Hello, I suspect you are reading this as
- You or your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- You know someone who has an EHCP
- You would like an EHCP and are reading everything you can get your hands on.
- You are an Educational professional who wants to know more about Annual Reviews.
For whatever reason you are reading this, firstly thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives, it is appreciated, you will get to the end of this feeling more confident when you walk into that room. Secondly please do get in touch if you have any questions, queries or concerns, we are more than happy to listen and give some more detailed pointers and that initial conversation is free.
So now to the important stuff, your child’s Annual review.
If your child or young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan there is a requirement for that plan to be reviewed at least once a year, every 12 months. This should usually be from the date of the original plan.
The annual review should look at:
- The progress the child has made towards their outcomes and ultimate aspiration.
- Review the Educational provision in place and whether it is still effective
- Review the Health and Social Care provision (if relevant) and whether this is still effective.
(this last point is an important point as we have not supported many annual reviews where Health and Social Care have been discussed as part of the review)
- Reviews must consider whether the child would benefit from a Personal Budget. If they already have one in place the review should include a review of its effectiveness
- If the child is looked after (LAC) the EHCP review should, if possible coincide with the Personal Education Plan (PEP).
- Discuss whether there needs to be a change in provision or educational setting.
- Set new outcomes for the coming year.
- Depending on the age of the child, reviews should look at Preparing for Adulthood and Transition if appropriate.
- At least two weeks before the start of each term the LA should provide the school/college/institution and the CCG and social care with a list of children who require a review of their EHCP that coming term. This should enable professionals to plan for attendance at reviews. The list should indicate reviews that focus on transition and preparation for adulthood. (CoP: 9.172)
- Invitations should go out to parents, school, LA SEN officer, Health rep and social care rep at least two weeks before the review meeting.
- Parents and other professionals may be required to send in advice, updates and information which should be sent out at least two weeks before the review meeting.
- Children, young people and their parents MUST be supported to engage fully in the review meeting, it is about them after all. (Section 19 Principles)
- The school must send out a report following the meeting within two weeks. The report should say whether the EHCP should stay the same, be amended or ceased.
- Within 4 weeks of the review meeting the LA should decide whether they will keep the EHCP the same, change it or cease it and they MUST notify the parent or young person (YP) and the school.
- 2 weeks before parents should receive updated advices, reports from professionals involved)
- Review held
- 2 weeks after the review parents or (YP) should get a report detailing the outcome of the review
- 4 weeks after the review parents or YP must receive notification from the LA about whether they will maintain, cease or amend the plan. This notification must also detail the parents right to appeal and decision.
- Transition (year 6- must have new school placement named on the plan by 15th February, Year 11 must have placement named by 31st March)
How to Prepare:
- Find and read as much relevant and up to date information about your child, recent assessments, recent school reports, recent updates from health and/or social care.
- Write on the calendar the rough date you should hear about the review, based on when the last review was held.
- If you haven’t heard by that date, ask the school SENCO or LA rep.
- If you feel more assessments or reports need to be done because they were not done last time or needs have changed, ask for them to be done before the review. (allow a few months for this to happen, so request this well in advance of the review)
- Find some head space (I know this is difficult) have a really good read of the EHCP, ask yourself, is it fit for purpose? does it accurately describe what we want our child to achieve? Does it describe what his/her needs are? Is the provision working? Are you and your child happy with the school/college/placement? What needs changing, if anything?
- At least 4 weeks before the review write down these thoughts on paper, even if it’s only scribbled.
- Two weeks before the review, revisit these thoughts and try to distil them into 3 or 4 clear objectives, 3 or 4 specific things you want to get out of the meeting, keep repeating them to yourself so that they get stuck in your mind.
- Prepare for the meeting, try to find out who is going to be there, arrive in plenty of time, take notes in with you, take a friend with you (who can make notes). Meetings with lots of professionals can be very daunting so remind yourself continuously about the 3 or 4 things you want to get out of the meeting, make sure you say what you want to say.
We have supported the likes of seasoned solicitors, nurses, barristers, cooks, cleaners, business owners, financial directors, people from all walks of life who are, at the end of the day, parents and they all respond in the same way because its your child, your pride and joy and you want they best possible life for them. So, don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t go as you expect, there is always a different way around the system.
Wishing you all the very best of luck.