Education, health and care plan annual reviews

If a child or young person has an education, health and care (EHC) plan it will be reviewed by us annually. This is called an annual review process.

For children under 5 years of age, a review should take place every 3 to 5 months but they must also have an annual review. This is to take account of the faster pace of growth and development in early years.

When your child starts Year 9, they will be encouraged with you and professionals to plan for their future through a Year 9 annual review. Find out more about this review.

Before the meeting

At least 2 weeks before the meeting the child or young person's education setting will:

  • send invitations to parents, carers (this can include someone who can support them), the child or young person, the education setting and other professionals working with and supporting them
  • seek advice and information about the child or young person and send the gathered information to all those who are invited
  • prepare and send a report to those invited to the meeting, this includes recommendations on any amendments required to the EHC plan, mentioning any differences between their recommendations and others attending the meeting
  • use a person-centered approach to enable the child or young person to think about and give their views about the support they receive, how they feel and the progress they've made.

The views and opinions of children, young people and their families are important to us, as outlined in our transition charter and co-production charter. We want your voices to be heard.

If there are any concerns about the child or young person's progress, a review may be requested outside the normal 12 month period by:

  • the education setting
  • the young person
  • parent(s).

This is called an early annual review, sometimes referred as the additional review.

For more information about the annual review process read the SEND code of practice 2015 (page 194 - section 9)

During the meeting attendees will

  • discuss and consider whether the support in place for the child or young person is helping them to make progress,

  • think about whether new outcomes need to be set

  • think about whether the EHC plan is still needed

  • think about the next steps to support the child or young person's journey to adulthood

  • focus on the transition and preparation for adulthood and independent living if the child is in year 9 or above

  • record any significant changes to their needs or circumstances that relate to their SEN.

Who will be invited

  • Parent(s), the child or young person.

  • A relevant teacher (class teacher or form teacher, the SENCO, or another person responsible for the provision of your child’s education).

  • A representative from the local authority must be invited but they will not be able to attend every annual review meeting.

  • A health service representative, if relevant

  • A social care representative, if relevant.

  • Anyone else considered to be appropriate.

After the meeting

Within 2 weeks of the meeting

  • The educational setting must send the annual review meeting report to us, setting out any recommendations.
  • This report and any reports gathered before the meeting must be sent to everyone invited to the annual review meeting.

Within 4 weeks of the meeting

We will let you know in writing of the decision to either:

  • maintain the EHC plan as it is
  • amend the EHC plan
  • cease to maintain the EHC plan.

The letter we send will also tell you about:

It is important to remember that decisions about the EHC plan will not be made at the annual review meeting. The meeting will make recommendations to us. We will then consider the recommendations and then make a decision within 4 weeks of the meeting.

Or download IASK's easy read guide (PDF, 375.1 KB) to explain who you can talk to if you disagree with the decisions.

EHC needs reassessment

A review of your child or young person’s EHC plan every year is a good way to check their progress but sometimes that will not be enough. If your child or young person’s educational or health needs, or situation, change a lot they may need to have a statutory reassessment of their needs. This means having a new EHC needs assessment.