How often are EHCP's reviewed?
They should be reviewed every 12 months or every 6 months if the child is under five, normally via a review meeting.
Why would a review be held at a different time?
- Sometimes a review will be held earlier, for example, in a year when the child is moving to a new school, a review should be held in the summer of the year prior to the move.
- Sometimes an education placement decides that they cannot meet the child or young person’s needs, which means that an early review is necessary so that an action plan can be agreed.
Reviews will take place within 12 months of the previous review decision so if an early review occurs, the 12-month clock starts once the decision is issued.
Local Authority Guidance on Person centered Annual Reviews can be found below or in the downloads section.
Where are reviews held?
Review meetings are normally be held at a child or young person’s education setting. If they do not attend a setting, the Local Authority will hold the review meeting.
Who can come to a review meeting?
All professionals working with the child or young person will be invited and will send a report if they are unable to attend.
Those invited should send out progress reports at least 2 weeks before the review meeting.
The meeting should be person-centred and exclusively about the child or young person.
The person hosting the meeting should give you the parent views form before the meeting to help you prepare.
The child or young person should also been given the chance to have their say as well.
All the forms can be found in the forms and guides section or in the downloads on this page.
If you want to bring someone with you for support or assistance that's ok, just let the setting/Local authority know- so they can make sure there is enough room.
If you need any materials made into accessible format or translation services or any adjustments to help you at the meeting then contact whoever is hosting the meeting- setting or local authority.
What will happen at the meeting?
The aim is to review outcomes in the EHCP and progress towards meeting these.
It is not a parents’ evening, a discussion about the child’s work in each of their subjects, a review of the provision that a school has provided, a meeting where everyone reads the professional reports, a meeting to re-write the EHCP in detail, or a meeting to decide on a new placement.
What happens next?
Minutes or the Annual Review Form should be issued within 2 weeks of the meeting.
The Local Authority must decide whether to change the EHCP or not within 4 weeks of the meeting.
Will the EHCP always get changed?
Usually EHCPs will be updated only if provision needs to change, the child or young person’s special educational needs have changed, most of the outcomes are no longer relevant, or parents or young people request a personal budget (and this is agreed by the Local Authority).
Sometimes, the outcome of the review is that the provision in the EHCP is no longer required and so the plan will cease.
If it is agreed with the Local Authority that it will change then the final changed EHCP must be issued within 8 weeks of the decision to change the plan.
If the Local Authority decides not to amend the EHCP, and the parent/young person think it should be changed then they can appeal this decision at SEND Tribunal and have the right to request a mediation session.
When will an EHCP Plan change?
ALL EHCPs will be amended in the year of a transfer to a new school or setting e.g. by February 15th of year 6 for a child moving from primary to secondary education.
The Local Authority will use the documentation from the previous year as the basis for the update, so the Year 5 Annual Review will be used for a primary to secondary transition.
If you want any advice on SEND and disability issues contact SENDIASS
Guidance for Education Settings - the full document can be found in the downloads section
How to use this guide
This guide has been developed to provide information for schools, settings and other interested parties on person-centred annual reviews. It will be updated periodically to reflect learning through working with local families, children/young people and education settings.
Underpinning Hounslow’s SEN processes, including the Annual Review, is the principle of keeping children and families at the centre of everything we do.
The Annual Review
This offers everyone working with the child or young person the opportunity to meet and reflect on the success of the EHCP through a person-centred review. The EHCP is reviewed annually or more regularly, if necessary.
Reviews for children aged 0 – 5 years
Early Years reviews should take place more regularly, and at least every 6 months, to ensure that the provision remains appropriate. These reviews can be linked into termly reviews and do not necessarily require the attendance of a full range of professionals.
Preparing for adulthood reviews 14 – 25 years
All reviews taking place from year 9 (age 14) onwards must include a focus on preparing for adulthood.
- pathways to employment
- independent living
- participation in the community
This focus on preparing for adulthood should be built into the EHCP at all ages but it will be the main focus of planning from year 9.
It should, where relevant, include effective planning for young people moving from children’s social care and children’s health services into adult services.
Education, training, skills, steps needed to achieve employment, supported employment, or self-employment, volunteering, or positive daytime activities
- Life-long learning through adult education, short qualifications leading to employment (such as a CSCS, SIA, AAT, City and Guilds)
- Self-employment, for example, paid to walk neighbours’ dogs with a PA funded initially by Access to Work, a business offering IT trouble-shooting for neighbours or charities
- An adult in a supported living setting may be paid to vacuum the home each day or support other residents with their washing
- Developing self-awareness, public safety and communication skills may enable someone to volunteer e.g. disability advisor to local police, handing out leaflets for a charity
Development of skills that give individuals the maximum control and choice over their everyday lives
- Road safety, travel, driving, communicating pain/needs/choices, recognising abuse
- Managing money, managing self-care, moving to supported or independent living
Participating in society / community engagement
Friendships, support networks, voting, attending public events, accessing leisure and recreation facilities, being an equal member of the community
- Using phones, tablets, online shopping and banking, social media/txt, joining a local gym, finding an art club
- Attending local events, finding friendship groups, keeping in touch, accessing a support network
- Access to religious worship, representation
Access to all levels of health care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- Screening, annual health checks, mental health assessments, emergency services, primary care, regular reviews of medication
- Supplementation, self-medication such as with pain relief, good eating choices, access to regular exercise
What is a Person-centred review?
- A person-centred review involves the child or young person but is facilitated by an adult within the school or setting.
- It should not be service-led.
- It is essential that the child or young person is part of the process and, if possible, participates in the actual review or a person-centred meeting prior to the review.
- Participants will be encouraged to give their views in an informal way. For example, each member of the review will be asked what they like and admire about the child or young person.
- The person-centred process gives everyone the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate what is working and consider what is not working so well. This results in jointly agreed outcomes and a clear action plan.
Who Schools/Settings should invite
The school or setting must arrange the reviews and invite the appropriate agencies to attend:
- The child or young person
- Their parents or carers
- The main teacher of the child or young person
- A representative from the Local Authority who could be the SEN Principal Case Officer, an Educational Psychologist, a Specialist Teacher, a Social Worker, a Connexions Advisor or another service provider
- Health professionals involved with the child or young person such as Paediatrician, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist
- A person responsible for social care needs and provision, such as a social worker, virtual school head, or short breaks coordinator
Others who may know or work with the child might be
- Someone from a learning support or inclusion team, or the SENCO
- A teaching assistant or PA (personal assistant) who knows the child well
- A youth club worker or short breaks provider
- Care home manager
- Anyone else the child or young person or their parents ask to be invited
For preparation for adulthood in years 9 upwards, but particularly years 11, 13 or 14
- Adult social care or a mental health social care professional to prepare a transition plan if the young person is expected to require adult services
- A leaving care personal advisor to prepare a pathway plan
- Young offending service if the young person is known to this service or at risk of offending
- A named adult health commissioner from the CCG if the young person may be eligible for continuing health care
- A Connexions advisor or other career advisor to help with preparing for further education, employment or training and career pathway planning
- Representatives from post 16 institutions where the young person decides to attend a further education college or other provider
- Sometimes schools or settings may wish others to attend to provide advice on housing, benefits or work experience (e.g. a disability employment advisor, or disability advisor from Job Centre Plus)
Local Authority priority attendance
SEN Principal Case Officers will prioritise attendance at review meetings based on the needs of the child or young person.
Supporting the child or young person to prepare for the review
It is essential to prepare the child or the young person for their review to ensure the best outcomes from the meeting. Children and young people can be encouraged to contribute as fully as possible for example, by using social stories, cartoon strip conversations, drawings, pictures, photographs, symbols or objects. They can use multi- media tools such as video, wiki website, a story app, a quiz, a book, a slide show or poster or something they have made that they are proud of.
The child must be encouraged to provide something for the review that is their own work and indicates what is important to them, wherever possible.
The child can also prepare for the review by making refreshments, making name badges for attendees, creating a colourful or professional agenda (on paper or on screen), making a short video to show at the start of review (with the help of their friends, if they wish), and participating in role play about the meeting.
The school or setting should explain to the child or young person that the focus of the review will be to celebrate their successes, and look at how they feel about themselves, school, their learning and their aspirations for the future.
This can be recorded in an ‘All about Me’ child/young person’s tool. Depending on the age and ability of the child e.g. if they are over 16 the report can be completed by them, or with the help of their family.
Supporting parents and carers to prepare for the review
Parents can complete an updated Section A/parent views report prior to the review meeting. This captures good quality person-centred information from the family about the child or young person and provides a holistic view for all to discuss at the meeting.
School or setting: preparation for the review
The school or setting needs to consider the location of the meeting and tell the child/young person they can invite their best friend or additional members of their family. If appropriate they can also bring their favourite food, or music which can be played at the start, or during the review.
The room needs to be as welcoming as possible to all those involved. Rather than a formal meeting around a table, chairs should be placed in a semi-circle or circle, to create an environment where people will feel relaxed and able to share views.
It is important that there are no interruptions during the review, so staff could place a sign on the door and advise others not to use the room.
The atmosphere of the meeting should be informal relaxed and welcoming. This allows everyone to feel comfortable contributing to the review. Good preparation is essential in ensuring a positive review experience for all concerned.
The school or setting needs to request reports from key staff involved in the child’s life and distribute these 2 weeks prior to the meeting so that everyone has a chance to read them and they are not read during the meeting itself. Professionals need to think about outcomes for the future that will be discussed at the meeting and include these in their reports.
Headed sheets of flip chart paper can be placed around the room following the person-centred format or an interactive whiteboard can be used.
Overview of the meeting
The duration of the meeting should be 1 to 1½ hours. The school will normally facilitate the review, however in some cases the review can be facilitated by an independent person.
Participants will then be asked to introduce themselves and explain who they are in the child, or young person’s life. This information should be recorded on the ‘who’s here sheet’.
Person-Centred Review Meeting
The meeting rules should be explained.
- No jargon – use everyday language
- Everyone’s contribution is valued equally
- Listen without interruption
- Confidentiality – information shared outside the meeting will be on a need to know basis and decided in partnership with the child, or young person, or social worker if the child is looked after
- Switch off mobile phones
The role of the facilitator
The role of the chair/facilitator is to help people to make realistic and positive decisions, help people stay on track and make sure everything is recorded for the review report.
The child or young person take part as chair if they wish and are prepared.
When a child or young person’s family do not speak English as their first language, the timescale for planning the review should take into account the possible need to translate any relevant documents into the family’s first language or ensure that interpreters are available at the meeting.
Similarly, hearing impaired, visually impaired or parents with limited literacy skills will need accessible materials and may require scribes or advocates at the meeting itself or to explain documentation ahead of the meeting.
Also, some parents may feel inhibited to verbally share their views, therefore you might wish to meet with them prior to the meeting to obtain their views and speak on their behalf during the review.
The school may offer help or suggest that the parents contact SENDIASS, Hounslow’s SEND Independent Advice and Support service Parents should also be told that they can bring a friend or other person to the review meeting.
What happens in the meeting?
The facilitator/chair should introduce themselves and explain how the review will be held. Everyone in turn should introduce themselves and agree the ground rules
2. Record who is at the meeting
Everyone should record their names and any apologies should be noted
3. Like and admire
Everyone in turn to say what they like and admire about the child or young person. This includes strengths, personal qualities and characteristics themselves
4. What’s important to and what’s important for the child/young person
Everyone to say what they think is important to the child/young person and what the child or young person thinks is important for them
5. Support I am receiving now
This sheet to be generated prior to the meeting and to be displayed in large format. Include current provision. Review the actions/targets from the last meeting
6. What’s working and what needs changing
The facilitator/chair to summarise what is working and what needs changing in relation to current objectives/provision
What outcomes do people hope to see the young person achieving by this time next year? What would that look like? Facilitator/chair to work towards an agreement.
8. Action planning
This is the time to develop the actions that need to be taken in order to achieve the outcomes identified. Define each outcome; include a description of what the action is to achieve each outcome, who will take it and by when. It is important to date the actions giving an indication as to when the actions are to be reviewed regarding progress
To start the meeting, the chair/facilitator will ask everyone in turn what they like and admire about the child and young person. This will include things such as abilities, strengths, personal qualities, achievements and characteristics. This will focus on all the positive qualities of the child, or young person.
- The meeting will then gather everyone’s views in turn on what really matters to the child as well as what is important for the child, or young person in terms of their special educational needs, health and care support. This can be recorded on an ‘important to (what matters to me) and important for (good support) sheet’.
- Everyone will need to look at what is working and what is not working for the child or young person from their perspective and this can be recorded on a ‘what is working and what is not working’ sheet.
- Everyone present will consider the advice they have read before the meeting which should be up to date and relevant.
- Everyone will need to consider the child/young person’s aspirations and jointly develop an outcomes action plan. This should show outcomes and the support needed to help achieve the outcomes up to the end of the current phase of education, but a longer or shorter-term outcome can be included if appropriate.
Consideration needs to be given about whether the EHCP is still necessary
- Have the outcomes been achieved? Everyone should give views on progress made.
- If the review is to change an existing EHCP everyone will give views on the sections that need to be amended so that the plan remains appropriate.
After the review - writing the report
Schools and settings need to use the information gathered and transfer this into the person-centred review template. The annual review form has been designed to ensure that all appropriate information is captured about the child or young person.
Where to send the report
Please send the completed annual review report by email to the SEN Case Officer responsible. An up to date list can be found at www.hounslow.gov.uk/localoffer EHCP section or email to SEN Business Support at SEN@hounslow.gov.uk.
The Local Authority will then decide whether to:
- Change the EHCP and issue a new draft plan
- Cease the plan e.g. if the child or young person is leaving education
- Trigger a reassessment of the child or young person’s needs if these have changed significantly and every section of the plan is out of date
- Maintain the EHCP as it is until then next phase transfer
Amending the EHCP
A draft amended EHCP will always be issued ahead of a phase transfer (Early Years to Infants/Primary, Primary to Secondary, Secondary to post 16, Year 13/14 to post 19 provision, if applicable).
In between these phase transfers, an amended EHCP will only be issued if there is a significant amendment to provision or most of the outcomes are no longer relevant for the child or young person. On occasion, the child or young person’s needs may change significantly which requires new provision and outcomes to be written. For most, the outcomes are set and remain relevant throughout the key stage.
The latest annual review documentation will be attached to the EHCP in order that anyone looking at the plan can see what is likely to change at the next key stage.
At phase transfer, a draft amended plan will be sent to the family and/or young person for further views.
Once they have confirmed that they are happy with the EHCP, the Local Authority SEN Team will consult the chosen placement and then the EHCP will be issued as an amended final EHCP ready for the transition process to begin.
Below is a guide on developing outcomes and an example ‘All about me’ form.
Further information can be found on the Hounslow Local Offer www.hounslow.gov.uk/localoffer.
Legislation and further guidance can be found at the following websites: