Types of EHCP review
Depending on the age or stage your child is at, there are different types of review. Whatever stage you are at however, you should expect a review at least once a year, and all reviews are legally bound by the same process.
If your child is aged between 0-5
More regular reviews- rather than a single review once a year- might be necessary due to your child's changing needs as they grow.
Generally under 5’s will have a review every 6 months.
In some cases, early review might be necessary. You can ask for an early review at any time- as long as you have a good reason.
This might include:
your child or young person’s education, health or social care needs have changed, or are no longer accurately described in the EHCP
the education, health or social care provision in the EHCP is no longer meeting your child or young person’s needs
you are relocating to a new area
your child or young person has been excluded from school or is considered to be at risk of exclusion.
If you believe there's an urgent need for a change to your child or young person’s EHCP you should ask for a review to be arranged as soon as possible. If your child or young person attends school or college you should speak to the SENCO or the person responsible for SEND. If your child does not attend an educational setting speak to your SEN Officer.
Starting school, moving from primary to secondary, or going to college ("phase transfer")
If your child or young person is moving on to a different phase of education, the EHCP must be reviewed and amended.
All reviews, school consultations and amendments to an EHCP should be completed by 15 February for any year of change. This gives enough time to resolve any issues before the end of the summer term.
For those transferring from secondary school to college, the EHCP must be reviewed and amended by 31 March in the year of transfer.
After the review, the EHCP should state that the child or young person will continue to attend their current setting until the end of the academic year (or another date if different). In Section I, it should name the setting or the type of setting that they will attend from the start of the next academic year.
Changing schools in year for another reason
If you're moving or changing schools for any reason other than a phase transfer- i.e. you are relocating to a new area or you're considering moving to a special school- then this will also require a change to the EHCP and a review.
In these circumstances, we'll (Hertfordshire County Council) need to consult with the new school so that they can be named in the EHCP. You should contact your SEN Officer to discuss this.
Preparing for adulthood Year 9 and beyond
Once your child reaches year 9, annual review becomes an opportunity to discuss what they would like to achieve as they grow up.
The focus of the review should become more about how they will be supported to learn the skills they need for adulthood, and the provisions in the plan that can help them to do that.
If your child hasn’t attended reviews in the past, you might like to think about how they could be involved in the meetings, and how they can share their views on their dreams, wishes and aspirations for adulthood.
You might hear the term “transition planning” around this time, and annual reviews from this point should be thinking about how to help your young person to successfully move into adulthood as independently as their needs allow; including thinking about what they want to be able to do when they leave post-16 education.
Some young people with EHCPs may need longer in education or training in order to achieve their outcomes and make an effective transition into adulthood. This is something we'll take into consideration at annual reviews for young people aged 19-25.
The EHCP review process
Annual review is the statutory process of looking at the needs and provision specified in an EHCP and deciding whether these need to change or remain.
Here's an outline of the process:
- Before the review, parents and professionals included in the EHCP, and the educational setting the child or young person attends- should have an opportunity to share their thoughts about progress, aspirations and changes needed to the plan.
- Information must be gathered from all parties and circulated to everyone involved 2 weeks before the annual review meeting.
- You’ll be given at least 2 weeks notice of the date of your review meeting. All professionals who provide the support outlined in your child or young person's EHCP will be invited. Attendance isn't compulsory, however annual review meetings are considered most effective when the educational setting (such as the school or college) leads the review.
You should be given time to prepare for the meeting – 2 weeks is customary, but if you don’t feel like you’ve been given enough time then you should speak to your SENCo about changing the date.
- An annual review meeting must take place to discuss the EHCP.
- Within 2 weeks of your meeting, you should receive a written report. If you think something is incorrect or missing, you should contact the person who chaired the meeting to discuss.
- After the meeting, we'll review the EHCP in more detail.
- We'll notify you of our decision to either maintain, amend, or end the EHCP within 4 weeks of the meeting.
All of these steps must be followed for an annual review to be completed.
Preparing for your annual review meeting:
- Write down some notes with questions you’d like to ask or points you'd like to raise. This will ensure that everything you want to discuss is covered.
- Take lots of notes during the meeting so you can keep a record of what was discussed or agreed.
- Take someone along with you to the meeting for support. Representatives from SENDIASS can attend meetings with parents or young people. Alternatively you may wish to take a family member with you for support.
What happens after the review
Within 4 weeks of the review meeting, we'll let you know of our decision to either:
- maintain the EHCP (no changes)
- amend the EHCP
- end the EHCP.
If the decision is to amend the EHCP
We'll send you a draft copy with an amendment notice that clearly states the proposed change(s) and any supporting evidence. Along with the draft we'll send you copies of all the professional reports.
You'll then have 15 days to:
- consider and comment on the draft EHCP
- request for a meeting with your SEN officer to discuss
- ask for a particular school or other institution to be named in the final EHCP.
If the decision is to end the EHCP
If the decision is to end the EHCP, we'll provide you with information about mediation, your right to appeal and the time limits for doing so.
The final plan
Once the draft EHCP has been issued and time given for any comments or representations, the final EHCP must then be issued within 8 weeks of the date of the original amendment notice.