Parental Advice About the Annual Review Process

What is an Annual Review or Early Annual Review?

If a child or young person has an Education Health & Care Plan (EHC Plan), the Local Authority must review it every 12 months at least (every 6 months for children under 5 years) to monitor their progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the plan and to consider whether these outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate. This process is known as the Annual Review, and for those attending school or college, this will be organised by the headteacher and SENDCo.

These meetings are normally held at the child or young person’s place of education, during the day.

If there is concern about a child or young person’s progress or if the child or young person is due to change settings, then an Annual Review may be brought forward. This is sometimes referred to as an Early Annual Review

How are children and young people involved?

Children and Young People should be actively involved in the review process, attending all or part of their annual review meeting. They should be asked how they feel about their progress, their likes and dislikes and school in general. This is generally recorded on a form, which may be sent to you to complete with them or may be completed with the help of a staff member at school.

You may like to talk to the school about how the child or young person will be involved in the review process.

Who will attend the review meeting?

These are the people who must be invited:

  • You (and your child) can really make a difference to the meeting by going along and sharing your views (you can also bring a friend or representative if you wish).
  • The young person if they are over 16 (they may opt to bring their parent / carer(s).
  • A representative of the school who knows your child.
  • A representative from the Local Authority.
  • A Health Service Representative.
  • A Local Authority Social Care Representative.
  • Other relevant individuals should also be invited.

It may not be possible for everyone invited to attend the review meeting, but the headteacher will try to make sure that the date fixed for the meeting is convenient for those people who have had most contact with your child. Additionally, you could request for other relevant individuals to attend.

What happens before the meeting?

The headteacher (or a nominated member of staff) must ask for written reports from:

  • Parent/Carer (the school may give your child a form for you to fill in) or young person (18-25)
  • Their teachers
  • All those invited to the review meeting

The headteacher must then:

  • Send copies of the written reports to all those invited to the review meeting at least two weeks before it takes place.
  • Invite further views, including comments from those who are unable to attend the meeting.

What to write in your contribution?

It is helpful if you can include comments on:

  • Your views on progress over the last year
  • What you think is going well and also any concerns
  • What you feel are your child’s needs in school for the coming year
  • What you think you and the school can do to help meet those needs
  • Any significant changes or events you feel may have affected your child’s progress

Remember, you can ask for someone from Birmingham SENDIASS to help you to complete forms, look at reports and attend the Annual Review meeting with you.

What happens at the Annual Review meeting?

The Annual Review will focus on what progress your child has made, including their achievements throughout the last year and any difficulties that need to be resolved. This enables everyone involved to evaluate the effectiveness of the support in place and decide if the EHC Plan is appropriate or if any amendments are necessary.

The review will assess your child’s progress against the aims of the EHC Plan and the targets (outcomes). It will also consider the effectiveness of any special provision made for your child, including special equipment and resources.

Parent / carers, young people and children should be fully involved in these discussions. You will have been sent all the other reports that people have written prior to the meeting, and you will be given the chance to ask questions and make comments.

Take along a list of questions or points to raise if it helps. Feel free to ask any questions you want or ask for anything to be explained again if necessary. You can always take along a friend or supporter if you wish or seek advice from Birmingham SENDIASS to prepare.

What happens after the Annual Review Meeting?

After the meeting, the school prepares a report summarising the results of the review meeting and setting out targets for the coming year. The report should be sent to all those who attended the review, within 2 weeks of the meeting.

Within 4 weeks of the review meeting, The Local Authority must then review your child’s education health care plan in the light of the report and make the following decisions:

  • To maintain the EHC plan without any changes
  • To make changes to the EHC plan
  • To cease to maintain the EHC plan

The LA must notify all decisions to you, the headteacher and anyone else involved.

If the outcome of the review is that the EHC Plan is still appropriate, it may be necessary for some changes to be made to your child’s targets and support for the coming year.

If the Local Authority wants to amend your child’s EHC Plan, they will let you know in writing of any changes they are planning to make and the reasons for them. You will then have at least 15 days to consider these changes.

The Local Authority has a period of 8 weeks following the original amendment notice to either issue the finalised EHC Plan or decide not to proceed with the amendments. If you do not agree with the decision, you can discuss this with the Local Authority Officer involved.

In some cases, the Local Authority may decide that the aims of the EHC Plan have been achieved and they should ‘cease to maintain’ the plan. This would only happen if a child no longer needed the additional support that the Education Health Care plan provides. In such instances, the school would then continue to support your child through ‘SEN Support’.

If you disagree with any changes made to your child’s EHC Plan, you have the right to access the Birmingham’s Independent Mediation Service and/or the right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SEND Tribunal). Further details can be obtained from Birmingham SENDIASS.

Where can I get more information and support?

  • In Birmingham we work with three mediation companies:

    SEN Mediator
    07856 534777
    0121 452 5010

    Prime Resolution
    01952 303 038

    03330 062 835

Other charities include:

For advice from a solicitor, you can go to: or instruct one privately.