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What is an Annual Review?

An annual review is the process that looks at the Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan; reviewing whether the special educational needs, outcomes, and provision detailed in the EHC Plan are still relevant to your child or young person. 

The Annual Review will involve a meeting. This meeting is usually held at the school/education setting that your child/young person attends and is led by the Plan Coordinator (usually the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator of the school /setting). 

The process is completed when the Local Authority makes its recommendations regarding the EHC Plan following receipt of the Annual Review report from the school /education setting.

Starting the Annual Review Process

It is recommended that at least 4 weeks before the planned Annual Review meeting, the school / education setting invite parents and all professionals involved with your child/young person to the annual review meeting. If the meeting is considered urgent, it may not be possible for 4 weeks’ notice to be given.

At this stage, the school will also be asking for any reports that professionals may have already written or a report of their recent involvement, since the issue of the EHC Plan (or the last annual review meeting).

Two weeks before the Annual Review meeting, the Plan Co-ordintor will circulate a copy of the draft annual review form and any reports that other professionals have sent to all those invited to the meeting.

The Annual Review meeting

The meeting should be held in a ‘person-centred’ way. This means that the meeting should focus on what is important to the child/ young person, now and in the future, what support your child/ young person needs and what is working and not working in their life. 

Every child/ young person should be invited to attend the review meeting, however it is understood that, depending on the child / young person’s age and special educational needs, it may not be appropriate for them to attend the meeting, for all or part of the meeting. If the child /young person is not able to attend, then they should be able to contribute to the Annual Review process by completing the ‘This is Me Now’ form or giving their views in another way which may include a presentation / video. Parent carer views will also be very important. The Plan Co-ordinator may have met with the parent carer before the meeting and discussed their views and how they can contribute to the meeting.

After the Annual Review meeting

Within two weeks of the Annual Review meeting, the Plan Co-ordinator will complete the annual review paperwork and ask you to sign the form before giving you a copy and sending the form to all the professionals involved with your child/ young person, even if they did not attend. The Plan Co-ordinator will also send a copy of the final review paperwork to the SEN Team who have a further four weeks to propose that the Local Authority will keep the EHC Plan as it is, amend the EHC Plan or cease to maintain the EHC plan. The SEN team will write to you with the Local Authority recommendation. 

Part of the process in making the recommendation may require your child / young person being discussed at the Inclusion Support Panel to ask their advice. If the recommendation is not to amend the EHC Plan or to cease to maintain the EHC
Plan, then you will have a right to appeal the decision. 

If the recommendation is to amend the EHC Plan, then the SEN team will start the process and you will be sent a copy of the proposed amendments in due course

Annual Review Frequently asked questions

What questions will be asked at the Annual Review meeting?

The meeting should ask the following questions: 

  • What do we like and admire about the child/young person? 
  • What is important to the child/ young person now? 
  • What is important to child/ younger person for the future? 
  • What support does the child/ young person need to stay healthy and safe? 
  • Questions to ask & issues to resolve 
  • What is working well? 
  • What isn’t working well?

Who can support me at an Annual Review meeting?

If you feel that you may need support at the Annual Review meeting, for example with being able to express your views, please contact the Portsmouth SEND Information, Advice and Support Service who can provide a support worker to attend the meeting.

You can also have a friend or family member support you at the meeting too. Just let your plan co-ordinator know before the date.

How long will the meeting last and what will we talk about?

The meeting can take between 1-2 hours.

The meeting will  focus on the content of the EHC Plan and will review the Outcomes and support detailed within the plan.

Who will be at the Annual Review meeting?

The Plan co-ordinator will invite parent carers and children/young people.

Everybody currently involved in your child’s education, health and social care will also be invited to the meeting. You can ask your plan co-ordinator if there is somebody specific you would like at the meeting and they will then invite them.

Professionals from the Local Authority will also be asked to attend the Annual Review meeting. If somebody is unable to attend the meeting they will be asked to contribute to the annual review in another way.

What is a Transition or Phase Annual Review?

When a child moves from one stage of education to another , this is known as a ‘Phase’ or ‘Transition’. At these times the Local Authority has to review or amend the EHCP.

The different times a child or young person might do this are:

  • early years education to school
  • infant to junior school
  • primary to middle school
  • primary to secondary school
  • middle to secondary school
  • secondary school to a post 16 institution

For young people moving from secondary school to a post-16 setting, the review must be completed and an updated plan sent by the 31st of March in the year of transfer.

For all other years, the deadline is the 15th February in the year of transfer.

What happens if I need help with my child's EHCP before the yearly Annual Review?

If at any time you think your child or young person’s needs have changed and they are no longer accurately reflected in their plan or if the provision in the EHCP is no longer meeting your child’s needs, you can ask for an early review to be called.

We would encourage you to speak directly with the SENCO at your child/young person’s setting first to discuss your concerns.

If you believe the changes are urgent then you need to ask for an early review of the EHCP as soon as possible.

To ask for an early review you can write to the SEN team directly yourself or somebody from the education setting can ask on your behalf.

How do I appeal a decision made during the Annual Review process that I don't agree with?

If you do not agree with a decision made during the Annual Review process there are a number of steps you can take.

You can contact the SEN team and discuss your concerns first.

If you still are not happy you can then appeal the decisions.

Before you can appeal you will need to consider mediation – this can be done by contacting Global Mediation services. If you do not think mediation will be helpful you will need to ask for a mediation certificate before you can formally lodge an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal.

You have 2 months from the date of the formal  letter from the Local Authority or 30 days from the date on the mediation certificate ( whichever is greater) to lodge an appeal.

If you would like some help you can contact Portsmouth IASS for further information and advice.



Related Documents and Links

Visit the document Hub to download forms and guidance on completing Annual Review paperwork.

External links

IPSEA – asking for an Early Review

Council for Disabled Children – Annual Review Factsheet for Parent Carers

Contact – Annual Review Information

Portsmouth SENDIASS

An impartial service providing information, advice and guidance on SEND.

Click here to visit SENDIASS

Portsmouth SEN Team

The Special Educational Needs Team at portsmouth city council are responsible for EHCPs.

Portsmouth SEN Team info
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Portsmouth Parent Voice

Helping parent carers of young people aged 0-25 with additional needs and disabilities to shape and improve local services

Click here to visit Portsmouth Parent Voice

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Contact the Portsmouth Send Local Offer to gain help, get more information or to leave feedback about the website.

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