This stage involves the regular checking of progress against outcomes in the EHCP and children, families, young people and professionals continuing to feed into the plan as things change


What this step involves

Local Authorities are only just beginning the first reviews of plans and so it is not yet clear how these will be carried out, what and who they will involve or how different they will be from Annual reviews in the past.

What the code of practice says

Click here to read the document online


… Institutions should ensure that teachers and lecturers monitor and review the child or young person’s progress during the course of a year. Formal reviews of the EHC plan must take place at least annually. If a child or young person’s SEN change, the local authority should hold a review as soon as possible to ensure that provision specified in the EHC plan is appropriate.


EHC plans should be used to actively monitor children and young people’s progress towards their outcomes and longer term aspirations. They must be reviewed by the local authority as a minimum every 12 months. Reviews must focus on the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC plan. The review must also consider whether these outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate.


Reviews should also:

    • gather and assess information so that it can be used by early years settings, schools or colleges to support the child or young person’s progress and their access to teaching and learning
    • review the special educational provision made for the child or young person to ensure it is being effective in ensuring access to teaching and learning and good progress
    • review the health and social care provision made for the child or young person and its effectiveness in ensuring good progress towards outcomes
    • consider the continuing appropriateness of the EHC plan in the light of the child or young person’s progress during the previous year or changed circumstances and whether changes are required including any changes to outcomes, enhanced provision, change of educational establishment or whether the EHC plan should be discontinued
    • set new interim targets for the coming year and where appropriate, agree new outcomes
    • review any interim targets set by the early years provider, school or college or other education provider


Reviews must be undertaken in partnership with the child and their parent or the young person, and must take account of their views, wishes and feelings, including their right to request a Personal Budget.


The first review must be held within 12 months of the date when the EHC plan was issued, and then within 12 months of any previous review, and the local authority’s decision following the review meeting must be notified to the child’s parent or the young person within four weeks of the review meeting (and within 12 months of the date of issue of the EHC plan or previous review). Professionals across education, health and care must co-operate with local authorities during reviews.


The local authority should provide a list of children and young people who will require a review of their EHC plan that term to all headteachers and principals of schools, colleges and other institutions attended by children or young people with EHC plans, at least two weeks before the start of each term. The local authority should also provide a list of all children and young people with EHC plan reviews in the forthcoming term to the CCG (or, where relevant, NHS England) and local authority officers responsible for social care for children and young people with SEN or disabilities. This will enable professionals to plan attendance at review meetings and/or provide advice or information about the child or young person where necessary. These lists should also indicate which reviews must be focused on transition and preparation for adulthood.


Local authorities should consider reviewing an EHC plan for a child under five at least every three to six months to ensure that the provision continues to be appropriate. Such reviews would complement the duty to carry out a review at least annually but may be streamlined and not necessarily require the attendance of the full range of professionals, depending on the needs of the child. The child’s parent must be fully consulted on any proposed changes to the EHC plan and made aware of their right to appeal to the Tribunal.


Local authorities must conduct a re-assessment of a child or young person’s EHC plan if a request is made by the child’s parent or the young person, or the governing body, proprietor or principal of the educational institution attended by the child or young person, or the CCG (or NHS England where relevant). A local authority may also decide to initiate a re-assessment without a request if it thinks one is necessary.


The process for re-assessment will be the same as the process for a first assessment (once the decision to carry out an assessment has been taken). Re-assessments must follow the same process as for the first EHC needs assessment and drawing up of the EHC plan, set out earlier in this chapter, with the same timescales and rights of appeal for the child’s parent or the young person.


EHC plans are not expected to be amended on a very frequent basis. However, an EHC plan may need to be amended at other times where, for example, there are changes in health or social care provision resulting from minor or specific changes in the child or young person’s circumstances, but where a full review or re-assessment is not necessary.

Parents want …

The Plan as a live document
  • They like to see the plan as a ‘live’ document that could be changed and added to as needed. They feel that the way it has been developed suggests that it isn’t just a one off process
  • When plans are issued very little information is provided about what happens next, and what the reviewing process will involve
Progress monitored
  • Plans being made SMART suggests that progress will be regularly measured. Some targets are just stated as ‘ongoing’ or there is the assumption that everything will be checked in a years time (like with annual reviews). Parents want to know when and how progress will be measured
  • They really like the nursery, school or college keeping them updated with how their child is getting on
  • Regular (termly) meetings are appreciated as parents feel it is very important that them and the placement keep on working together and the parents to be kept informed of any progress or emerging issues
Opportunity to raise issues
  • They are concerned about what steps they can take if they do not feel that the plan is being actioned correctly or if their child is not reaching the targets set out
  • They want everyone involved to feel that they can change or add to the plan as their child develops


Practical Steps to Help Parents Through the Reviewing Step