What is an annual review?

Education, Health and Care Plans must be reviewed by the Local Authority as a minimum every 12 months; this is called an Annual Review.

Either the Local Authority or the child/young person's educational setting will arrange this Annual Review meeting.

Annual Reviews must focus on the child or young person's progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC Plan. The review must also consider whether these outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate.

The SEN Team manages all aspects of the statutory processes related to Education, Health and Care Plans including Annual Reviews.

From 1st September 2020 the Annual Review process is being undertaken using the EHC Hub.

The accessibility of this information makes the Annual Review process much more transparent for families and professionals. It also prevents parents and children / young people from having to repeat their story numerous times.

What is an annual review - video

Purpose of the Annual Review

Annual Reviews should:

  • gather and assess information about the child or young person's progress and their access to teaching and learning
  • review the special educational provision made, ensuring it is effective
  • review the health and social care provision made, ensuring it is effective
  • review any interim targets
  • set new interim targets / and or agree new outcomes
  • consider the appropriateness of the EHC Plan and any changes that are required

Annual Reviews must be undertaken in partnership with the child and their parent or the young person and take into account their views, including the right to request a personal budget.

Children aged 0 to 5

Local Authorities should consider reviewing an EHC Plan for a child under 5 at least every three to six months to ensure that the provision continues to be appropriate. Such reviews would complement the duty to carry out a review at least annually, but may be streamlined and not necessarily require the attendance of the full range of professionals, depending on the needs of the child.

The child's parent must be fully consulted on any proposed changes to the EHC Plan and made aware of their right to appeal to the Tribunal.

Transfers between phases of education

An EHC Plan must be reviewed and amended in sufficient time prior to a child or young person moving between key phases of education. This is 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. 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 amendments to the EHC Plan 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 however Local Authorities must ensure that the EHC Plan review at Year 9, and every review thereafter, includes a focus on transition planning.

Transition planning and preparing for adulthood focuses on future employment, independent living and participation in society. It should be centred around the individual and explore the child or young person's aspirations and abilities, what they want to be able to do when they leave post-16 education or training and 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 that there is a smooth transition to whatever they will be doing next.