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EHC: The Annual Review Process (A Guide for Early Years and Schools) - WNC

EHC: The Annual Review Process (A Guide for Early Years and Schools) - WNC logo



All students with an Education Health and Care plan must have an annual review. It must take place on or before the anniversary of the issue of the EHC plan, and then subsequently within 12 months of the previous review. (Code of Practice Chapter 9 - Reviewing an EHC Plan 9.169)

The annual review meeting is normally held in the education setting and informs the Local Authority (LA). The LA is responsible for the Annual Review process.  In Northamptonshire the annual review meeting is delegated to the school or setting.

The annual review meeting must be undertaken in partnership with the student and their parent(s)/carer(s) and must take account of their views, wishes and feelings, including the right to request a personal budget each year. Please note: Personal Budgets are not additional funds.

For more information about Personal Budgets, please visit Personal Budgets for Education, Health, and Care Plans.

  • The annual review must focus on the young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in their plan.
  • The annual review must consider whether the outcomes and short steps remain appropriate.
  • The Local Authority will provide a school/setting with a list of all students and their review dates each term.

Gathering Information for the Review Meeting

The school or setting will need to gather information and advice which should provide:

  • Details about the student’s progress and how they are accessing teaching and learning
  • Whether the current special educational provision is effective and what impact it has had.
  • Whether the current health and social care provision is effective and how it is ensuring good progress towards outcomes.
  • A review of any direct payments including the impact.
  • Progress towards the outcomes stated in the EHC plan

Where there are changes to a student’s special educational needs or provision, additional professional advice or reports should be obtained.

The Review Meeting

In the vast majority of cases, the LA delegates the review meeting to the educational setting that knows their student best. There will be exceptions, such as those students who are electively home educated or not in an educational setting.

Invitations to attend the review meeting need to be sent out to all concerned, at least (and not less than) two weeks in advance of the date of the meeting.

Contributors, including those unable to attend will be asked to provide a written report regarding progress. These need to be shared with participants in two weeks in advance of the meeting, and will need to be submitted to the organisers promptly.

Information and advice from young people and professionals should inform changes and updates that may be appropriate to the EHC plan. If there is any disagreement about the changes, these must be reported to the LA with the review meeting details.

It will be useful to make sure that there is a copy of the most recent EHC plan available for everyone at the meeting.

At the review meeting you need to:

  • Consider the young person’s progress towards the outcomes detailed and consider whether they are still appropriate
  • Consider what provision is required to help the child or young person prepare for adulthood and independent living (from the earliest years)
  • Review any interim targets set by the education provider
  • Set new interim targets for the coming year, and where appropriate agree new outcomes – these may be in the form of an Individual Education Plan or targets underpinning the EHC Plan.

You may find it helpful to use a copy of the most recent EHC Plan and annotate it as part of the review meeting. This can be submitted with the supporting documents to the EHC team. (Please note that the government has stipulated that “EHC plans are not expected to be amended on a very frequent basis” (SEND COP JAN 2015).

The meeting organiser must prepare and send a report of the meeting to everyone invited and the Local Authority within two weeks of the meeting. This should include all professional reports submitted.

In order to meet the deadlines set out in Code of Practice for the Annual Review, the Local Authority has no more than four weeks from the date of the review meeting to make its decision whether to continue with the plan, amend the plan (usually at key stage transfers and year 9) or to cease the plan.

Person Centred Practice (PCP)

West Northamptonshire is committed to young people being at the centre of processes and would urge the meeting convener to consider some of the following and the ethos of person-centred practice. Training for PCP can be arranged through the SENCo Network sessions.

You may wish to consider some of the following in preparation of the meeting:

  • Is the venue appropriate for the young person and their family?
  • How will you enable young people to contribute?
  • How will you enable their families to contribute?
  • Is the room big enough for everyone to meet in?
  • Have you had the room set out in a person centred practice style?
  • Have you all the resources you need? (Flipcharts, pens, refreshments etc)

Year 9 and Above (Preparing for Adulthood)

Review meetings taking place in Year 9 and above must have a particular focus on considering options and choices for the next phase of education and what options will be available when leaving a school setting.


Viewpoint is an approved international provider and designer and has been commissioned by the Local Authority to create an online survey for children and young people who have a current Education Health and Care Plan. The survey can be completed by each child or young person when their annual review is due. Students over the age of 7 need to be invited and encouraged to answer questions about their life in school, at home, out and about and when using health services.

The school or setting can view the individual’s results and a report about their school. Schools can be provided with their own “manager access” at no extra cost.

The survey can be completed at two levels, one is much simpler and was designed for primary students and those who struggle with comprehension. It uses the pictorial symbols that are used in our primary schools. The 2nd survey is for the more confident reader. However, both versions have technology that will read the questions out loud.

Individual passwords and logons are the same and the ‘Organisation’ is always NhantsEHC. Please contact your EHC Admin team for passwords.


The SEND Code of Practice (2015) states that an annual review must take place within 12 months of the issue of the EHC plan or the last review.

Within four weeks of the review meeting, the Local Authority must decide whether to:

  • Maintain the EHC plan in its current form providing families with information about their rights to mediation, disagreement services, and time scales.
  • Amend the EHC plan - An amendment plan must be sent to the parents/young people showing the proposed amendments and the evidence that supports it. The parents/young people must be told of their rights including requesting a particular school, give 15 days for comments or representations on the proposed changes.The LA must issue the amended plan within 8 weeks of the original amendment notice.
  • The decision to cease to maintain the plan providing families with information about their rights to mediation, disagreement services, and timescales.

None of the decisions subsequently made by the Local Authority should be a surprise to the families, as the review meeting must make clear any proposals.  Any disagreement by the families, or other attendees of the review meeting must be clearly shown in the supporting documentation submitted to the LA.

Any setting that does not submit an annual review meeting on time to the LA will be reminded by their locality area team. These will be classed as ‘overdue’. It is an expectation as per the Code of Practice that educational settings must co-operate with the Local Authority.

Transfer Dates Between Phases

For transfers into or between schools for Early Years to school, KS1 to KS2, KS2 to KS3, reviews and amendments must be completed by the Local Authority by 15 February each year.

Early Years

We ask that the child’s EHC plan is reviewed before the child is due to start their statutory education. The Code of Practice suggests early years hold reviews every six months.

Transfer from KS2 to KS3

In West Northamptonshire, we ask that the Year 5 students’ annual review meeting considers the transfer for Year 6 to Year 7 and is submitted to the LA by the end of the Year 5 to allow sufficient time for all parties to consider the choices for the future. A school place has to be named in the plan by 15th February for Year 6 pupils.

Transfer from KS4 to Post-16

Reviews for students in Year 11 need to be submitted to allow sufficient time for all parties to consider the choices for the future.

In West Northamptonshire, we ask that Year 10 students’ annual review meeting considers the transfer for students as their statutory education ends.

Where relevant, these 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 Code of Practice states that the review meeting organiser should invite representatives of post-16 institutions to these meetings, particularly where the young person has expressed a desire to attend a particular institution.

An educational placement has to be named in the plan by 31st March for post-16 pupils.

Complex Cases

Where a pupil's arrangements are more complex, a representative from the EHC team will be able to attend when appropriate. Please contact your SEN area team to make arrangements.

Children in the Care of the Local Authority

The Code of Practice advises that for these 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.  Schools may be able to co-ordinate this with the annual review process to improve the efficiency of their reviewing timetables.  

Action Checklist

A: Book annual review meetings for all students in your setting with an EHC Plan

B: Agree date of annual review meeting with parents/carers and formally invite them

C: Inform LA of dates via your EHC Locality team

D: Send dates to all relevant professionals

E: Gather any necessary reports

F: Issue reports and meeting invitations at least two weeks in advance

G: Hold meeting

H: Within two weeks (or sooner), inform LA of review meeting by:

  1. Either submitting the Annual Review online form (with the following supporting evidence attached)
  2. Or emailing the Annual Review Meeting template (with the following supporting evidence attached)
  • Annotated EHC plan (for proposals to amend)
  • Copies of any disagreements
  • Copies of supporting documents submitted for the annual review meeting
  • Updated targets
  • Updated outcomes (if appropriate)

I: Send a report of the meeting to everyone invited within two weeks of the meeting.

J: Set the date of the annual review meeting for the following year.


  • Brackley Area
  • Daventry Area
  • Northampton Area
  • Towcester Area
  • West Northamptonshire
  • Northamptonshire
Additional languages
Translation and/or Interpreting Available on Request
Age range
Suitable for ages from 0 to 18 years
Referral route
  • Education or School Referral
  • Self Referral
For people with
Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)
Eligibility criteria
  • Age Range - Early Years
  • Age Range - School
  • Age Range - Adulthood
  • Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)
Provider category
Specialist Services - For those who require longer-term support


c/o The EHC Team, West Northamptonshire Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street
United Kingdom


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Last updated 07 June 2024