The local authority must review your child’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan every 12 months (if your child is under five years old, reviews must be six monthly).
Hampshire County Council has experienced a significant increase in requests for Education Health and Care Needs Assessments over the last two years. As a result of this, the number of assessments undertaken by the County Council, and the number of Education Health and Care Plans issued, has risen significantly. Much work has happened to improve the way the County Council is managing the increase, including recruiting additional staff and a continuous programme of training and improvement.
The focus on EHC assessments has meant that the County Council has not always been able to offer the level of service it strives to in relation to reviewing existing Education Health and Care Plans. The County Council recognises this has caused frustration for our families and schools and apologises for this.
To put this right, the County Council is launching a programme using the online EHC Hub to process reviews more efficiently. The County Council will be writing to schools, colleges, and early years settings over the coming weeks to outline the steps the SEN Service will be taking.
The County Council will be holding events in partnership with Hampshire Parent Carer Network so that families can know what to expect and to ask questions about the annual review process in the EHC Hub - http://www.hpcn.org.uk/
Annual review meetings will still be managed by settings, or by the County Council if a young person is not attending a nursery, school or college.
- To bring together the views of everyone who helps your child
- To review how well the outcomes in the EHC plan are being achieved
- To set new targets for the next year.
The annual review is in four parts:
- Collecting information.
- Holding an annual review meeting.
- The headteacher’s/principal's report of the review meeting to the local authority.
- The local authority’s review of the EHC plan.
The headteacher/principal of your child’s education provider will arrange the meeting. Before the meeting they will ask for written reports from you, your child’s teacher/tutor and any other professionals who know and work with your child. You will be sent a copy of all the views that have been received before the meeting.
The annual review meeting will be held at your child’s school or college. The headteacher/principal must invite parents/carers, your child's teacher/tutor and a representative from the local authority. You may also bring along a friend, adviser, relative or an independent parental supporter if you wish. The headteacher may also invite representatives from relevant health services or a representative from Children's Social Care Services or anyone else they think will be able to provide helpful information and advice, eg learning support assistant.
After listening to everyone’s views at the review meeting, the school or college will set new targets. The headteacher/principal will send a report to the local authority recommending any changes that the people at the meeting (including you and your child) felt should be made to the EHC plan. The school or college will send you a copy of the report (within 10 working days of the meeting).
The local authority will decide whether they should make any changes to your child’s EHC plan. They will write to all those involved in the annual review, tell you about the changes they wish to make, the reasons for them and ask you for your views. You have 15 days to arrange a meeting with the local authority to discuss any changes to the EHC plan.
Changes might be made to the EHC plan if:
- Your child’s needs have changed significantly.
- The local authority decides that different kinds of additional help are necessary.
- Your child has to move to a different school or college.
This is called a revised final EHC plan. You have the same rights as when the EHC plan was first made for resolving disagreements with the local authority and the right to appeal.
Annual reviews will not always lead to changes in your child’s EHC plan.
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 EHC 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.