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Information & advice

EHCP annual reviews

All parents find searching for the best school for their child difficult. However, for a parent with a child that has Special Educational Needs and Disabilities this can be especially challenging. Here are 8 tips to guide you through the primary to secondary school transition process.

By law, an Education Health and Care Plan must be reviewed every year. That process is called the Annual Review.

The Annual Review is required to check all sections of the EHCP not just the educational targets and provision. It provides an opportunity for parents and young people to request changes and updates if they believe they are needed. It may also be that what a family expected to happen may not have been delivered exactly as they had anticipated.

When does the review happen?

Your local authority must carry out the first annual review within 12 months of the EHCP being finalised. The following annual reviews must take place within 12 months of the previous review. They can happen before 12 months have elapsed.

How does it happen?

The Annual Review should look at every section of an Education Health and Care Plan to check whether it is still appropriate or whether changes need to be made.

Section A: Aspirations

Aspirations should be checked to see if they remain the same. There may be additional aspirations to be included perhaps due to new experiences, interests or circumstances.

Section B: Special Educational Needs

New needs may have emerged or existing needs changed and/or are having an impact on other areas of their life (in or out of school). Or the parent or Children and young people may not feel their needs are described accurately or be a true representation of who they are. An example may be where a need has been described in the EHCP as a behaviour issue when the underlying reason behind the behaviour has now been identified as being due to a communication disorder or learning difficulty.

Section C: Health Care Needs

There may be a new diagnosis or on-going investigations. Health conditions included may have stabilised or improved. Alternatively, what had previously been reported as a relatively stable health condition may now be less so.

Section D: Social Care needs

Change of circumstances may have occurred or a more up to date assessment has now been completed that should be included. A parent or young person may request an assessment of their Social Care needs.

Section E: Outcomes

Outcomes are expected to last for two to three years but they still need to be reviewed to check they are still relevant, SMARTened up or changed. Short-term targets will also be reviewed and new targets set.

Section F: Special educational provision

There should be provision to match each need included in B. Perhaps some of the provision didn’t occur or hasn’t been as effective as expected or perhaps there’s an alternative approach that could be tried.

Section G: Health care provision

Anything included here requires agreement by the LA from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Any health provision, such as Speech and Language Therapy that educates or trains must be included in Section F.

Sections H1 & 2: Social care provision

Any provision included here will depend on what needs, if any have been included in Section D. It must be reviewed and may have already changed since it was originally included.

Section I: School or other provision

If relevant the suitability of the school (or placement) may also be discussed. The parent/YP may want to ask for a different school or type of school if they believe it will provide a better match to their needs.

Section J: direct payments

Any Personal Budget (PB) already in place should be reviewed particularly where provision has been amended. This is also an opportunity to request a PB if the parent or young person would like one.

More information

Annual review checklist

Download the information above in pdf form for easy printing.