Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCP) must be reviewed annually. The SEND Code of Practice 2014 sets out the expectations of how the annual review process must take place. This includes a timeline, who should be involved and what the review must include.
In Bolton, there is information in the SEND Handbook to support the annual review process, including templates that settings and support services can use to record their information.
The annual review process is the way in which your child or young person’s progress is monitored and is one of the ways to request amendments to their EHCP.
The annual review must focus on your child or young person’s progress towards achieving their outcomes and short-term targets, which are in Section E of their plan.
Annual reviews must be undertaken in partnership with the child or young person and their parents or carers, and must take account of their views, wishes and feelings.
The annual review meeting should be held within 12 months of the last review, or 12 months from when an EHC Plan is first issued. Therefore, you should expect a meeting to be scheduled around 10 months after the last review.
In order to allow for good preparation for the review, the proposed meeting date should allow sufficient time for information gathering from professionals involved with your child or young person.
It is generally considered that the child or young person’s setting should host the review meeting.
There may be a difference between who is invited and who attends the review. Everyone who needs to contribute a report should receive an invite to the review meeting. Attendance will vary depending on the service and the current progress of your child or young person. Invites should be issued to the Local Authority (LA), health professionals - including CAMHS, social care, and other services such as Ladywood and Behaviour Support.
The setting must seek advice and information (reports) about your child or young person prior to the meeting. This includes requesting information from parents or carers and the child or young person. The setting must make sure that any reports gathered are circulated to everyone invited to the meeting, at least two weeks before the meeting, this includes the parents or carers and child or young person’s views. This allows everyone to read the reports before the meeting.
The review meeting will focus on your child or young person’s progress towards their outcomes specified in their EHC plan. Bolton's review paperwork template can be utilised to support the format of the review meeting. When considering your child or young person’s progress it is necessary to think about what changes might need to be made to their support to help them progress. Sometimes it is just the short-term targets that need to be amended to do this. Sometimes it is necessary to make more significant requests for changes to your child's or young person’s EHC Plan. These should be captured in the annual review summary.
Within two weeks of the review meeting, the setting must send a report of the meeting to the LA, and also to everyone who was invited, including parents or carers. In Bolton there is an annual review summary template that is used for this. It must make clear any amendments required to the EHC plan. This might include requesting additional support or requesting a change of setting named in section I of the EHC Plan. Within four weeks of the review meeting, the LA must notify parents or carers and the child or young person’s setting of their response to the review.
Local Authority response
The LA will issue a letter explaining if they are going to amend the plan, or if they propose to keep the plan the same, or if they are considering ceasing the EHC Plan. There are specific circumstances in which an EHC Plan may be ceased which are described here.
If the plan is to be amended, the LA should start the process of amendment without delay. If the LA does not agree to make the amendments requested, the right to appeal will be detailed within the decision letter.