Annual Review Toolkit
Using this toolkit
We've developed this toolkit in collaboration with SENCOs and parents.
The templates shared within this toolkit have been produced to support a more consistent approach to annual reviews across the city. It is important that only approved paperwork is used. We will update these pages regularly so please check in here ahead of any reviews to ensure that you are using up to date templates.
Delivering quality annual reviews
The Council for Disabled Children has developed a really helpful e-learning package to support the delivery of high quality reviews. We would recommend that any staff involved in delivering reviews complete this training.
The local authority annual review process and strategy
We're in the process of developing an updated strategy and process around annual reviews to improve our timeliness and quality. We'll be sharing this with our SEND Ambassadors before publishing this more widely through our SENCO networks.
Before the annual review
Planning your reviews
It is important that all plans are reviewed annually so that they stay up to date and relevant. Scheduling in reviews can be time consuming and difficult especially if you have a number of children with EHCPs in your school or setting. You should meet termly with your EHCP officer to discuss plans that are due to be reviewed in the following half term and start to plan your pre-review actions. You will always need to work at least one half term in advance with your EHCP officer to give yourself time to carry out the work that needs to be done prior to the meeting.
Use our annual review planner to help to schedule your reviews and check the dates by which you need to complete the steps in the process.
Please note: The Regulations require that at least two weeks' notice must be given of the date of the meeting; in practice, longer notice is required to allow time for the appropriate documentation to be collected and circulated. However, to secure attendance by health and social care colleagues, a longer notice period would be advisable
Musts from the SEND Code of Practice before an EHCP review
- The child’s parents or young person, a representative of the school or other institution attended, your EHCP Officer, a health service representative and a local authority social care representative must be invited and given at least two weeks’ notice of the date of the meeting.
- Other individuals relevant to the review should also be invited, including youth offending teams and job coaches where relevant.
- The school (or, for children and young people attending another institution, the local authority) must seek advice and information about the child or young person prior to the meeting from all parties invited, and send any advice and information gathered to all those invited at least two weeks before the meeting.
- Use our template letter or email to invite the parent to the review meeting
- Use our template letter to inform the young person about their review. For younger children this should be shared via the parent/carer
- Use our parent/carer views form to request information from the parent ahead of the review meeting
- Use our child/young persons views form to gather the views of the child ahead of the review meeting
- Use our template letter or email to invite relevant professionalsto the review meeting
- Use our template professional advice form for social workers and template professional advice form for health workers to gather the views of those involved with the young person ahead of the review meeting.
Who should attend a review meeting?
The number of children and young people with EHCPs in Derby means that it isn't always going to be possible for an EHCP Officer to attend a review meeting.
You can use the below guide to help you to prioritise your reviews for officer and professional attendance.
What does the risk level mean?
LA attendance not required. Advice from other professionals recommended but attendance will not be needed.
Review meetings can be held virtually
LA attendance recommended. Advice from other professionals recommended but attendance will not be mandated.
Face to face meetings should be offered
LA attendance is essential. Other professional input essential and attendance encouraged.
Meetings should be held face to face by default
How to decide on the risk level
Carrying out the review meeting
Although the annual review process is laid out in the Children and Families Act and the Code of Practice, the actual format of the meeting will differ from setting to setting, but it must cover the principles of a person-centred review.
You can use our Sample agenda to support the delivery of a review meeting.
- The meeting must focus on the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC plan, and on what changes might need to be made to the support that is provided to help them achieve those outcomes, or whether changes are needed to the outcomes themselves.
- Mainstream schools must use the Derby Inclusion Tool as part of the review meeting for all children (once trained). Special school must use the Derby Inclusion Tool as part of review meetings where the review has been classified as RED.
- Children, parents and young people should be supported to engage fully in the review meeting.
- All reviews should have a focus on independence. Reviews taking place from Year 9 at the latest and onwards must include a focus on preparing for adulthood, including employment, independent living and participation in society. This transition planning must be built into the EHC plan and where relevant should include effective planning for young people moving from children’s to adult care and health services.
- 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 institutions to these review meetings, particularly where the child or young person has expressed a desire to attend a particular institution.
- Review meetings taking place in Year 9 should have a particular focus on considering options and choices for the next phase of education.
You must use our approved meeting report forms to capture the details of the annual review meeting:
After the review meeting
You must prepare and send a report, using the correct meeting report template, to everyone invited within two weeks of the meeting. The report must set out recommendations on any amendments required to the EHC plan, and should refer to any difference between the school or other institution’s recommendations and those of others attending the meeting.
Within four weeks of the review meeting, the local authority must decide whether it proposes to keep the EHC plan as it is, amend the plan, or cease to maintain the plan, and notify the child’s parent or the young person and the school or other institution attended:
- If the plan needs to be amended, we should start the process of amendment without delay.
- If we decide not to amend the plan or decide to cease to maintain it, we must notify the child’s parent or the young person of their right to appeal that decision and the time limits for doing so, of the requirements for them to consider mediation should they wish to appeal, and the availability of information, advice and support and disagreement resolution services
A plan will not need to be amended every year. If only minor amendments are suggested the local authority might decide not to amend it but we will explain that at the time. We will always update a plan if new outcomes or provision are needed.
We will write to the parent to explain our decision and we will send you a copy of this decision letter too.