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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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We contacted all parents registered on the Hub with regards to their child or young person’s EHCP on 2 December 2020 . A copy of the broadcast can be downloaded here.  We asked people to 'pause' using the EHC Hub for the rest of the academic year for new annual reviews.

This was to allow us to: 

  • further develop our systems and processes.
  • carry out work to improve both the quality and timeliness of annual reviews in our County.

We are pleased to let you know that with effect from 1 October 2021 we will be reintroducing the Annual Review pathway on the Hub.  Education settings will start using the Hub again for all those young people where the pathway has been reset.  A copy of the broadcast email sent to parents and carers can be downloaded here.

For those young people where the pathway has not yet been reset. Your child’s annual review will still be carried out. You and the professionals involved with your child or young person will still be asked to contribute.  

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 continue to be used as normal 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.

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.

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?

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 deemed appropriate to enhance planning and provision.

What happens after the review?

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

The SEND key worker will send a proposed amended plan to the parent or young person and to the education provider.

If the decision is not to amend 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.