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Annual Reviews

Credit: Video is from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC)

Annual Review templates                                 

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) must be reviewed every 12 months, or every 6 months if the child is under five years old. This is called an Annual Review.

The main purpose of the Annual Review is to give families and professionals the opportunity to review the child / young person’s progress towards achieving their outcomes in their EHCP. 

If your child / young person attends a nursery, school, college or a training provider they will usually arrange the Annual Review at their venue. If your child / young person does not attend a nursery, school, college or training provider and is ‘electively home educated’ or ‘educated otherwise than in school’, Achieving for Children will usually arrange the Annual Review at a community venue.

The Annual Review meeting organiser will notify families and professionals about the Annual Review well in advance. The organiser will support people to participate in it as fully as possible both in the lead up to the Annual Review and while attending it. The Annual Review meeting organiser will also ask families and professionals for contributions, in advance of the Annual Review. They will share the information received with the family and other professionals. Annual Review meeting organisers will try to be flexible in agreeing the Annual Review meeting date with the family and involved professionals, but it is a legal requirement that these meetings must go ahead no later than 12 months from the date of the previous meeting. It may be necessary for Annual Review meetings to go ahead without some professionals or families attending.

After the Annual Review, the Annual Review meeting organiser must send an Annual Review report to Achieving for Children. The Annual Review report will include any recommendations about any changes to the child’s education, health or care needs; changes to any education, health or care provision; changes to the outcomes in the EHCP; and whether Achieving for Children should continue to maintain the EHCP or cease it.

Achieving for Children will consider any recommendations, and communicate its decisions to the child / young person and parents in accordance with the timelines in the SEND Regulations: 

Time

Approximately 8 weeks prior to the Annual Review

No later than 2 weeks prior to the Annual Review

0 weeks No later than 2 weeks after the Annual Review 

meeting

 

No later than 4 weeks after the Annual Review 

meeting

 

No later than 8 weeks further

Who

The Annual Review meeting organiser will…

The Annual Review meeting organiser will…

The Annual Review meeting organiser will…

The Annual Review meeting organiser will…

Achieving for Children will…

Achieving for Children will...

What

Notify everyone about the Annual Review.

 

Invite the family and relevant professionals to send them contributions to the Annual Review.

 

Circulate everyone’s contributions to everyone invited to the Annual Review meeting.

Hold the Annual Review meeting.

Send the Annual Review report to Achieving for Children.

Decide and notify the family if Achieving for Children will maintain, amend or cease the EHCP.

 

If agreed to ‘maintain’ the EHCP with no changes, the EHCP continues as before.

 

If agreed to ‘cease’ the EHCP, the family is notified that this will happen in 2 months time from the date of the Annual Review meeting.

 

If agreed to ‘amend’ the EHCP, the family is notified and the Annual Review process continues.

 

Issue a Draft Amended EHCP to the family.

 

The family has up to 15 calendar days to send comments to Achieving for Children.

 

Achieving for Children will consider those comments.

 

If Achieving for Children agrees with the family’s comments, it will include them in a further draft amended EHCP and issue a further draft amended EHCP to the family.

 

The family will have up to a further 15 calendar days to comment.

 

Once Achieving for Children has considered the family’s comments it will issue a final amended EHCP.

 

Family participation in Annual Reviews

Families will always be invited to contribute towards their child or young person’s Annual Review. This is usually done by completing an Annual Review Contribution Form, sent to the family by the Annual Review meeting organiser. This must be completed and submitted no later than 2 weeks before the Annual Review meeting.

 

Families are encouraged to attend their child or young person’s Annual Review meeting. If they do not or cannot attend on the scheduled date, the meeting may go ahead without their attendance. It is a legal requirement that Annual Review meetings take place within 12 months of the previous Annual Review meeting. 

Children and young people’s participation in Annual Reviews 

The Annual Review meeting organiser should seek to involve the child or young person in their Annual Review meeting. This typically includes: 

  • Supporting them in the lead-up to the Annual Review meeting, to reflect on their progress towards their outcomes in their EHCP
  • Supporting them to articulate and record their continuing hopes, dreams and aspirations 
  • Supporting them to prepare a contribution to the Annual Review meeting. This could be through done in different ways - a written or verbal contribution; a short powerpoint presentation or audio or video recording. The themes of their contribution should be along the lines of the Annual Review meeting:

What’s important to you? (families and professionals consider what is important for them)

What’s working well?

What isn’t working well and you want to change?

How do you like to be supported?

What progress are you making towards your outcomes?

Do you have any ideas about new outcomes, on your journey towards your aspiration or any new aspirations? 

  • Making reasonable adjustments to enable the child or young person’s presence at the Annual Review, which might include:

Inviting them to participate in the whole or only part of the meeting. If part-attendance, the meeting organiser will schedule their presence and tailor the agenda around the child or young person’s planned attendance. This might be at the start, the middle or the end of the meeting.

Arranging for the child or young person’s contribution to be presented on their behalf, so that they continue to have a presence in the meeting.

 
Professionals' Attendance at Annual Review Meetings

It is not always possible or necessary for Education, Health and Care Coordinators and other professionals to attend Annual Review meetings, although they will always do everything they reasonably can to attend when appropriate. The SEND Service will prioritise Education, Health and Care Coordinators' attendance to Annual Review meetings for children and young people who are:

  • looked after by the Local Authority
  • at risk of permanent exclusion / change of education placement
  • not making expected progress towards the outcomes in their EHCP
  • approaching moving up a school (this is called phase transfer)
  •  in Year 9

Other services such as Educational Psychology, NHS Therapy Services and Social Care may prioritise their staffs' attendance at Annual Review meetings in similar ways. Professionals who are currently involved with or supporting children and young people with EHCPs will always be invited to provide their advice before the Annual Review meeting, and will attend if those services deem it appropriate to do so. 

Annual Reviews in Year 9 and onwards 

Annual Reviews in Year 9 and onwards need to particularly consider the young person’s preparation for adulthood including employment, health, independent living and participation in society. This ‘transition planning’ towards adulthood must be built into the EHCP, if one continues to be maintained. Annual Review meetings taking place in Year 9 should also have a particular focus on considering curriculum options and potential pathways for the next phase of education, training or employment. 

Advice for children and young people 

Amy, a member of Council for Disabled Children’s national youth advisory group FLARE, has created a resource to support children and young people who have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) prepare for an Annual Review.

Find out more and download the resource on the CDC website (opens a new window)

Ceasing an EHCP 

Achieving for Children believes that children’s attainment of their outcomes is a cause for celebration. The purpose of EHCPs is to support children and young people through additional and different special educational provision until they have achieved the outcomes in their EHCPs. When children or young people can have their needs met from the provision that is ordinarily available in state funded schools and colleges, they no longer need an EHCP. In that case, Achieving for Children will notify families of its intention to end the EHCP.