the review process, as they must be taken into account at the review

• Wherever possible, they should attend all or part of the annual review meeting, especially from year 9

• As a parent, you may wish to talk to the school about your child/YP’s involvement in the review process

What happens at the review meeting?

The review meeting must focus on progress made towards achieving the outcomes set out in the EHCP. The EHCP must be looked at to see if it still meets the needs. The meeting will usually include the following:

• The extent to which the outcomes (goals) in the EHCP, or those agreed at the previous annual review, have been met

• Medium and long term outcomes for the next year

• Planning the support from school/college and other people to help achieve these objectives

• Any further action required, and who will be responsible for this

• Whether the EHCP needs amending or is no longer required

• If you do not agree with what is being suggested at the meeting, try to make that clear and write to your SENAT Officer at the LA

• Review or request a personal budget

• For young people over 18, the Local Authority must consider if the training or educational outcomes have been achieved

• From year 9 onwards, there must be a focus on preparing for Adulthood

What happens next?

Within two weeks, the school must prepare a report of the meeting and send it to everyone invited. The report must set out recommendations on any amendments or changes required to the EHCP, and should refer to any differences between the school’s recommendations and those of others attending the meeting.

Within four weeks of the meeting, the Local Authority must let you know their decision and decide whether to:

• Keep the EHCP as it is

• Amend or change it

• Cease to maintain it, and to let you know of their decision

Their letter must also tell you about:

• Your right to appeal that decision and the time limits for doing so

• The requirement for you to consider mediation should you wish to appeal

• Contact information for disagreement resolution, and advice and support from us at Luton SENDIAS Service

This is the end of the annual review process.

What happens when the Local Authority propose to amend the EHCP?

The Local Authority must send you a copy of your child’s existing EHCP saying what they are going to change. They must also send you any supporting evidence or information these changes come from.

• You have 15 days to consider and make comments on these changes. You can ask for a meeting with your SENAT Officer to discuss it if you are not happy – they may be able to make changes. You can ask that a particular school be named in the EHCP

• If the Local Authority decides to go ahead with making amendments. they must issue an amended EHCP within 8 weeks of the original notice. This should clearly show which parts have been amended, include the minutes of the Annual Review meeting and any relevant reports should be attached

• If the Local Authority decides not to make the changes or amendments, they must inform you, giving reasons, within 8 weeks

• The Local Authority must tell you about your right to appeal

What happens when the Local Authority propose to cease the EHCP?

• You must be informed and consulted

• Support should not be withdrawn before the end of the current academic year

• Again, you have the right of appeal

• If you do register an appeal, the EHCP must be maintained until the appeal has been decided

If you disagree with the decision made by the Local Authority:

• You should discuss this with your SENAT Officer

• You have the right to use the mediation service. This will involve the help of an independent mediator who can help people try to reach an agreement.

• You can also appeal to the First Tier Tribunal, two months from the date on the decision letter or one month from the mediation certificate, whichever is the later

• Ring us at Luton SENDIAS Service or look on our website for more information

What is a transition plan?

Annual Reviews from Year 9 (Age 14) onwards

From Year 9 onwards, Annual Reviews must include a focus on preparing for adulthood including employment, independent living and participation in society.

When a child is in Year 9, a transition plan will be drawn up as part of the Annual Review.

The plan helps children and YP think about their future including GCSE options or alternatives and what they would like to do once they are 16 and beyond. This transition plan also looks at the child’s/YP’s aspirations and needs as adult life approaches, and must be built into the EHCP. The transition plan is updated at each annual review meeting until they are 25 (if they still have an EHCP).

The review must include:

• Higher education and/or employment – exploring different employment options, such as support for becoming self-employed and help from supported employment agencies

• Independent living – young people having choice, freedom and control over their lives, their support, and their accommodation and living arrangements, including supported living

• Participating in society – having friends and supportive relationships, and participating in and contributing to the local community

• Being as healthy as possible in adult life

• The school, who will provide information about the learning programme of support.   Schools also have a duty to provide independent and impartial careers guidance for children and young people.

• Children and YP will be able to say what they feel their needs are and what they would like to do after leaving school.  Their views, wishes and feelings should be recorded.

• Parents and family will be able to give their views on what they would like for the child/YP after they leave school. They can also discuss what practical help may be needed, and how they can support them in developing their personal and social skills needed in adult life, including the possibility of a personal budget.

• Social Care, so that arrangements can be made for any assessment under the Disabled Persons Act 1986 and/or the Care Act 2014.

• Health Service, who will provide advice on the services that are likely to be required.

• A Post-16 institution representative should be invited, especially if your child/YP has expressed a desire to attend a particular college.

Who will be involved?

All 16-19 year old YP will be expected, but not required, to be in some form of education or training, full or part time. This can continue until the age of 25 for those with an EHCP and should continue to address their needs and aspirations.

This does not mean YP have to stay at school. They could:

• Attend full or part time education at college

• Take up an apprenticeship

• Take a Traineeship or Supported Internship, which involves work experience and study

• Go to work (The ECHP will then cease)

There are helpful booklets and information about preparing for adult life on the SENDIAS website and also on the SEND Luton local Offer website:  https://directory.luton.gov.uk/kb5/luton/directory/localoffer.page