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Annual reviews - assessing progress and outcomes

A short animated film has been produced by the Council for Disabled Children on an education health and care plan annual review.

Upon receiving an education, health and care plan, the setting the child or young person attends will make suitable arrangements for monitoring their progress and set interim and shorter term targets for the coming year. Arrangements for the review of the plan will be co-ordinated by the setting.

Will I be involved in the review?

Reviews must be undertaken in partnership with parents and the child or young person. It must take account of parents and the child’s or young person’s views, wishes and feelings, including their right to request a personal budget.

It is expected that the child or young person is prepared for, and involved in, the review in an appropriate way suited to their needs. They may wish to bring examples of how they have progressed towards the outcomes specified in the education, health and care plan.

When will the review take place?

The first review will take place within a year of the issue of the education, health and care plan and will continue on an annual basis thereafter.

If under five, reviews will take place every six months until the child reaches five years of age, when they will become annual.

What will the review cover?

The review will: 

  • focus on the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in Section E of the Education, Health and Care Plan.

  • gather and assess information so that it can be used by the child or young person’s educational establishment to support their progress and access to teaching and learning.

  • review the special educational provision made for the child or young person and its effectiveness in ensuring access to teaching and learning and good progress.

  • review the health and social care provision made for the child or young person and its effectiveness in ensuring progress towards outcomes.

  • consider the continuing appropriateness of the Education, Health and Care Plan in the light of the child or young person’s progress during the previous year or changed circumstances and whether changes are required, including any changes to outcomes, enhanced provision, change of educational establishment or whether the Education, Health and Care Plan should be discontinued.

  • Set new interim targets for the coming year and, where appropriate, agree new outcomes.

  • Review any interim targets set by the early years provider, school or college or other education provider.

  • Plan for key changes in the child or young person’s life, such as changing schools, moving from children’s to adult care and / or from paediatric services to adult health, or moving from further education to adulthood.

The review of the education, health and care plan should include the review of any existing personal budget arrangements, including the statutory requirement to review any arrangements for direct payments. 

All reviews taking place from Year 9 at the latest and onwards must include a focus on preparing for adulthood, including employment, independent living and participation in society. For looked after children the annual review should, if possible and appropriate, coincide with one of the reviews in their care plan and in particular the personal education plan (PEP) element of the care plan.

Who should be invited to the review?

The following professionals should be invited, where appropriate, to the review:

  • Special educational needs co-ordinator or representative from the child or young person’s educational establishment
     
  • SEND key worker, educational psychologist, specialist teacher for the vision Impaired / hearing Impaired / autism outreach team, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, paediatric consultant, social worker or representative(s).
     
  • Any other professionals, parents or your young people who would like to be invited or who are deemed appropriate to enhance planning and provision.

What happens after the review?

If the decision is to amend the education, health and care plan, the SEND key worker will send a proposed amended plan to the parent or young person and to the nursery, school or post 16 institution. 

If the decision is not to amend the education, health and care plan, the SEND key worker will write to the parent or young person to inform them of the decision and the reasons for it. The parent or young person will be informed of their right to appeal the decision and the time limit for doing so, of the requirement for them to consider mediation should they wish to appeal and the availability of information, advice and support services.

Staffordshire County Council has developed the following four documents to support the Annual Review process:

Transfer between phases of education

An education, health and care plan must be reviewed and amended in sufficient time prior to the child or young person moving between key phases of education, to allow for planning for and, where necessary, commissioning of support and provision at the new institution.

The review and any amendments must be completed by 15 February in the calendar year of the transfer at the latest for transfers into or between schools. The key transfers are:

  • early years provider to 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 the 31 March in the calendar year of the transfer.

If a young person is moving between post-16 institutions, the review process should normally be completed by 31 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 between one post-16 institution and another within the following 12 months, the local authority must review and amend, where necessary, the young person’s education, health and care plan at least five months before the transfer takes place.  

In some cases, young people may not meet the entry requirements for their chosen course or change their minds about what they want to do after the 31 March or five-month deadline. Where this is the case, local authorities should review the education, health and care plan with the young person as soon as possible, to ensure that alternative options are agreed and new arrangements are in place as far in advance of the start date as practicable.

Parents and young people are written to every autumn term and asked to submit their preference form for the next school year. A SEND key worker will lead on the consultation process and amending the child or young person’s education, health and care plan.

Preparing for adulthood in reviews

All reviews taking place from year 9 at the latest and onwards must include a focus on preparing for adulthood, including employment, independent living and participation in society. This transition planning must be built into the education, health and care plan and where relevant should include effective planning for young people moving from children’s to adult 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 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. As the young person is nearing the end of their time in formal education and the plan is likely to be ceased within the next 12 months, the annual review should consider 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 – for example, moving on to higher education, employment, independent living or adult care.

Ceasing an education, health and care plan

A local authority may cease to maintain an education, health and care plan only if it determines that it is no longer necessary for the plan to be maintained, or if it is no longer responsible for the child or young person.

The parent or the young person will be informed of their right to appeal the decision and the time limit for doing so, of the requirement for them to consider mediation should they wish to appeal and the availability of information, advice and support services.

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