The review of an EHC plan is a standard thing and the process and paperwork is the same whatever kind of review your child is having.
However, the reasons for a review, the focus it has, and the timing of a review can be different. For example, if your child is moving from key stage 2 to key stage 3, the focus of their review will be on that and it will need to be done by a specific time. This is because the move will need to be well planned.
These are reviews that could be done for your child or young person.
A standard review
The law says the first review of an EHC plan must be held within 12 months of the date when it was issued.
After that, it must be held within 12 months of any previous review. The whole review, and not just the review meeting, must be completed in this time.
You might hear the standard review of an EHC plan called an annual review or a statutory review.
An early review
A review can happen sooner than 12 months if it’s needed. The plan may need to be reviewed before the regular review is due if your child is:
- permanently excluded
- their needs change a lot
- the support they are getting is no longer right
You might hear this called an interim emergency review or sometimes an early statutory review.
If your child’s situation changes and you think the plan should be reviewed, contact your case coordinator at the SEN 0-25 team to talk about it. You can ask for an early review to be done. If your child’s school or college thinks an early review is needed, they can contact the local authority. If this happens you will need to ask for an early review too – the school can’t ask for a review unless you ask for one too.
A review when your child is moving to a new key stage
When your child moves to a new key stage it’s important to have enough time to plan the move well. The legal guidance says a review of an EHC plan, and any changes to it, must happen to allow enough time for proper planning.
If your child is moving to a new school the review of their EHC plan, and any changes, should be finished at the latest by 15 February in the year they move. That means the February before they move in September.
The main key stage moves are:
- from nursery or pre-school to school
- from key stage 1 (infant school) to key stage 2 (junior school)
- from key stage 2 (primary school) to key stage 3 (secondary school)
A review when your young person is leaving school
When your young person leaves school, whatever they’re moving on to, it’s important to have enough time to plan it well. The legal guidance says a review of an EHC plan, and any changes to it, must happen to allow enough time for proper planning.
If you have a young person moving from secondary school to a post-16 institution or apprenticeship, their plan should be reviewed and changed by the 31 March in the year they finish secondary school. This includes listing the support they will get post-16 and where they will be studying or training.
Because your young person is leaving school and moving into a new stage of education or training, their plan will always need to be changed.
Preparing for adulthood reviews
All reviews that happen from Year 9, when your child is 13 or 14, must include a focus on preparing for adulthood. Ideally planning should start well before this though, helping your child to become as independent as they can.
Preparing for adulthood means thinking about how your young person will
- enter the world of work, or in some cases a volunteering role
- how they can be as independent as possible
- how they will become part of their local community
It’s really important that your young person takes part as much as they are able, and their views are heard, understood and acted on.
These reviews should also be used to plan if and how your young person will move from child to adult health and care services. If they’re likely to need support from these services when they’re an adult, someone from the Preparing for Adulthood team should be at the review.