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EHC: A Guide to Annual Reviews for Colleges and Post-16 Education Providers - WNC

EHC: A Guide to Annual Reviews for Colleges and Post-16 Education Providers - WNC logo


Annual Reviews - Overview

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 before the date of the last annual review. The annual review meeting is normally held in the education setting and informs the Local Authority (LA) who is responsible for the Annual Review process. The annual review must be undertaken in partnership with the student and their parents and must take account of their views, wishes and feelings, including the right to request a personal budget each year. 

The annual review must focus on the young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in their plan. It must consider whether the outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate. The Local Authority will provide a list of all students and their review dates each term.

Gathering Information

The information and advice should provide:

  • Details about the student’s progress and their access to 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
  • Any direct payments should also be reviewed at the annual review meeting

These might include the need to get additional professional advice or report.

The Review Meeting 

In the vast majority of cases, the LA delegates the review meeting to the educational setting that knows their student best. 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. Anyone unable to attend the meeting may submit a report or their comments in writing. These need to be shared to participants in advance of the meeting, and will need to be submitted to the organisers promptly.

Prepare and send a report of the meeting, to everyone invited, within two weeks of the meeting.

Information and advice from young people and professionals can make suggestions about changes that should be made to the EHC plan, especially if amendments are being made. If there is 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. An annotated copy can be sent to the LA with the review paper work. 

  • 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 young person prepare for adulthood and independent living (from the earliest years)
  • Review any interim targets set by the education providers
  • Set new interim targets for the coming year and (where appropriate) agree new outcomes. 

NB: 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 Local Authority. 

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.)

Review meetings taking place in Year 9 and above should 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.

Those students who are most likely to need adult social care will need a referral to the relevant adult social care service. Adult Social Care -  Moving Into Adulthood can provide advice.  Students in special schools in year 13 will need robust transition planning. 


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 will 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 and settings can be provided with their own “manager access at no extra cost. The survey can be completed in school, at home, at a youth club, or anywhere where the young person can access the internet. The survey can be completed at two levels, one (easy read) is much simpler and was designed for primary students and those who struggle with comprehension and has pictorial symbols as used in our primary schools. The 2nd survey is for the more confident reader. 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 see the list of annual reviews due for passwords and logons.


The Code of Practice (2015) SEND 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 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. 

Transfer Dates Between Phases 

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

Annual reviews will need to be submitted by the end of the autumn term of Year 11. In West Northamptonshire we ask that Year 10 students’ annual review meeting considers the transfer for students as their statutory education ends.

Those students in Years 11, 12 and 13 who are considering continuing in education to achieve their academic ambitions will need to have concluded an annual review to allow for sufficient time for all parties to consider the choices for the future. When plans are likely to change depending on exam results, the LA can discuss rearrangements over the phone. There will be no need to conduct another annual review. 

Where relevant, these should include effective planning for young people moving from children’s to adult care and health services. A referral to the Adult Social Services should have been made and the conclusions from this need to be recorded in the annual review meeting. 

Students in Year 13 in Special Schools

These students will need careful and robust PFA planning. The conclusions from any assessment by Adult Social Services need to be recorded in the annual review meeting. 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 settings to these review meetings, particularly where the young person has expressed a desire to  attend a particular institution. It should be made clear to parents and young people that their Education, Health and Care plan will cease when they leave registered educational settings. An educational placement has to be named in the EHC plan by 31st March for post-16 students.

Complex Cases 

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

  • Northamptonshire
  • 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 16 years to 25 years
Referral route
  • Self Referral
  • Education or School Referral
For people with
Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)
Eligibility criteria
  • 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 22 March 2024