Schools and settings are required to meet with parents at least three times a year when their child is receiving SEND support and are responsible for setting up these meetings.
- Choose a time and venue that works for everyone so that attendees are able to focus wholly on the meeting. Aim for a month’s notice
- Conducting these meetings effectively involves a considerable amount of skill. As with the other aspects of good provision for children with SEND, schools and settings should ensure that staff are supported to manage these conversations as part of professional development
- Allow sufficient time to meet so the views of parents and children can be explored. This is likely to be at least 20 minutes. It is important not to try and squeeze meetings into the normal parents’ evening schedule
- Choose a setting that is private enough for confidential conversations and where you will be undisturbed
- Choose a setting where people have space to sit and write comfortably and can sort their documents, and can see and hear each other
- Agree who will attend, in consultation with parent/carers and the child/young person, at least two weeks before the meeting. Make parents/carers aware that they may bring a supporter if they wish. Parents may find it hard to express their views and wishes; it can be helpful for them to write down the things they want to say in advance of the meeting
- Include the views of the child/young person by including them in as much of the meeting as is appropriate or by gathering their views beforehand. Ask them how they would like to contribute
- Send out an agenda and relevant paperwork in sufficient time before the meeting. Aweek in advance is a good balance between ensuring that information is up to date and giving participants enough time to read and think
- Ensure that there is a gap between any prior meetings and the review meeting so that all attendees arrive together and feel equally included.
- The meeting should be led by someone who knows the child well; in a school this would usually be the class teacher or form tutor, supported by the SENCO; in a setting this would usually be the SENCO and key person or lead professional
- Welcome all attendees and give everyone an opportunity to introduce themselves, and explain their roles to parents. Check parents understand who everyone is
- Be clear about the purpose of the meeting. Usually this will be to review progress, set goals, agree the activities and support that will help to achieve outcomes, and the responsibilities of the school, the child/young person and the parent in this. Don’t forget to highlight the things that are going well
- Make sure that everyone has the opportunity to contribute, and keep discussion focused. Asking people to contribute in turn can help
- Summarise agreements, aspirations and recommendations during and at the end of the meeting and record them accurately.
- Check back on whether the meeting arrangements worked for everyone and thank everyone for attending
- Follow up actions promptly and within agreed timescales
- All appropriate school or setting staff need to know the outcomes of the meeting
- Update paperwork and ensure that copies are distributed to agreed timescales, e.g. notes from the meeting, a copy of the relevant section of a provision map.
- Person Centred Planning has the person at the centre and is rooted in the principles of rights, independence and choice. It is a way of enabling people to think about what they want now and in the future. It is about supporting people to plan their lives, work towards their goals and get the right support.
- Person Centred Thinking involves using a collection of tools and approaches to plan with a young person - not for them. There are various tools available to help with Person Centred work. These are some most commonly used in preparation for person centred reviews, and in the review itself:
- Important To / Important For
- The child/ young person should fill in these in their own words (with support as needed but that isn’t leading) to make sure they have a real voice in planning their support.
- Family and professionals do their own sheets and share what they believe is important without making their views the main focus.
- Working / Not Working
- Done with all the people involved with the child’s life, including the child him/herself.
- Sections could be completed ahead of the meeting. This gives the young person and their family time to really consider the things they want to raise.
- Helpful for completed templates to be shared before a meeting and sent to the family to consider so they are aware of expectations.
- To identify and discuss what people like and admire about the young person; what is important to them (now and in the future); and what help and support they need
- To identify and discuss what is working and not working from different perspectives (child, staff/school, family, and other involved professionals)
- To agree actions that will:
- Support the young person to get what is important to them now and for the future
- Continue what is working and change what is not working
- Set up a person centred plan.
Support for the young person
- Decide how to make the review comfortable - sharing a favourite food or drink, sitting informally not around desks
- Decide how to communicate
- Encourage thinking about the future e.g. complete a one-page profile
- Decide what they may want to share at the meeting
- Talk about who will be invited.
Support for the family
- Make sure they know what to expect from the meeting, how it will work, what is the purpose
- Make sure they understand how they will be expected to contribute
- Encourage them to consider what they like and admire, what is important to and for the young person and what is working and what could be improved
- Reassure them that all types of communication are important e.g. spellings won’t be judged
- Tell them about Independent Support.
Professionals and other people
- Share the process of the meeting, or at least the headings that will be used, with professionals beforehand so that they can consider their contribution
- Be clear that this is not an opportunity to write reports under new headings, but to bring their knowledge and contribute to creating a shared understanding together.
The Review facilitator
- Ensure that the young person, family and professionals are briefed and prepared
- Learn how the young person wants to participate at the meeting and ensure as far as possible that things are set up this way
- Check how the young person has been supported to contribute and what there may be to share
- Find out who has been invited
- Find out how the young person wants to be (and will be) supported in the meeting.
When people walk into the room it should be welcoming and informal. There may be:
- Flipchart paper with headings on the wall
- A semi-circle of chairs (small tables only!)
- Music playing (if the young person wants it)
- Refreshments chosen by young person.
- Mood setting: introductory music, seating arrangements, food etc.
- Introductions - who is here
- Ground Rules and Processes
- What we like and admire about the young person
- What is Important To and For
- What is Working and Not Working
- Discussion of Important to/for and Working/ Not working
- Agreement of Actions.
- Videos: ‘This is Me’ (clips from school, home)
- Audio recordings
- Powerpoints of likes and hopes (created by the young person in class time)
- Other young people in the class say what they like and admire about the young person and this is recorded and brought to the review.
- review the special educational provision and any health and social care 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 effectiveness of provision to ensure good progress towards outcomes.
- review any annual or termly goals set by the early years provider, school or college or other provider
- set new annual and termly goals and write a new EHC Support Plan for the coming year
- consider the continuing appropriateness of the EHC Plan and whether changes are required. This may include any changes to outcomes, provision, change of educational establishment or whether the EHC Plan is still required.
- The annual review meeting is one part of a wider annual review process.
- Children, parents and young people should be supported to engage fully in the whole review process and the review must take account of their views, wishes and feelings, including their right to request a personal budget.
- Annual reviews should integrate a variety of perspectives on progress including those of all key stakeholders (e.g. school, health and social care other agencies)
- Where the child is under six the review should be held at least every six months to ensure the provision continues to be appropriate
- Professionals across education, health and social care must co-operate during review processes
- The child/young person, their parents, a representative of the school or other institution attended, a local authority, social care / early help representative must be invited and given at least two week’s notice of the date of the meeting. Other individuals relevant to the review should also be invited ( e.g. youth offending teams, job coaches)
- Arrangements for annual reviews should be manageable. The programme of annual reviews should maximise the child/young person’s and parental participation, but also to ensure relevant professionals are able to contribute appropriately taking into account their capacity to schedule availability.
- For looked after children the person centred annual review should, if possible and appropriate, coincide with one of the reviews in their Care Plan and in particular the (PEP) element of the Care Plan.
- EHC Plans must be reviewed and amended in reasonable time prior to a child/young person moving between key phases of education.
- Parents have the right to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal if the Local Authority refuses to amend an EHC Plan following an Annual Review
- An early Annual Review must be called if:
- there is any likelihood of the educational placement breaking down / risk of permanent exclusion
- if a change of placement is requested
- there has been a significant change in the needs or provision required
- The review of the EHC plan may also include the review of any existing personal budget arrangements including any direct payments.
Annual Reviews of Education, Health and Care Plans
Early years reviews should take place every three-six months, as appropriate.
All other EHCP reviews should take place every 12 months or more frequently if appropriate.
Transfer reviews between phases of education
For children transferring between early years and primary school or primary school and secondary school, the EHCP must be issued by 15th February in the calendar year of the transfer between schools.
For young people transferring from secondary school to post 16 institutions or an apprenticeship the EHC Plan must be issued by 31 March in the calendar year of the transfer. In some cases, young people may not meet the entry requirements for their chosen course or change their minds about what they want to do after the 31 March. Where this is the case the Local Authority should review the EHCP with the young person a soon as possible, to ensure that alternative options are agreed.
Note: for placements staring in September the transition process must be completed by 31 May in the calendar year of the transfer.
Preparing for Adulthood EHC Reviews (every year from Year 9)