The purpose of the annual review
The purpose of the annual review is to:
- consider progress and attainment over the past year (including progress towards the longer-term outcomes set out in the EHC Plan)
- agree on new targets for the coming year
- consider whether any changes to the plan are required, including whether it is still needed.
The first annual review process must be completed within 12 months of the date when the EHC plan was initially issued and, after that, subsequent annual reviews must be completed within 12 months.
For a child under five, the EHC plan should be reviewed at least every three to six months to ensure that the provision continues to be appropriate. Depending on individual circumstances, reviews at this frequency may be streamlined and not necessarily require the attendance of the full range of professionals.
The child or young person is at the centre of the annual review and should be involved in the discussion and decisions as much as possible.
The annual review
The annual review is in three parts:
Before the annual review meeting
- Two terms in advance of the review, the local authority will write to your child’s headteacher or head of setting two terms to ask them to arrange the review of the EHC plan. If there is a significant change to a child or young person’s needs, an early review can be arranged by the setting.
- About eight weeks before the annual review meeting. the school will write and invite you to the meeting and send a form for you to record your views (Docx format, 219Kb) of the progress your child is making and wishes. Your child will also be asked for his or her views (Docx format, 58Kb). These should be completed and returned three weeks before the meeting
- About two weeks before the annual review meeting, you will receive copies of the reports that people who support your child have written for the review. This will include people from the setting or school and also from outside agencies, for example, an educational psychologist or speech and language therapist.
- The setting will also work with the child about how they would like to be involved and included in the annual review meeting
The annual review meeting
- At the meeting, you will be invited to talk about your child’s strengths, their progress in and out of school and what new targets they could work towards over the coming year.
- If there is a personal budget this will be discussed too.
- Any suggested changes to the plan and/or recommendations will be discussed and recorded.
- At the end of the meeting, you will be given a parent evaluation of the annual review (Docx format, 200KB) to complete online. This will help us to improve the process. There is also a young person's evaluation (Docx format, 200KB) to complete.
After the annual review meeting
- Within two weeks, the school will send the annual review report to your child’s SEN officer
- The SEN officer will consider the annual review report, decide if any changes need to be made to the plan and let you know within four weeks of the meeting.
- If changes are to be made, you will receive an amended copy of the EHC plan within eight weeks of the meeting and you have 15 days to provide your comments.
- The SEN officer will then decide whether to continue to make amendments and will issue an amended plan, or let you know why not.
- The annual review process is complete once the local authority has decided whether or not the EHC plan needs to be amended and written to you with the decision.
Information and guidance
The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) has developed the following guidance:
- Annual review timeline for professionals
- Annual review factsheet
- An animation explaining the annual review process
More information about annual reviews can be found in the SEND Code of Practice (2015) 9.166 – 9.185.