Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans - Transition Guide

Making the most of an annual review

If you have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, the annual reviews from Year 9 onwards must discuss preparing for adulthood. Preparing for Adulthood includes:

  1. getting ready for employment or other meaningful activity
  2. finding somewhere to live and getting good support
  3. friends, relationships and being part of a community
  4. achieving as healthy a life as possible

How to prepare for an annual review

You may start to think more about what you want to do when you finish your education. Your school or college will talk to you about transition planning. They will give you some information.

  • discuss with school or college if it would be appropriate for you to attend the meeting.  
  • your school or college should ask for your views before the meeting and share this information.  They will be able to help you with this.
  • your school or college will arrange the annual review meeting. Let them know if you or your parent/carer cannot attend so that they can arrange a different date.
  • your school or college will ask relevant professionals to attend.  They will ask them to send up-to-date information about you. You may want to ask them to invite specific professionals if you think them being there would be helpful.
  • it may be helpful to have a discussion with your parent/carer before the meeting, if possible. Talk to them about how things are now, what should happen next and in the future. You may want to write notes to take with you to the meeting.
  • the school or college must send out any reports (including those submitted by parents) at least two weeks before the annual review meeting. They must provide them in a way that you can read them, e.g. Braille, large print etc.

The school or college will send everyone a report of the meeting within two weeks. This should set out any recommended changes to the EHC plan.

The report is considered by the local authority’s SEND Statutory Assessment and Review Service (SENDSARS). They will tell you the outcome of the review within four weeks of the review meeting. The outcome could be:

  • the EHC plan is suitable as it is (no changes).
  • the EHC plan needs updating. This might be because your child’s needs have changed or because their provision needs to change.
  • the EHC plan should be ceased (ended) as you no longer need the specialist support it provides. See section below on ceasing an EHC plan for more information.  

If the local authority decides to update the plan, it will invite you and your parent/carer to comment on the updates. You will have at least fifteen days to respond. You can ask for a meeting with an officer from SENDSARS to discuss the changes.

You have a right to mediation and to appeal to the SEND Tribunal if you are not happy with the outcome of the review. More information is available by clicking here.

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Ceasing an EHC plan

Most young people will have completed their education by 19 and may not need an EHC plan after they turn 19. This is very much down to the individual.

Some young people with SEND will need longer to complete their education and training. Your EHC plan may be maintained up to age 25. The length of time will vary according to each individual. An EHC Plan cannot be ceased just because you are over 18.

A local authority will cease (end) an EHC plan if:

  • you move into higher education (university).
  • you leave education. For example:
    • because you are moving into paid employment
    • because you no longer want to take part in education or training. If you are under the age of 18 and not in education, employment or training, then your EHC plan would normally continue.  Services would help you to get back into education.
  • you no longer need the special educational provision set out in your EHC plan

When making a cease decision about a young person aged 19 or over

The local authority has to consider if the education or training outcomes set out in the EHC plan have been met.

If the local authority wants to cease an EHC plan

  • It must tell you and your family that it is considering this.
  • It must give you, and their setting an opportunity to give their views about this.

This can be done in writing or at a meeting with the SEND Statutory Assessment and Review Service (SENDSARS). 

You have a right to mediation and to appeal to the SEND Tribunal if you are not happy with the outcome of the review. More information is available by clicking here.

When a young person is close to finishing their education or training

The local authority should use the final annual review to look at the support needed for a smooth transition into adulthood.

If you have any questions or issues about your EHC Plan or Annual Review

Talk to your school, college or the SEND Statutory Assessment and Review Service (SENDSARS).

Email: SENDAssess& 

Phone: 0114 273 6394

You can also contact the SEND Information, Advice and support service (SSENDIAS). (See page 45)

The rest of this guide gives information about:

  • support with finding a job
  • adult social care services
  • health
  • housing
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