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A guide to the Education Health Care Plan Annual Review process

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An AR is the chance to review the entire contents of the EHCP: the description of needs, provision, outcomes and the school named can all be changed by way of the AR process.

Done well, this is an (at least) yearly opportunity to ensure your child gets all the support they need but it is also an opportunity for an LA to remove provision, so it’s important to be well prepared to get the best out of it.

Reviews must happen within 12 months of the EHCP being finalised and then 12 monthly thereafter. For children under 5, reviews are more regular and there are specific rules when children are transitioning between stages of education.

What makes up the Annual Review process?

The following stages make up the AR process and all must be completed in order that an AR has taken place: the meeting is only part of the process

  1. The LA must consult with the parent (and with the school being attended if there is one) about the EHCP, and take account of their views.
  2. An annual review meeting must take place to discuss the EHCP.
  3. Information must be gathered from parents and children (if appropriate) and from professionals about the EHCP and then circulated two weeks before the meeting.
  4. After the meeting a report of what happened must be prepared by school and circulated to everyone who attended or provided information.
  5. After the meeting the LA must consider the EHCP.
  6. Within 4 weeks of the meeting, the LA must notify the parent of their decision to (1) remove the EHCP (2) keep the EHCP as it is (3) amend the EHCP.
  7. Within 12 weeks of the annual review meeting, the LA must produce an amended EHCP if the decision was to amend the EHCP.

Nothing agreed at an annual review meeting is legally binding unless it is included in an up to date EHCP, so it’s important to remember that the updated EHCP must be provided and checked.

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