Wednesday, 25 April 2018

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Reviewing an EHC Plan

Annual Review

EHC plans must be reviewed by the local authority as a minimum every 12 months.

The first review must be held within 12 months of the date when the EHC plan was issued, and then within 12 months of any previous review.

EHC plans should be used to actively monitor children and young people’s progress towards their outcomes and longer term aspirations.

EHC Plan reviews must focus on the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC plan and must also consider whether these outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate.

Reviews must be undertaken in partnership with the child and their parents or the young person, and must take account of their views, wishes and feelings. Children, parents and young people should be supported to engage fully in the review meeting.

The local authority’s decision following the review meeting must be notified to the child’s parent or the young person within four weeks of the review meeting (and within 12 months of the date of issue of the EHC plan or previous review).

Professionals across education, health and care must co-operate with local authorities during reviews.

EHC Plan reviews:

  • must be notified to invited attendees at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting. The child’s parents or young person, a representative of the school or other institution attended, a local authority SEN officer, a health service representative and a local authority social care representative must be invited and other individuals relevant to the review should also be invited, including youth offending teams and job coaches where relevant.
  • should normally be held at the educational institution attended by the child or young person. Reviews are generally most effective when led by the educational institution who will know the child or young person, have contact with their family and will have the clearest information about progress and next steps. There may be exceptional circumstances where it will be appropriate for the review meeting to be held by the local authority in a different location, for example where a young person attends programmes of study at more than one institution.
  •  should review the special educational provision made for the child or young person to ensure it is being effective in supporting their access to teaching and learning and enabling good progress
  • should review the health and social care provision made for the child or young person and its effectiveness in ensuring good progress towards outcomes
  •  should review any interim targets set by the early years provider, school or college or other education provider and gather and assess information so that it can be used to set new interim targets for the coming year and where appropriate, agree new outcomes 
  • should consider the continuing appropriateness of the EHC plan in the light of the child or young person’s progress during the previous year or changed circumstances and whether changes are required including any changes to outcomes, enhanced provision, change of educational establishment, whether the educational or training outcomes specified in the plan have been achieved and whether the EHC plan should be discontinued
  •  should review any existing Personal Budget arrangements including any arrangements for direct payments and any request for a Personal Budget 

Before Review

The local authority should provide a list of children and young people who will require a review of their EHC plan that term to all headteachers and principals of schools, colleges and other institutions attended by children or young people with EHC plans, at least two weeks before the start of each term.

The local authority should also provide a list of all children and young people with EHC plan reviews in the forthcoming term to the CCG (or,where relevant, NHS England) and local authority officers responsible for social care for children and young people with SEN or disabilities.

These lists should also indicate which reviews must be focused on transition and preparation for adulthood.

This will enable professionals to plan attendance at review meetings and/or provide advice or information about the child or young person where necessary. For looked after children the annual review should, if possible and appropriate, coincide with one of the reviews in their Care Plan and in particular the personal education plan (PEP) element of the Care Plan.

The local authority can require the following types of school to convene and hold the meeting on the local authority’s behalf:

  • maintained schools
  • maintained nursery schools
  • academy schools
  • alternative provision academies
  • pupil referral units
  • non-maintained special schools
  • independent educational institutions approved under Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014

Local authorities can request (but not require) that the early years setting, further education college or other post-16 institution convene and hold the meeting on their behalf. There may be a requirement on the post-16 institution to do so as part of the contractual arrangements agreed when the local authority commissioned and funded the placement.

The school (or, for children and young people attending another institution, the local authority) must seek advice and information about the child or young person prior to the meeting from all parties invited, and send any advice and information gathered to all those invited at least two weeks before the meeting.

After Review

The school (or, for children and young people attending another institution, the local authority) must prepare and send a report of the meeting to everyone invited within two weeks of the meeting. The report must set out recommendations on any amendments required to the EHC plan, and should refer to any difference between the school or other institution’s recommendations and those of others attending the meeting.

Within four weeks of the review meeting, the local authority must decide whether it proposed to keep the EHC plan as it is, amend the plan, or cease to maintain the plan, and notify the child’s parent or the young person and the school or other institution attended. If the plan needs to be amended, the local authority should start the process of amendment without delay (see Code of Practice from paragraph 9.193 for further details at Code of Practice).

If the local authority decides not to amend the plan they must notify the child’s parent or the young person of their right to appeal that decision and the time limits for doing so, of the requirements for them to consider mediation should they wish to appeal, and the availability of information, advice and support and disagreement resolution services. 

Guidance and Forms

Portsmouth City Council has published the guidance and forms for EHC Plan reviews on the Local Offer which can be found at EHC Plan Review.

The Annual Review should be person-centred, taking into consideration the needs of both the pupil and their families and settings have the flexibility to adapt their annual review process in order to meet these needs, but must ensure that the Annual Review Report Form is completed thoroughly.

In Portsmouth using these forms and guidance the annual review may follow a similar format to that outlined below.

This is how it may look to a child or young person going through the process:

Your Person-Centred Review

This will be an important part of your Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and will enable you and those supporting you to check you are getting the correct support and set actions for the following year.

Setting the Scene:

It is best if you can be supported to think about what is important now and in the future and what is working/not working before the meeting, and that you can explain confidently, such as photos, symbols and pictures.

To prepare you for the meeting you will be asked to complete the ‘This Is Me Now’ sheets which can be seen at  This is me now (younger version) or This is me now (older version). This will enable you to have your say about what is going on in your life and put down your thoughts about what you want to discuss at the review meeting. This will usually be done with your Plan Co-ordinator or someone else who knows you well and you feel comfortable talking to. This may happen in school or at home before your annual review meeting.

Flip charts or similar will be available for everyone to add information to during the “gathering information” time under the following headings:

  • What do we like and admire about you?
  • What is important to you now?
  • What is important to you in the future?
  • What support do you need to stay healthy and safe?
  • Questions to ask and issues to resolve?
  • What is working well?
  • What isn’t working well?

These questions will be based on your view, your family’s view, the school’s view and from other’s view.

Please note that the categories entitled “What is important……?” are intended to show things from your perspective. It might be a school activity, an interest, friends, or a hope for the future etc.

At the start of the meeting:

  • Introductions – Everyone will be asked to write their names on the sheet and indicate who they are in your life.
  • Like and admire – Everyone will be asked to write something they like and admire about (things that make them smile, laugh or feel proud). Sometimes people bring qualities that other people have said, such as friends in class and other people who work with them.
  • The Plan Co-ordinator – This will usually be your school SENCO or equivalent if you are in college. They will facilitate the meeting and will explain what will happen at the meeting and what the headings mean. Simple ground rules for the meeting will be agreed.

Gathering information:

  • Your choice of music will be played if you wish.
  • Everyone will be invited to write on the flip charts. This will take around 10 – 15 minutes.
  • You will be supported to the at the centre of the meeting.

Reviewing the information/Action planning:

  • Copies of the Action Plan from last year will be available to check progress.
  • Everyone will be asked to name priorities for discussion.
  • Everyone will be invited to discuss the information gathered.
  • Actions will be developed that are possible, positive and practical.
  • All actions should detail what, who and when.
  • Your Plan Co-ordinator will be responsible for checking that the “Action Plan” is implemented.

At the end of the meeting:

  • Everyone in turn will be asked to share what they appreciated about the meeting.
  • The Plan Co-ordinator will be responsible for putting the meeting notes together and distributing them.
  • You and/or your parents will be asked to sign these notes to make sure you agree with the content and actions for the following year. 

 Portsmouth City Council's guidance and forms for EHC Plan reviews is on the Local Offer and can be found at EHC Plan Reviews.

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