EHCP Annual Review

Legal references on this page apply to England.

EHCP Annual Review

EHCPs must be reviewed at a minimum once a year which means the review should be concluded (not begun) 12 months from the date of the last review. The timetable for review is set out in Regulations and in the SEND Code of Practice, and was affirmed in the High Court, see R (L,M,and P) v Devon March 2022

The review should look at progress towards the Outcomes in Section E. The local authority will contact the parents to invite them to the Review and to give them the opportunity to contribute their views. Some local authorities have template review meeting forms and Section A or "Child/Family Views" forms on their Local Offer website. Unfortunately, the paperwork sent out by the majority of local authorities has not been adapted for home education. In some cases parents may be asked detailed questions about academic levels which are not applicable to home education. Parents aren't obliged to attend the review meeting but obviously this means they will not be present when any discussions might be taking place. Review meetings are increasingly being held online eg via Teams.

Notes of the review meeting must be circulated within 2 weeks. Whoever convened the meeting - the school or college, or alternatively the LA if there is no placement - must write up the meeting within 2 weeks and send recommendations to the local authority. The LA then has 2 weeks from receiving the AR paperwork to saying what they plan to do as a result of it eg if they accept the recommendations from the meeting. (In point of fact the LA has 4 weeks from the AR meeting, it just happens to be expressed as 2 + 2). Options arising from the review are: to maintain the EHCP unchanged; to amend the EHCP; to cease the EHCP; or to carry out a re-assessment.

Parents can only go to tribunal after the review is concluded. The quickest route to tribunal is where the LA decides to maintain the EHCP but not make any amendments, since the voluntary amendment process can be very long and drawn out despite recent case law. Of course the EHCP can subsequently be amended during the formal tribunal process. Read more about tribunals here

So called interim reviews and early reviews are still reviews and the same rules apply. The law does not support the view that only one review is "allowed" per year and certainly any substantial change in circumstances may warrant a review of the EHCP eg where a child is unable to access the provision or placement set out in the EHCP. The parent will have the same right of appeal to tribunal at the end of the review process.

The SEND Code of Practice paragraph 10.34 - 35 says "Local authorities do not have the right of entry to the family home to check that the provision being made by the parents is appropriate and may only enter the home at the invitation of the parents. Parents should be encouraged to see this process as part of the authority’s overall approach to home education of pupils with SEN, including the provision of appropriate support, rather than an attempt to undermine the parents' right to home educate. Local authorities should not assume that because the provision being made by parents is different from that which was being made or would have been made in school that the provision is necessarily unsuitable. Local authorities should also consider using their power to help parents make suitable provision." MORE

Related Pages - Special Educational Needs

SEN Introduction home education and special needs
SEND Code of Practice two types of home education with an EHCP
EHCPs How to get/keep/stop an EHCP
SEN Tribunal
Complaints/Ombudsman
EHCP format What goes in each section of the EHCP
Annual Review EHCP
Personal Budget and Direct Payments for education with EHCP (EOTAS)
Deregistration Taking a child out of school, including special school
Parents Survey home education and special needs
Access Arrangements for exams

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