What is an annual review?

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) must be reviewed by the Local Authority at least every 12 months. This is called an Annual Review.

The review will be arranged by:

  • the Local Authority, or
  • the child or young person's educational setting

Annual Reviews must:

  • focus on the child or young person's progress towards the outcomes specified in the EHCP
  • consider whether the outcomes and supporting targets are still appropriate

The SEND Team manage the statutory processes related to Education, Health and Care Plans. This includes Annual Reviews.

The Annual Review is undertaken using the EHC Hub.

Being able to access information on the Hub:

  • makes the Annual Review process more transparent for families and professionals
  • prevents families having to repeat their story

What is an annual review - video

Purpose of the Annual Review

Annual Reviews should:

  • gather and review information about the child or young person's progress. And their access to teaching and learning
  • review the special educational provision made, to make sure it is effective
  • review the health and social care provision made, to make sure it is effective
  • review any interim targets
  • set new interim targets and/or agree new outcomes
  • consider the appropriateness of the EHCP and any changes required

Annual Reviews must:

  • be carried out in partnership with the child or young person and their parent carers
  • take into account their views. This includes the right to request a personal budget

Children aged 0 to 5

Local Authorities should consider reviewing EHCPs for children under 5 at least every 3 to 6 months to make sure provision remains appropriate. Such reviews would complement the duty to carry out a review at least every 12 months. They may be streamlined. Depending on the needs of the child, they do not necessarily need attendance from the full range of professionals.

The child's parent carers must be:

  • fully consulted on any proposed changes to the EHCP
  • made aware of their right to appeal to the Tribunal

Transfers between phases of education

An EHCP must be reviewed and amended in sufficient time before a child or young person moves between key phases of education. This is to allow for planning, and, if 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.

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 those moving from secondary school to a post 16 institution or apprenticeship, review and amendments to the EHCP must be completed by 31 March in the calendar year of the transfer.

Preparing for adulthood

Preparing for adulthood should begin from the earliest years. Local Authorities must make sure the EHCP review at Year 9, and every review after that, includes a focus on transition planning.

Transition planning and preparing for adulthood focuses on:

  • future employment
  • independent living
  • participation in society

It should be centred around the child or young person and explore:

  • their aspirations and abilities
  • what they want to be able to do when they leave post-16 education or training
  • the support they need to achieve their ambition

These reviews will also consider good exit planning as the young person nears the end of their time in formal education and the plan is likely to be ceased, so there is a smooth transition to whatever they will be doing next.