Information Series – November
What is an Annual Review?
The Annual Review of EHC plans is a process. This means that EHC plans should be used to actively monitor children and young people’s progress towards their outcomes and longer term aspirations.
They must be reviewed by the Local Authority as a minimum every 12 months. Parents or carers and Children and Young People must be involved.
(If your child is under five then the Local Authority should consider doing a review every three to six months.)
What should an Annual Review do?
- Reviews must focus on the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC plan.
- Consider whether these outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate.
- Review whether the support currently in place is working well or not.
- Agree any new outcomes needed.
Who is responsible?
The Local Authority has responsibility for ensuring the review happens. In practice they can delegate the organisation of the meeting to the school or setting where the meeting will usually take place
Who is involved in the Annual Review?
The following people should be invited to attend an Annual Review:
- You and where appropriate your child or young person
- A representative of the school or setting
- A Local Authority SEN officer
- A health service representative
- A local authority social care representative
- Anyone else involved who you, your child or young person or the Head teacher think should be invited to contribute.
The school or setting must seek advice and information about the child or young person from all of those invited to attend and must circulate it at least two weeks before the date of the meeting.
- The SEND Code of Practice says:
9.169 Professionals across education, health and care must co-operate with local authorities
The SEND Code of Practice says:
9.179 Children, parents and young people should be supported to engage fully in the review meeting.
9.169 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.
Giving your views as the parent/carer
As a parent/carer and invitee to the annual review you will be asked for your views.
Things to consider:
- How things are going at the educational setting?
- Are your child or young person’s needs being met? If not, what needs to change?
- Have there been any changes since the last review regarding your child or young person’s health or social care needs?
- Are there emerging needs in a new area that are as yet unassessed?
- What do you want to happen over the next year?
What are outcomes?
The Code of Practice says:
9.66 An outcome can be defined as the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. It should be personal and not expressed from a service perspective; it should be something that those involved have control and influence over, and while it does not always have to be formal or accredited, it should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART).
More about outcomes
Outcomes should always enable children and young people to move towards the long-term aspirations of employment or higher education, independent living and community participation.
From year 9 onwards the Annual Review meeting should also consider the four “Preparing for Adulthood” pathways: Education, Employment and Training, Independent Living, Health and Community Inclusion.
At the Annual Review meeting
The school or LA should identify whether the needs (section B), Outcomes (section E) and Provision (section F) are relevant and up to date.
Have outcomes been achieved? Are changes needed?
Has any request been made for a personal budget?
Recommendations of Annual Review meeting/Annual Review report of meeting
Recommendations should be submitted to the Local Authority (if they are not conducting the meeting) along with their report of the meeting and must include any difference of opinion between the school or other institution’s recommendations and those of others attending the meeting, including parents and young people.
Transfer between phases of education
Special time limits. When does an Annual Review have to take place?
An EHC Plan must be reviewed and any amendments must be completed by the following dates in the year of transfer:
0-16. February – moves between each Key Stage up to secondary e.g. nursery to school, KS1 to KS2.
Post 16. March – secondary school to a post-16 institution or apprenticeship.
After the Annual Review meeting
The Local Authority must send the report of the meeting to everyone who was invited within two weeks of the meeting.
In practice the school or setting generally undertake to carry out this function.
Local authority must make a decision after the review meeting
The local authority review your child’s EHC Plan based on the meeting and must decide to:
- amend the plan,
- maintain the current wording (ie not change the plan)
- cease the plan or
In some circumstances the local authority may decide to re-assess your child’s needs.
Notification of decision
No matter what the local authority decide, it must write to you with its decision and reasons for it, within four weeks of the review meeting.
Decision to amend or change the plan
If the local authority decides to change the EHC plan, it should start the process of amendment without delay.
The LA must:
- send a copy of the EHC plan to the parents or young person with notice of proposed amendments and any evidence.
- inform the parent/young person of their rights to make representations about the content of the EHC plan and to request a particular school/institution.
The parent or CYP has 15 calendar days to decide whether or not to agree the changes.
If change is agree an updated EHC plan will be issued.
How to gather views of the Child or Young Person?
Annual review should be person centred.
Schools and local suthorities should endure that the CYP has the support they need to give their views.
You can use videos, PowerPoint or pictures.
Here is a link to our Annual Review Toolkit (PDF)
SEND and You can support you with this too. Email email@example.com or call our Information, Advice and Support line on 0117 9897725
Supportive Parents Resource: Preparing for an Annual Review
Supportive Parents Resource: Annual Review Toolkit
Council for disabled children: What is an Annual Review? Information and animation.
Council for disabled children: What is Person Centred Planning? Information and animation.
Council for disabled children: How to share your views for your annual review
Preparing for Adulthood: Final Annual Review Guide
Preparing for Adulthood: Year 9 Annual Review Guide
Preparing for Adulthood: Model for writing PfA Outcomes using the ‘Outcome Sandwich’