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Frequently Asked Questions
Annual Reviews of statements and Education Health & Care Plans (EHC)
What is an Annual Review?
Will there be any paperwork for an Annual Review?
When should Secondary Transfer be discussed?
What will happen following the Annual Review?
Education Health & Care (EHC) Needs Assessments
What is an EHC Assessment?
Who can ask for a EHC Assessment?
What are the possible outcomes of a request?
How long does an EHC Needs Assessment take?
Where can I get more information on EHC Needs Assessments and ECH plans?


Annual Reviews

What is an Annual Review?

The Local Authority (LA) must review your child's Statement of Special Educational Needs or EHC plan at least every year (every six months for children under five). Early or interim reviews can be called if necessary.

The Annual Review is a meeting, normally held in your child's School or Early Years Setting. Everyone who is involved with your child is invited to attend or send written comments. The meeting will:

  • Record any changes in your child's circumstances
  • Consider your child's progress and whether the - Statement or EHC plan is still appropriate for your child's needs
  • Set new targets for the next year

It is an important opportunity for you and your child to share your views with the School/Setting and the LA.

Who will attend the Annual Review meeting?

The Head Teacher will invite you, your child whenever possible, people who have worked with your child, professionals who have been involved, a representative of the LA and anyone else you, or the Head Teacher, feels would be able to give helpful information or advice. Some people who are invited may not attend.

Will there be any paperwork for an Annual Review?

All the people invited to the meeting will be asked for a report. Copies of reports should be sent out 2 weeks before the meeting.

What will happen at the Annual Review meeting?


Your child's progress will be discussed and information shared. You can ask questions or ask for an explanation if you are unclear about anything that is said. You and your child's views will be represented, which will be taken into account and recorded.

When should Secondary Transfer be discussed?

Year 5/6: The Y5 Annual Review should be held, if possible, in the summer term, so transfer to Secondary School can be discussed.

The SENCO of the Secondary School may be invited to attend the Y5 and Y6 Reviews. The LA Local Inclusion Officer usually attends the Y5 Review.

What is a Transitional Review?

A Transition Review is held in Year 9 to make recommendations and plans for your child's move into adult life.

What will happen following the Annual Review?

A report of the meeting, summing up what was said and making recommendations is sent to the LA, along with all the reports that were submitted. Everyone who went to the meeting, or sent a report will be sent a copy. The LA will contact you to tell you if they agree with the recommendations.

If there are changes in provision or placement, the LA will consult you about amending the Statement or EHC plan.


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EHC Assessments


What is an EHC Assessment?

Assessment is a thorough and careful process, where all the people who are involved with your child will be asked to write a detailed report about your child's special educational needs and the help that they may need.

Who might need a Assessment?

For most children with Special Educational Needs, extra help is available in school. However, for a few children with the most severe, complex and long term needs, who are not making adequate progress, a request may be made to the Local Authority (LA) for Assessment.

Who can ask for a Assessment?

A request for a Assessment can be made to the LA in writing by: Parents/Carers and young people with a special educational need aged 16-25, School or Early Years Setting, other professionals. Schools/settings,parents and young people should work closely together when putting forward a request.

What happens when a request is made?

The LA will need information from the school or setting about the Childs' or Young Persons' needs and the extra help they are receiving.

A key worker will be identified to work with the parent or young person to gather their views and any additional information.

The Keyworker should be someone who knows the child or young person and understands their needs. This will typically but not necessarily be the SENCO.

Independent support for the parent or young person throughout this process (please contact IASS for more information about this please.

A Panel at the LA will decide, within 6 weeks of receiving the request, whether a Assessment is appropriate. They will inform the parent or the young person promptly of their decision

What are the possible outcomes of a request?

The LA may decide:


  • The child/young person's needs can be met by the school/setting, with their existing budget, so the request will be refused. There is a right to appeal against this decision.


  • A EHC Needs Assessment is needed and the LA will go ahead with collecting information and reports.

Who will be asked for a report?

  • School or Setting
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Health Services
  • Social Care
  • Anyone else who is working with the child/young person

What happens next?

The LA will decide whether or not to issue an EHC plan.  If they decide not to issue one there is a right of appeal. 

If the LA decide to write a plan this will be issued in a draft form for consultation before the final plan is agreed.  The school or setting is not named at this stage as this will be iscussed as part of the consulation.

When the final plan is issued, there is a right of appeal if the parent or young person disagrees with the content.

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How long does an EHC Needs Assessment take? 

From the date the LA receives the request for the assessment to the issue of the finalised EHC, plan should be no more then 20 weeks

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Where can I get more information on EHC Needs, Assessments and EHC Plans?

 You can download the booklet "The SEND Reforms a guide to Education, Health and Care Plans" from The Council for Disabled Children website:ttp://

You will also find some useful information on the Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) website:


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 National Curriculum


From the beginning of the 2014/2015 academic year there is no longer a requirement for schools to use National Curriculum levels to monitor pupil's attainment and progress. Schools have been given the freedom to develop their own system of assessment and reporting.

Schools may continue to use the level descriptions that are matched to the National Curriculum, if they choose to do so but these will not be updated or replaced to match the new curriculum which began in September 2014.

"Schools will be expected to demonstrate (with evidence) their assessment of pupils' progress, to keep parents informed, to enable governors to make judgements about the school's effectiveness, and to inform Ofsted inspections.

Effective assessment systems:

Give reliable information to parents about how their child, and their child's school, is performing

a. Allow meaningful tracking of pupils towards end of key stage expectations in the new curriculum, including regular feedback to parents.

b. Provide information which is transferable and easily understood and covers both qualitative and quantitative assessment.

c. Differentiate attainment between pupils of different abilities, giving early recognition of pupils who are falling behind and those who are excelling.

d. Are reliable and free from bias."


Department of Education Guidance: Assessment principles: school curriculum


Published: April 2014