Once an EHC plan is in place for a child or young person, it is unlikely to remain the same over time. As they grow up, it may become out of date, and they may move to a different school or college.
If the family moves to a different local authority (“LA”), the EHC plan will move with them, but the new LA might wish to make changes to the plan.
Additionally, at least once a year, the EHC plan should be reviewed by the LA and the school or college, working together with the parents or the young person (this is called an annual review). If the child or young person is moving school, the annual review should be carried out well in advance of the move.
Sometimes, it might be necessary to ask for an early review where it is necessary to change the EHC plan more urgently – for example, if a school placement has broken down.
If there is a significant change in the child or young person’s needs, then the parents or young person can ask for a re-assessment of the child or young person’s needs.
Where a child or young person has an EHC plan, it must be reviewed at least once a year by the local authority (“LA”). This is to ensure it stays up-to-date and continues to provide the support the child or young person needs.
At the end of the review, there are only three decisions the LA can make:
- To maintain the EHC plan in its current format (not make any changes);
- To amend the EHC plan;
- To cease the EHC plan if they think it is no longer necessary for it to be in place
In each case, even if the LA decides not to make any changes, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (the “SEND Tribunal”) to try to get changes made to the EHC plan. (If the LA has decided to amend the EHC plan, you can appeal once you have been sent the final amended EHC plan.)
If the child or young person is coming up to a phase transfer (for example, moving from primary school to secondary school), the LA must carry out the review well in advance of the move.