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The annual review for EHC plans

The reason we review EHC plans every year

Reviews of education, health and care (EHC) plans happen every 12 months. This is called an annual review. The annual review is person-centred and focuses on the child's or young person's progress.

The annual review also:

  • considers whether the outcomes are still appropriate
  • reviews their special educational provision
  • reviews any health or social care provision
  • considers whether the EHC plan is still needed

Where the annual review takes place

Most annual reviews take place at the school of the child or young person. The school invites everyone involved. They also ask everyone for updated advice before the meeting. The views of the child or young person and their parents or carers are very important. 

What happens at the annual review

Everyone discusses:

  • what they like and admire about the child or young person
  • what is important to the child or young person now, and in the future
  • the support the child or young person needs to stay happy, safe and to achieve
  • what is working well and what's not working well

You also discuss whether the EHC plan needs updating. This shouldn't happen often as the EHC plan is a long-term document. The annual review provides an up-to-date picture. The school writes an action plan to address any issues. 

What happens after the annual review

After the annual review the school completes a report of the meeting. The school sends this report to everyone involved within 2 weeks. The local council then decides whether to:

  • keep the EHC plan as it is 
  • amend the EHC plan
  • cease the EHC plan (which means stop it altogether)

The school will tell everyone their decision within 4 weeks of the meeting. 

Other arrangements for children and young people of different ages

At an annual review the people involved must discuss educational or training outcomes for young people over the age of 18. If these outcomes are met, an EHC plan should cease. 

At annual reviews for young people leaving education, the people involved should consider support for next steps. 

Children under the age of 5 should have a review every 3 to 6 months. These reviews usually involve fewer people. 

When a child or young person changes school or setting

Annual reviews take place earlier in the school year if a child or young person is moving to a new setting. This means we can make sure there's enough time for planning. 

We then amend the EHC plan to include the name of the new setting by:

  • 15 February for transfers into or between schools
  • 31 March for young people moving from secondary school to a post-16 setting or apprenticeship

Discussing preparing for adulthood

Discussions about preparing for adulthood should start as early as possible. 

From year 9 onwards annual reviews must include preparing for adulthood. This transition planning includes thinking about:

  • further education, for example, college or an apprenticeship
  • higher education, for example, university
  • employment
  • independent living
  • participating in society
  • being as healthy as possible in adult life

It's helpful if representatives of post-16 settings attend these annual review meetings. 

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