Education Annual Reviews

If you have an Education Health and Care Plan or an Individual Development Plan they require ongoing monitoring and review as children’s needs and the provision to meet those needs will change very quickly over time and as they move through the phases of their education. That is why the law requires a review at least every 12 months to ensure the detail remains relevant and of course helpful. The Annual Review is a good opportunity to raise concerns, suggest amendments, or ask questions. The Annual Review can be scheduled earlier if necessary and therefore parents, schools or the Local Authority can request the Plan is reviewed earlier if there are issues which need addressing prior to the normal Annual Review. You can request one at any time if you have concerns about your child’s progress, the provision they are receiving or about the placement.

Once a meeting is requested the school will make the formal arrangements making sure that the meeting is convenient for all parties particularly the parents. The Local Authority may attend but they do not have to. The school will generally deal with the meeting and should provide all reports and advice at least two weeks prior to the meeting date for the Annul Review.

The meeting will take place and all interested parties will give their comments. Parents can be supported by their experts in person but generally rely on reports.

The meeting will generally discuss the child’s progress and whether the outcomes have been met. Consideration will be given to the evidence and changes to the child’s need or the provision may be required and whether to amend the outcomes or not. The educational targets will also be considered. It may be that the placement is not working and that is discussed in more detail in the meeting. Attention will be given to the expert reports or recommendations.

Once all the evidence is considered the school will prepare a report and send a copy to the Local Authority within 10 working days. This will also be sent to all those attending the meeting.

The Local Authority will consider the report and decide whether they will make any amendments to the Plan. If a child has an EHCP they must make their decision within 4 weeks of the meeting and inform the parents. If they decide to amend then you will receive a draft copy of the Plan. You can make representations in relation to the amended Plan. The Local Authority must send a final version of the Plan within 8 weeks of the meeting.

If you disagree with the amendments or lack of changes then you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal or the Education Tribunal for Wales.

This is the general procedure and the finer detail will differ slightly depending on whether you have an Educational Health and Care Plan or an Individual Development Plan.  Please contact us now to provide support and guidance with the Annual Review process.

Education Annual Review FAQs

No.  The Local Authority must arrange a statutory review of the Plan at least once every year.  It is the Local Authority’s responsibility and it is not that of the school or the health service.

The review is required by law and must be undertaken.  If they do not carry out the Annual Review then the Local Authority are acting unlawfully.  However, the school are likely to arrange it.  Remarkably we often have parents instruct us as they have not had their child’s Plan reviewed for a number of years.

The Annual Review must involve the parents to consider their views.  It is important that the parents are there to make informed decisions about any potential amendments or changes even where a child is under five and the reviews are conducted at least every three to six months to ensure that the provision continues to be appropriate.  The child’s parent must be fully consulted on any proposed changes and it is important for them to attend.

An EHCP must be reviewed and amended in sufficient time prior to a child or young person moving between key phases of education, to allow for planning to take place and where necessary, commissioning of support and provision at the new institution.  Whilst the process can be complex the timings are set out in statute.

It is statutory for Annual Reviews for a phase transfer, Early Years to Primary and Primary to Secondary to be completed by 15th February of the year of their transfer.

It is statutory for Annual Reviews of pupils moving from secondary school phase to a post-16 setting such as a college or sixth form, to be completed by 31st March of the year of their transfer.

The dates relate to when the Local Authority must complete the review process by and issue the final Education Health and Care Plan.  Therefore, it is likely you will find the review meetings, assessments and the evidence gathering to commence a few months prior to those dates in order to ensure that sufficient time is available for the evidence to be considered and the Plan amended and finalised in time.

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