What is an Annual Review meeting – and is it always ‘annual’?
An Annual Review meeting is where the school/setting, professionals, parents and a young person review the needs, outcomes and the provision (the support) in the young person’s Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan. The review meeting is to see if any changes are needed. The rest of the annual review process is coordinated and managed by the SEND Service.
Annual reviews are legally required. The first one needs to take place within 12 months of the first EHC Plan being issued, and then each year within 12 months of the last review. However, for children under 5, the review should be every three to six months. Sometimes, if things change a lot, or very quickly, it is necessary to have an interim review. This can take place at any time and is usually called by the school.
Who takes part in an Annual Review meeting?
The school / setting usually organises and leads the review meeting. Reviews should take place with the parents/carers and the child/young person, wherever possible. Other professionals may also be invited, for example: Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Educational Psychologists, School Nurses or Social Workers.
What happens in a Review Meeting?
Review meetings focus on the child or young person’s progress towards the outcomes in the EHC Plan – they are not simply a report of what the child or young person has done over the year.
The school / setting will share their information about your child’s progress towards their outcomes. Professionals will share their information too. However, your / your child’s views will be very important, and will be listened to. If you need support at the meeting, Sutton Information, Advice & Support Service (SIASS) and/or Sutton Parents Carers Forum (SPCF) can help you. Visit SIASS’ website (external link). Visit SPCF website (external link).
Once all of the information has been discussed, any changes that might need to be made to the EHC Plan are discussed and recorded. This, together with all the information or reports shared at the meeting, will be sent to the Local Authority.
What happens next?
The information sent will be considered carefully, and within four weeks of the review meeting (provided the setting has sent the information promptly), the Local Authority will decide what needs to happen. This could be to keep the EHC Plan as it is, change the plan, or stop maintaining the plan. Both you and the educational setting will be told of the decision within those four weeks.
If changes are made to the Plan, the SEND Service will send you a ‘draft amended Plan’, and you will have 15 days to comment on it and suggest further changes. Once a final version is agreed, a Final Amended EHC Plan is issued.
If you disagree with the decision, or with the amendments in the Plan, you can speak to the SEND Service, contact SIASS or SPCF, asking for mediation or an appeal to tribunal. Further information on these can be found on the Local Offer.