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Reviewing an EHC Plan

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans actively monitor children and young people’s progress towards their outcomes and longer term aspirations.

A Review of an EHC Plan focuses on the child or young person’s progress towards realising the outcomes specified in the EHC plan.

What is a Review of an EHC Plan?

A Review is an opportunity to look at a child or young person’s EHC plan and consider whether the outcomes and short-term targets remain appropriate.  As part of the Review, a meeting will take place with parents and young people contributing their views.  Children may attend some or all of a review meeting and/ or they can express their views in advance of the meeting.

Reviews:

  • gather and assess information so that it can be used by the Early Years setting, school or college to support the child or young person’s progress and their access to teaching and learning;
  • evaluate the special educational provision made for the child or young person to ensure it is effective;
  • evaluate the health and social care provision made for the child or young person and its effectiveness in ensuring good progress towards outcomes;
  • consider the continuing appropriateness of the EHC plan in the light of the child or young person’s progress during the previous year or any changed circumstances;
  • decide whether changes are required including developing new outcomes, enhancing provision, changing the educational establishment and whether the EHC plan should continue;
  • set new interim targets for the coming year and where appropriate, agree new outcomes.

When should a Review of an EHC Plan be held?

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

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. ‘Decision’ means the decision whether or not to amend the EHC Plan.  If the decision is to amend the EHC Plan, the amendments should be made in a timely manner.  Parents and young people have the right of Appeal if they dispute the Local Authority’s decision to not amend an EHC Plan.

Who participates in a Review of an EHC Plan?

Reviews are undertaken in partnership with the child, the parent or the young person and will take account of their views, wishes and feelings, including their right to request a Personal Budget.

A meeting will be held as part of the review process.  The people who should attend are those who can make a contribution to reviewing progress and to arranging future provision.  This could include any number of professionals who are involved with a child.  In a school, the School Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) will usually chair a Review meeting.  Other professionals may have been invited e.g. Teaching Assistant, Speech and Language Therapist, Social Worker.  There may be a representative of the Local Authority in attendance.

Following a Review meeting, the school must send a record of the meeting to the Local Authority.  In the light of any recommendations made at the meeting or contained in any other reports or advice received, a decision will be made whether or not to amend the EHC Plan and the parent or the young person will be notified accordingly.

Parents and young people have the right of Appeal if they dispute the Local Authority’s decision to not amend an EHC Plan.  If an amended EHC Plan is issued, parents and young people have the right of Appeal regarding Sections B, F, I and J. 

Reviews of EHC Plans for children aged 0 - 5 yrs

Local Authorities should consider reviewing an EHC Plan for a child under five at least every six months to ensure that the provision continues to be appropriate.  This complements the duty to carry out a Review at least annually.  The Review may be conducted with a light touch and not necessarily require the attendance of the full range of professionals, depending on the needs of the child.

The child’s parent will be fully consulted on any proposed changes to the EHC Plan arising from the Review and made aware of their right of appeal to Tribunal.

Transfer between Phases of Education

An Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan must be reviewed and amended in sufficient time prior to a child or young person moving between key phases of education.  This allows for planning at the new institution.  It also means that, where necessary, support and provision can be commissioned in time.

The review and any amendments must be completed by 15th February in the calendar year of the transfer.

The key transfers are:

  • early years provider to infant or primary school;
  • infant school to junior school;
  • primary school to middle school;
  • primary school to secondary school;
  • middle school to secondary school.

For young people moving from secondary school to a post-16 institution or apprenticeship, the review and any amendments to the EHC plan - including specifying the post-16 provision and naming the institution - must be completed by 31st March in the calendar year of the transfer.

For young people moving between post-16 institutions, the review process should normally be completed by 31st March where a young person is expected to transfer to a new institution in the new academic year.  However, transfers between post-16 institutions may take place at different times of the year and the review process should take account of this.  In all cases, where it is proposed that a young person is to transfer from one post-16 institution to another within the following twelve months, the Local Authority must review the EHC Plan at least five months before the transfer takes place.

Review of an EHC Plan: Preparing for Adulthood

All reviews taking place from Year 9 onwards must include a focus on preparing for adulthood. This includes planning for employment, greater independence and participation in society.

Transition planning must be incorporated into the EHC Plan.  This should include effective planning for young people moving from children’s to adults’ care and health services.  It is particularly important in these reviews to seek and to record the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person. The review meeting organiser (usually the SENCO) should invite representatives of post-16 institutions to these review meetings, particularly where the child or young person has expressed a desire to attend a particular institution. Review meetings taking place in Year 9 should have a particular focus on considering options and choices for the next phase of education.

Where a young person is nearing the end of their time in formal education and the EHC Plan is likely to be ceased within the next twelve months, the Annual Review should include good exit planning. Support, provision and outcomes should be agreed that will ensure the young person is supported to make a smooth transition to whatever they will be doing next.

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