The Annual Review is your opportunity to formally discuss the progress made towards the Outcomes on the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and to adjust them and the provision if necessary. It is also a chance for you to improve any part of the EHCP that you are not happy with. Additionally, from Year 9 onwards each annual review should also focus on preparing for adulthood.
You will be asked to submit information in advance and all the professionals working with your child/young person should produce reports which are sent to you two weeks before the meeting. If you don’t get them in time you can ask to postpone the meeting. Read the reports carefully and write a list of questions and points you would like to make in the meeting. It is important to involve your child/young person in the meeting too, and when the meeting is being planned you should discuss how this will happen.
This meeting is not supposed to be just a quick catch-up! Make sure plenty of time has been allowed so that you are satisfied that the content of the EHCP matches the needs, wishes and aspirations of your child. It can be difficult for some of the professionals to find time to attend but you should still spend time in the meeting discussing their reports and any new proposals.
You can take someone with you to the meeting which is usually organised by the school or college. You could ask that person to prompt you on your list of questions and to take notes for you. This makes it easier for you to take part in the meeting and means that you will have a reliable record of the conversation. You will need to look carefully at all aspects of the EHCP during the meeting. What progress has been made? DO the outcomes need updating or to be changed? If something isn’t working then what needs to be changed? If something isn’t clear you must ask because the EHCP is not school property – it belongs to your child and to you.
Within two weeks the school/college must send a report to the Local Authority (LA) and a copy to you. Check to see that it matches what was said and agreed at the meeting.
Within four weeks, the LA must decide on one of three things:
1. To continue with the existing EHCP 2. To amend or change the EHCP. If the LA decides to do this they must give you time to comment. You can appeal the decision if you can’t agree. You can also appeal if the LA decides not to amend the plan after the annual review and you think it should be amended 3. To withdraw or ‘cease to maintain’ the EHCP. You can appeal if you disagree with this decision.
It is important to realise that an EHCP can only be changed through the annual review process but circumstances change and you may feel that you can’t wait for up to twelve months. You can request an early Annual Review if it seems appropriate.
If you would like any information or support to request an EHCP, while going through the needs assessment or with the Annual Review please contact the Amaze Independent Support service: Phone: 0300 123 7782 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org They also have a lot of information for parents and carers on their website