SEND annual reviews of education, health and care plans

Find out about the annual review of your child's education, health and care plan (EHCP).

If your child has an education, health and care plan (EHCP), we will review the plan once a year to monitor your child's progress and make sure the plan continues to meet their needs.

The purpose of the annual review is to:

  • assess your child's progress
  • review the special educational provision made for your child
  • consider whether the description of needs is still accurate or needs updating
  • set new targets

If there is concern about your child's progress, their needs have changed significantly or they are at serious risk of exclusion (and if you and the school agree), then the annual review may be brought forward. This is called an interim review.

At the annual review

The meeting will normally include:

  • your views of the past year's progress and the views of your child and the school
  • how well outcomes in the education, health and care plan (EHCP) and the outcomes agreed at the previous annual review, have been met
  • outcomes for the next year
  • the support needed from the school and parents or carers to achieve those outcomes
  • any further action needed and who will be responsible for this
  • whether the education, health and care plan needs amending, or is no longer needed
  • discussion about preparation for adulthood, if appropriate

Attending the review

The following people may attend the review:

  • parents or carers
  • your child
  • the school special educational needs coordinator
  • a relevant teacher
  • a representative from the local authority's education support services
  • therapists and other health experts involved with your child
  • anyone you or your child's head teacher or special educational needs co-ordinator considers appropriate

You can really make a difference to the meeting by sharing your views. You can also take a friend or supporter to the meeting if you want.

Wherever possible, your child should be actively involved in the review process and should go to all, or part, of the meeting. Your child should be encouraged to give their views.

Preparing your report for the meeting

The head teacher or special educational needs coordinator will ask for your views, they may give you a form to complete or they may meet with you to do so. They will also invite your child's teachers and any others who are needed to the meeting. Reports should be sent to everyone who has been invited two weeks before the review to allow time to read them. The views of people who are unable to attend will also be asked for.

You should be asked to provide information about:

  • your views on your child's progress over the last year
  • what has pleased you and concerns you may have
  • what you feel are the needs of your child in the coming year
  • what you think you and the school can do to meet those needs

Practical tips for attending SEND meetings at school

Meetings aren't always easy; however there are things you can do which can help.

Things to find out before the meeting:

  • why is the meeting being held?
  • who else has been invited and why?
  • is there anyone else you want to include?
  • is there paperwork you should have been sent before the meeting?
  • where and what time is the meeting?
  • where can you park?
  • who do you ask for when you get there?
  • what do you want to get out of the meeting?
  • will someone be taking notes of the meeting?

Make a note of questions to ask and points that you wish to raise and take it with you.

Remember that you can usually take someone to support you at the meeting.

At the meeting

  • be on time. You'll feel calmer and it will give you time to do what you need to do to feel ready. Take deep breaths, look over your notes and visit the bathroom
  • at the beginning of the meeting everyone should introduce themselves, but if this doesn't happen, ask them to do so
  • don't be afraid to ask questions
  • sometimes people at meetings may use words you don't understand. If you are unsure, ask them to explain what they are talking about
  • summarise what you think is being said to make sure you've got it right and check that everyone has understood your views
  • note any action points, ensure people are clear about what they have agreed, and what actions will follow
  • make sure that any reports or paperwork from the meeting are going to be sent to you

After the review

The school will prepare a report summarising the results of the review meeting and setting out targets for the next year. The report will be sent to everyone involved in the review.

The head teacher will send the annual review report to us. There may be no changes to the education, health and care plan, and you will be told if that is the case. There may be minor changes, and these will be sent to you as an amended plan.

If there is a significant change in provision or a change of school recommended for your child the SEND casework officer will review them, and issue an amended plan. If these changes involve funding or placement, then the appropriate approval process will be followed before the draft amended plan is issued.

If there are changes, the SEND casework officer will write and tell you about them and the reasons for them. You will then have 15 days to consider the proposed changes. These will be in line with the discussion in the annual review, so there should be no surprises.

If you agree with the changes, your SEND caseworker will issue a final education, health and care plan.

If you do not agree with the changes, you can discuss this with your review officer or your advisor from the SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS).