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Annual reviews - assessing progress and outcomes

A short, animated film has been produced by the Council for Disabled Children. It explains what an annual review of an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is.

Upon receiving an EHCP, the setting will make suitable arrangements for monitoring progress. They will set interim and shorter-term targets for the child or young person for the coming year. Arrangements for the review of the plan will be co-ordinated by the setting.

**Important message about using the EHC Hub for Annual Reviews**

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All settings have been informed how they now need to submit reports to us.  Settings are advised that any paperwork which needs to be submitted on paper form is sent through to your SEND team District email inbox to be processed.

 The Hub will be used for

  • new assessments
  • annual reviews that have been started and are already in progress on the Hub.

Where can I get further information and support?

Your child’s setting will be able to provide you with information about the annual review process.  They will also provide any support you may need in readiness for your child’s annual review.

Further information about Annual Reviews can be found here and also on the SENDIASS website.

Process and Timescales

See our annual review process map flowchart for a summary of:

  • the annual review process
  • timescales

A plain text version is available here.

If you have queries about the process or timescale please speak to your keyworker. If you are still unsure or have concerns, the Family Practitioner Lead can help. 

Contacts for our SEND Keyworkers & Family Practitioner Leads can be found here

Will I be involved in the review?

Reviews must be undertaken in partnership with you, your child or young person. It must take account of the parents, child or young person’s:

It is expected that the child or young person is:

  • prepared for, and
  • involved in the review

in an appropriate way suited to their needs. They may wish to bring examples of how they have progressed towards the outcomes in the EHCP.

Where can I get further information and support?

Your education setting will be able to provide information about the annual review process. They will also provide any support you may need in readiness for your annual review.

SENDIASS can provide parents and young people with impartial information, advice and support.

Annual Review guidance, forms and information for practitioners can be found here

Useful information for Person Centred Annual Reviews:

When will the review take place?

Five years and over

The first review will take place within a year of the issue of the Education Health and Care Plan. It will continue on an annual basis.

Under 5 years

Reviews will take place every six months until the child reaches five years of age. They will then become annual

What will the review cover?

The review will:

  • focus on the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes. These are specified in Section E of the Education, Health and Care Plan. 

  • gather and assess information so that it can be used by the educational setting. This is to support the child or young person's progress and access to teaching and learning,

  • review the special educational provision made for the child or young person. It will also review its effectiveness in ensuring access to teaching and learning and good progress.

  • review the health and social care provision made for the child or young person. It will look at its effectiveness in ensuring progress towards outcomes.

  • consider the continuing appropriateness of the Education, Health and Care Plan. It will look at:

    • the child or young person’s progress during the previous year
    • changed circumstances and
    • whether changes are required, including any changes to
      • outcomes
      • enhanced provision
      • change of educational establishment or
      • whether the Education, Health and Care Plan should continue.

  • Set new interim targets for the coming year and, where appropriate, agree new outcomes.
  • Review any interim targets set by the education provider.

  • Plan for key changes in the child or young person’s life. This could be things such as

    • changing schools
    • moving from children to adult care
    • moving from paediatric services to adult health, or
    • moving from further education to adulthood.

  • The review of the education, health and care plan should include the review of any existing personal budget arrangements. This includes the statutory requirement to review any arrangements for direct payments.

Preparing for Adulthood

All reviews taking place from Year 9 at the latest and onwards must include a focus on preparing for adulthood. This includes:

  • employment,
  • independent living and
  • participation in society.

For looked after children, the annual review should, if possible and appropriate, coincide with one of the reviews in their care plan. In particular, the personal education plan (PEP) element of the care plan.

Who should be invited to the review and when will I receive an invite?

The following professionals should be invited, where appropriate, to the review:

  • Special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) or a representative from the education setting.

  • SEND Keyworker, Educational Psychologist, Specialist Teacher for the Vision Impaired/Hearing Impaired/Autism Inclusion Team, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Paediatric Consultant, Social Worker or representative(s).

  • Any other professionals you would like to be invited, or who are considered appropriate to improve planning and provision.

When should I receive an invite?

Two weeks before the meeting, you should receive from your child's education setting:

  • an invite for the annual review
  • reports received.

Useful information for Person Centred Annual Reviews:

What happens after the review?

You will receive a copy of the annual review report within two weeks of the review meeting date. The report sets out recommendations and any changes needed to the Education Health and Care Plan. It should also include any differences of opinion.  

The EHC Hub will send a notification to everyone involved when the school submits the review on the Hub. Parents will then be able to log on and see the report / recommendations.

Please ask the chair of the review meeting for a copy if you have not received it. 

When will I be notified of the decision?

You will be notified of the decision within four weeks of the meeting.

The EHC Hub will send a notification of the decision on the EHC Hub.  You will be able to log in to see this.  Parents will also receive a notification via email with the outcome. 

Who do I contact if I have not received the outcome of the Annual Review within four weeks of the date of the meeting?

In the first instance, please contact your keyworker.  If you still have a concern, the Family Practitioner Lead can help.

Contacts for our SEND Keyworkers and Family Practitioner Leads can be found here

The decision may be to:

  • maintain the EHCP as it is (no changes)
  • amend the EHC plan
  • cease the EHC plan (if there is no need for special educational provision to be made in accordance with a plan).

If the decision is to amend the education, health and care plan

Following a High Court ruling in February 2022, the Keyworker will need to send a proposed amended plan to you and the education provider with the notification letter.  The Plan should be finalised within 12 weeks of the Annual Review meeting date.

If you have any queries, in the first instance please contact your keyworker.  If you still have a concern, the Family Practitioner Lead can help. 

Contacts for our SEND Keyworkers & Family Practitioner Leads can be found here

If the decision is to keep the education, health and care plan as it is or cease the education health and care plan

The SEND Keyworker will write to the parent or young person to inform them of the decision and the reasons for it. You will be informed of:

  • your right to appeal the decision and the time limit for doing so
  • of the requirement to consider mediation should you wish to appeal, and
  • the availability of information, advice and support services provided by SENDIASS.

Transfer between phases of education

An education, health and care plan must be reviewed and amended in sufficient time prior to the child or young person moving between key phases of education, to allow for planning for and, where necessary, commissioning of support and provision at the new institution.

The review and any amendments must be completed by 15 February in the calendar year of the transfer at the latest for transfers into or between schools. The key transfers are:

  • early years provider to school
     
  • infant school to junior school
     
  • primary school to middle school
     
  • primary school to secondary school
     
  • middle school to secondary school

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 31 March in the calendar year of the transfer.

If a young person is moving between post-16 institutions, the review process should normally be completed by 31 March where a young person is expected to transfer to a new institution in the new academic year. However, transfers between post-16 institutions may take place at different times of the year and the review process should take account of this. In all cases, where it is proposed that a young person is to transfer between one post-16 institution and another within the following 12 months, the local authority must review and amend, where necessary, the young person’s education, health and care plan at least five months before the transfer takes place.  

In some cases, young people may not meet the entry requirements for their chosen course or change their minds about what they want to do after the 31 March or five-month deadline. Where this is the case, local authorities should review the education, health and care plan with the young person as soon as possible, to ensure that alternative options are agreed and new arrangements are in place as far in advance of the start date as practicable.

Parents and young people are written to every autumn term and asked to submit their preference form for the next school year. A SEND key worker will lead on the consultation process and amending the child or young person’s education, health and care plan.

Preparing for adulthood in reviews

All reviews taking place from year 9 at the latest must include a focus on preparing for adulthood. This includes employment, independent living and participation in society.

Transition planning must be built into the Education Health and Care Plan. Where relevant, it should also include moving a child to adult care and health services. It is important in these reviews to seek and record the child or young person's views, wishes and feelings. The review meeting organiser should invite representatives of post-16 institutions. This is important where an expression to attend a particular institution has been made by the young person.

Review meetings taking place in Year 9 should have a focus on:

  • considering options and choices for the next phase of education.
  • exit planning as the young person is nearing the end of their time in formal education.

Support, provision and outcomes should be agreed that will ensure the young person is supported to make a smooth transition. For example, moving on to higher education, employment, independent living or adult care.

More information can be found in our Preparing for Adulthood pathway.  

More information on Annual Health Checks.  People with learning disabilities from the age of 14 can have a health check every year. 

When can a local authority cease to maintain an Education, Health and Care Plan

  • if it determines that it is no longer necessary for the plan to be maintained, or
  • if it is no longer responsible for the child or young person.

The parent or the young person will be informed:

  • of their right to appeal the decision
  • the time limit for doing so,
  • the need for them to consider mediation should they wish to appeal, and
  • the availability of information, advice and support from SENDIASS.

Annual Review - Service Level Agreement

SCC

What is the purpose of this Service Level Agreement (SLA)?

To ensure our children, young people and families have

  • an Annual Review with timely access to all relevant professional’s advice.
Service Level Agreement

This SLA sets out details of the SEND service, who will provide it and how it will be monitored.  It will also give information about the responsibilities from parties entering the agreement.

The goal of the SLA is that: 

  • timely advice will be received
  • it is shared with the relevant people
  • is considered as part of the review process

to inform the Annual Review and provide accurate updates with regards to the

  • needs,
  • outcomes and
  • provision for the young person

thereby ensuring where required an accurate and purposeful amendment to their Plan.

Legal duties linked to Annual Reviews

SCC

The purpose of this Legal Duties document is to:

  • support settings, children/young people and families to understand the process and
  • provide clarity on the key duties for those facilitating annual reviews.
Legal Duties for Annual Reviews

Ultimately this document is for education settings and is linked to meeting statutory timeframes associated to the annual review process.