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EHCP review process

The EHCP review process allows professionals to work with parents and carers to judge progress in relation to the child or young persons Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), reflecting what is important to the parent/carers and the child or young person.  

Review meetings enable all professionals involved with the child or young person to come together and work towards the outcomes/objectives agreed in the plan. This enables everyone involved to: 

  • reflect on progress 
  • identify any difficulties that need resolving or changes or adjustments that might be needed  
  • agree and plan next steps. 

As children grow their needs change and we have to make sure their EHCP remains useful for them.  Sometimes a child or young persons special educational needs change as they get older meaning they may need more or less support. Services also change over time and new services or support may become available that weren’t available when the EHCP was first written. 

It's important to make sure the original description of the child or young persons needs is still accurate and that the level of support, and the setting, school or college we originally recommended is still right for them.  We also need to discuss personal budgets and direct payment arrangements.  

How often will an EHCP be reviewed?

If a child is under five years old we’ll review the EHCP every six months. If a child is older we’ll review it every year. 

It may be appropriate to hold more frequent, informal review meetings to support parent/carers and the child or young person at particular times, for example during transition phases. 

If the review recommends changes to the EHCP we'll inform parents/carers within four weeks of the date of the meeting, whether or not we accept the recommendation(s). 

Principles of a good review

A good review should: 

  • be child and family-centred; focused on finding out what's important to parents/carers and the child or young person, now and in the future 
  • be well-prepared 
  • be transparent - placing things in order of importance, easy to understand and clear 
  • be able to consider what is working and find solutions to what is not working
  • seek out what help and support is needed 
  • ensure everyone is treated equally and is able to make an equal contribution 

A guide to person-centred review meetings can be found here

Who should be invited to the review meeting?

Attendance at the review meeting should include: 

  • parents/carers (essential) 
  • the child or young person (essential that they contribute/participate in person or in writing) 
  • the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) or Headteacher 
  • relevant health practitioners supporting the child (e.g. Paediatrician, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Physiotherapist) 
  • Social Worker (if applicable) 
  • Educational Psychologist and/or Advisory Teacher  
  • the SEND Caseworker 
  • if the child or young person is about to undergo a transition, e.g. starting a new school, it will also be necessary to invite professionals who will be supporting the child in the new setting
  • any other person the parent/carers and the SENCO agree as appropriate

What happens before the review meeting?

    The SENCO should prepare for the review meeting with parents/carers by: 

    • agreeing who will be invited  
    • discussing what the parents/carers hopes for the meeting are and what outcomes they want to achieve  
    • agreeing how parents/carers want to participate in the meeting 
    • considering what tools or materials will be used at the meeting to support the process
    • invitations to the review should be sent out 4 weeks in advance of the meeting and a copy of the current EHCP be included with the invitation 
    • professionals who are unable to attend should send the SENCO a written report on progress at least two weeks before the meeting 
    • reports from all relevant professionals and the views of the parent/carer and the child or young person should be circulated two weeks before the date of the review.

    What needs to be covered at the meeting?

      • what is important for the child or young person and parents/carers  
      • what is working well  
      • any concerns or challenges (including any changes in needs or updated diagnoses) 
      • what progress is being made towards the agreed outcomes 
      • how the child or young person is being supported and what provision is being made  
      • the impact of the support being offered
      • what will happen next, who will do it, and when

      The result should be a clear set of actions that reflect the child or young person and the family as a whole. The process should feel positive and be outcomes focused.

      What happens after the review?

      The education establishment is expected to send the completed review paperwork to the local authoirty within 2 weeks of the date of the meeting. The local authority expects to be able to decide on the recommendations from the review within a further 2 weeks and then implement those decisions as quickly as possible.  
      If a parent/carer disagrees with a decision made about the child or young persons educational needs during their EHCP review they can appeal.

      Further information and support

      You can read more about annual reviews in the SEND Code of Practice (paragraphs 9.166 – 9.185).

      SENDiass4BCP can also help. They can:

      • provide you with advice and support in preparing for an annual review 
      • accompany you to meetings
      • provide you with details of other organisations, support groups and services that may be of help

      Visit their website for a range of information about annual reviews.

      IPSEA also have information on the annual review process. This includes an annual review checklist which can be used by parents and carers to check whether the necessary steps are being followed in your annual review