EHCP Annual Review guide

1st February 2022

Welcome to Education Advocacy’s EHCP Review Guide. Scroll down to find key information about the Education, Health, and Care Plan (pertaining to England only). Read about:

What is an annual review is and how does it affect you

An EHCP, EHC plan, or Education, Health, and Care Plan, requires a review at least every 12 months. It directly affects your child, as this is the best opportunity to voice concerns, propose amendments, or ask questions. The annual review can be called early in some cases, and this can be requested by the parent, the school or the LA (Local Authority). Its purpose is to check that the EHC Plan remains relevant.

Your involvement in annual reviews

Your involvement is poignant. It is your child or young person who you must represent, sharing their feelings, opinions, wants, and needs. You should be contacted by the school about the annual review and the school should seek your written reviews, which should be shared with other attendees ahead of the meeting.

The school should ask you as the parent if there is anyone else you would like them to invite to attend the review meeting and/or ask for their written advice. This may be someone such as the GP or the Speech and Language Therapist. Those professionals working with your child should be approached by the school to contribute a report and to attend the meeting.

The school should also provide a report for the meeting.

What rights do you have when asking for a review?

Remember, you can request a review at any time, you do not have to wait for the annual review. Whilst it is a requirement that the EHC Plan be reviewed on at least an annual basis, this should not put you off requesting an early review if you have concerns about your child’s progress, about their provision or about their placement.

The meeting

The meeting will be scheduled by the school, usually by the SENCo and they should agree a date that is suitable for the parent too. The LA may also attend the review meeting but not always, although they should attend the Annual Review in Year 9 and beyond. The SENCO will usually host the meeting and invite everyone who is involved in the EHCP that supports your child. All advice, information and reports for the review meeting must be circulated to all parties at least two weeks before for the actual meeting.

The report

Based on the information provided at the annual review meeting and the reports prepared ahead of the meeting, the school will compile a report and file the paperwork with the Local Authority. Everyone who was at the annual review meeting will receive a copy. The school must submit the paperwork to the LA within 10 working days.

The annual review ECHP report should contain information about:

  • Your child’s progress
  • Suggested changes in the EHCP provision or about your child’s needs
  • Views and recommendations
  • Any reports submitted before the annual review
  • Changes to goals and outcomes

Changes and disagreements

A review panel formed of members of the Local Authority will look at the report and decide if they agree on the suggested changes, which could include:

  • Changes to the description of your child’s SEN
  • Changes to the Special Educational Provision
  • Changes to social care needs and/or provision
  • Changes to your child’s health needs and/or provision
  • Changes to the outcomes
  • Change to the school placement

After receiving the annual review report from the school, the Local Authority must issue a decision within 4 weeks whether to (a) amend the EHC Plan (b) to make no amendments to the EHC Plan and simply maintain it without change or (C) Cease to maintain the EHC Plan.

If the Local Authority decide to make amendments, then they must amend the EHC Plan as soon as possible. You will then receive an amended EHC Plan, and you have 15 days to respond to the contents, explaining if you agree, disagree or propose other changes. You should reply directly to the Local Authority, and they must then issue a final amended EHC Plan within 8 weeks. Once you receive the final amended EHC Plan, if you remain unhappy with the contents then you have a right of appeal. You have a 2-month time limit in which to lodge an appeal. This is an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

If the Local Authority proposes no changes as its decision or decides to cease to maintain the EHC Plan (believing your child, no longer needs an EHC Plan) then you also have a right of appeal against these decisions. Both have the same 2-month time limit and both are appeals to the Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal.

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Timelines and timeframes

There are some statutory timeframes that must be adhered to, and it is important to note these timescales and to hold the Local Authority to account if they breach these time limits. You may be able to seek legal action if the Local Authority has acted unlawfully by failing to keep to the statutory timescales.

  • The school share reports prepared for the annual review at least two weeks before the meeting
  • The school submit the annual review report to the Local Authority and send a copy to parents two weeks after the review meeting
  • Within four weeks of the review meeting, the Local Authority must decide whether to amend the EHC Plan; if the Local Authority decides not to amend the EHC Plan then parents have 2 months in which to lodge an appeal to the Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal.
  • If the Local Authority issues an amended EHC Plan they must do so as soon as possible, and parents have fifteen days to accept or object to the changes proposed in the amended EHC Plan
  • The Local Authority has eight weeks to put together the final EHCP after issuing the amended EHC Plan
  • Parents have a right of appeal once the final amended EHC Plan is issued; this is an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. There is a 2-month deadline from the date of issue of the final amended EHC Plan.

Looking for more advice?

We have great resources designed to answer every possible question about EHCPs. Do you feel that you’re in the dark somewhat or you simply want an expert opinion? Call our free phone line on 0330 333 4130 and talk to Education Advocacy today.

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