What is an Annual Review?

If the child or young person has an EHC Plan, the Local Authority (LA) must review within 12 months of the date when the EHC plan was issued, and then within 12 months of any previous review. For children who are under 5 year old, a review may take place every 3-6 months.

The review looks at the child/young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC plan. Then a discussion will take place to decide whether changes are required to the outcomes, help the child/young person receives, change of educational setting or whether the EHCP should discontinue/stop.

Emergency or Early Annual Review

An Annual Review can take place earlier than the 12 months date if you, the school or the LA have concerns about the child/young person’s progress or if the educational setting is no longer able to meet the child/young person needs.

Before the meeting

  • The LA contacts the educational setting to inform the child/young person’s EHC plan is due for review (no later than the 11th month from date of the final EHC plan last issued) If the child/young person does not attend and educational setting, it is the LA who conducts the meeting

  • The Head/SENCo must request written advice from all the professionals working with the child/young person. This includes the views of parents and the child/young person’s

  • The Head/SENCo sends an invitation to the annual review meeting

  • The Head/SENCo sends copies of the written reports to all those invited to the annual review at least 2 weeks before it takes place (including comments from those who are unable to attend the meeting)

Note: if you did not get these reports at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled annual review meeting, you could request for this date to be changed to a later day so you can have the chance to read those reports before attending the meeting

Who attends the Annual Review?

  • Parents/Carers

  • The child or the young person

  • The school Head Teacher or special educational needs coordinator (SENCo)

  • Class teacher / Learning Support Assistant (LSA)

  • Anyone else who supports the child/young person (Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist (OT); Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT), Learning Support Assistant (LSA )

  • A representative from the Westminster SEN Team (usually your named keyworker)

How is the meeting arranged?

The Head/SENCo should do their best to arrange the meeting on a day and time that is easy for you to attend and for the other professionals working with the child/young person. It is possible that not everyone invited will be able to attend the meeting but their written advice must be submitted in advance.

Your views are important and you can make a real difference to the meeting by attending and sharing your views. You can discuss what the child/young person is like at home; how he /she has improved and what difficulties they are experiencing since last his/her last review.

You are able to take a friend or an independent person such as somebody from the Information Advice Support Service (IASS) to the meeting. Please let the Head teacher/SENCo know if you will be bringing anyone with you to the meeting.

What should I include in my report?

  • The parent and child/young person’s views and aspirations (also known as section A of the EHC plan)

  • The child/young person’s progress over the last academic year

  • What you are happy about and any concerns

  • How you feel your child is coping both at home and school

  • What you feel are your child’s needs in school for the coming year

  • What you think the school can do to meet those needs

What happens after the annual review meeting?

The educational setting must prepare report recommending any changes to the EHC plan and send a copy of the report to the LA, including the written advice obtained from all those invited.

The LA must send their decision to the parent/young person and the school within 4 weeks of the meeting about whether:

  • continue to maintain the EHC plan in its current form (no changes made to the EHC plan);

  • amend it; or

  • cease to maintain it (EHC plan will stop)

What if I do not agree with the outcomes of the meeting?

If the Local Authority decides to make changes to the EHC plan or decides not to continue the plan, they MUST inform the child’s parents or the young person of their rights to appeal that decision. This must include the time limits for doing so, the requirements to consider mediation if they want to appeal and the availability of Information, Advice, Support Service (IASS) and disagreement resolution service.

Transfer between phases of education  

Children and young people that are moving from the following:

  • Early years provider (nursery) to school (reception)

  • Infant (KS1) to junior (KS2) school

  • Primary to secondary school

  • Secondary to post-16 institution or apprenticeship

These annual reviews should be conducted the same way as any other however:

  • The EHC plan must be reviewed and amended in sufficient time prior to a child or young person moving to the new educational setting

  • For young people moving from secondary school to a post-16 institution or apprenticeship, the review and any amendments to the EHC plan – including specifying the post-16 provision and naming the institution – must be completed by the 31st March in the calendar year of the transfer

  • All reviews taking place from Year 9 at the latest and onwards must include a focus on preparing for adulthood, including employment, independent living and participation in society. This transition planning should be included in the EHC plan