Why are EHC plans reviewed?
The regular review of EHC Plans provides the opportunity for everyone involved in supporting the child or young person to check and monitor how well he/she is progressing towards the outcomes set, to see whether the provision remains appropriate and if anything in the plan needs to be changed.
The EHC review will make sure that the plan remains relevant and that it accurately captures each child’s and young person’s special education needs as they change over time and that any the extra help and support is adjusted to match this.
EHC Plans must be reviewed at least once a year (every 12 months) or between 3 and 6 months if the child is under 5.
At least two weeks before the start of a new term, Croydon Local Authority will remind each school or college of the children and young people who are due an EHC Plan review in the coming term. The LA will share this information with health and social care services.
In some cases the plan may be reviewed earlier than expected. This is likely to happen when there has been a significant change in the special education needs of a child or young person and/or where the provision currently provided may not be supporting his/her progress and/or wellbeing.
The review meeting is usually organised by the child’s or young person’s early years setting, school or college.
At least two weeks before the meeting invitations will be sent out. Parents/carers along with professionals involved will be invited to attend and contribute.
Everyone involved will be asked to share any advice and information that will be helpful before the meeting date.
The child or young people may also join the review meeting and share his/her views. If this is not appropriate his/her views will be shared in other ways.
The review will focus on the progress the child or young person has made towards the outcomes set. It will highlight key areas of achievement. It will review whether the short-term targets set have been reached and/or whether they need to be amended or updated. It will check which aspects of the extra help and support have been particularly effective and whether or not any changes are needed, including any provision that has been put in place by health and social care services.
From age 14 the review meetings will focus on transition to adulthood, including preparing for work and employment and independent living.
The school will prepare a report of the meeting, documenting the views and recommendations represented by all attendees. The report will include details of any suggested changes to the outcomes set, the help provided and/or the education setting which the child or young person attends. The report might also recommend that the plan be ended.
The report will be circulated to everyone who attended or provided information. A copy will be sent to the LA.
Based on the advice and information provided in the report the LA will decide whether to:
- Leave the plan as it is with no changes
- Amend the plan (make changes)
- Cease the plan (end it)
Parent/carers or the young person will be notified of the decision the LA has made within four weeks of the date of the review meeting.
If you disagree with the decision that the LA make you should talk or meet with the EHC Plan coordinator allocated to the child’s or young person’s case. He/she will explain the reasons for this decision, discuss your concerns and look at ways to address these.
If your concerns are not resolved you may wish to engage with mediation or dispute resolution services or use your right to appeal to the SEND tribunal service.
When the Local Authority (LA) decides to take away, close or end an EHC plan this is referred to as ‘Ceasing a Plan’.
The LA may cease an EHC plan when:
The LA is no longer responsible for the child or young(CYP) person because:
1. The young person aged 16 or over has left education to take up paid employment (including employment with training but excluding apprenticeships)
2. The Young person has entered higher education (other sources of support are available for students at universities)
3. The young person aged 18 or over has left education and no longer wishes to engage in further learning
4. The child or young person has moved to out of Croydon to live in another country in the United Kingdom or moved overseas.
If the child or young person moves to another part of England, the EHC plan will be maintained and funded by the new Local Authority. This process is called ‘Transferring an EHC Plan’)
The LA decides that the EHC plan is no longer necessary. This will usually happen after a review of the EHC Plan has taken place.
Reasons why the plan may no longer be necessary include:
The LA will consider ceasing an EHC plan following the recommendations and advice from an annual review or when it has been notified of any change of circumstances which mean that it is no longer responsible for the child or young person.
If the LA is considering ceasing a plan after a review the child’s parent or young person that will be notified. Before making a final decision, the LA will consider any further advice and views from the child’s parents or the young person, as well as the school or other education setting that he/she may be attending.
If the young person is over 18 and has support from adult services, the adult services will be included in any decision to end the plan.
If the LA decides to cease the plan, parents and young people will be notified and given the date when the plan will end. The school or other education setting and any health services giving support will also be told about the decision to cease the plan.
The plan will usually be ended at the end of the school or college year to allow the child or young person to complete his/her study programme or course and to allow time to plan arrangements for any support that may be required when the EHC plan ceases.
The LA will not cease a plan if the young person is still of compulsory school age and still requires the special education needs provision set out in the plan. The LA will focus efforts on helping the young person get back into an education or training placement.
If the young person is over 18, the LA will only consider ceasing a plan if the young person makes it clear that he/she does not want to return to education or training.
What happens if a young person decides to return to education or training once a plan has been ceased?
If young person decides that he/she would like to return to college or take up a training course after the original EHC plan has been ceased, he/or she will need to make a new request for an education needs assessment. This will ensure that any assessments of his/her special needs are up to date and are fully understood. The assessment will also clarify the nature of provision that will be required to meet these needs. This is likely to include input from other professional services.
If you do not agree with the decision to cease a plan you should talk to or meet the EHCP coordinator allocated to the case. He /she will be able to explain this decision, discuss your concerns and find a way to address these.
If your concerns are not resolved you may wish to seek support from mediation and dispute resolution services or use your right of appeal this decision to the SEND Tribunal Service.
Information about these services can be found at this external link: SEND Tribunal service.