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Reviewing an Education, Health and Care Plan (from 18 years)

1. Using this Procedure

EHC Plans after the age of 18

Education, Health and Care Plans that were in place before the young adult became 18 can continue until the age of 25 if the Local Authority deems it appropriate to do so.

From the age of 18 an EHC Plan is only normally appropriate if a young adult continues in education (excluding higher education) and requires the on-going support of the same multidisciplinary team to achieve their outcomes and aspirations.

If you are unclear about local arrangements for continuing EHC Plans after the age of 18 you should seek advice from your line manager.

From the age of 18 the Care and Support elements of an EHC Plan must be assessed by Adult Care and Support and, where eligible met by Adult Care and Support.

Reviews of the EHC Plan and any Adult Care and Support Plan (if a separate Care and Support Plan exists) should be carried out at the same time to avoid unnecessary duplication.

When to use this procedure

This procedure should be used whenever you are:

  1. Carrying out a statutory review of an Education, Health and Care Plan; and
  2. The young adult is between the ages of 18 and 25; and
  3. Any Care and Support elements of the plan are being provided by Adult Care and Support.

You should refer to available children's procedures for the review of an EHC Plan when:

  1. The young adult is under 18; or
  2. The young adult is receiving all of their Care and Support from children's services (either because adult needs have not yet been established or have been found not eligible).

When the young adult has a Care and Support Plan

There is an expectation under the Care Act that any EHC Plan review is combined with any Care and Support Plan review to avoid duplication for the young adult and reduce administration.

You should either:

  1. Carry out the Care and Support Plan review yourself at the same time as you carry out the EHC Plan review; or
  2. Request a suitably skilled person carries out the Care and Support Plan review as part of the planned process to carry out the EHC Plan review.
If you carry out the Care and Support Plan review yourself you should refer to the review procedures as required to ensure that the review meets the statutory requirements of both the EHC Plan review and the Care and Support Plan review.

2. The Purpose of an EHC Plan Review

The overall purpose of an EHC Plan review

The overall purpose of an Education, Health and Care Plan review (from 18 years) is:

  1. To actively monitor the progress of a young adult towards their education outcomes and longer term aspirations;
  2. To ascertain whether the education targets in the Plan remain appropriate and achievable;
  3. To establish whether the EHC Plan is still the most appropriate way to support the young adult to achieve their education outcomes and aspirations based on their current circumstances and the support they are receiving from adult Care and Support; and
  4. To review whether the Care and Support being provided to the young adult is meeting eligible needs and supporting them to achieve other identified outcomes.

What the EHC Plan review must establish

Broadly the EHC Plan review must establish the following:

  1. Whether the special education provision is still effective in ensuring progress towards outcomes and aspirations;
  2. Whether any targets set by the special education provider are being progressed;
  3. Set and agree any new targets, outcomes or aspirations and agree how to progress them;
  4. Whether any health provision is effective and ensuring progress towards outcomes and aspirations;
  5. Whether Care and Support provision is effective and ensuring progress towards outcomes and aspirations;
  6. Whether there have been any changes in the young adult's circumstances that may indicate the plan is no longer appropriate (for example have they (or will they be) finishing education or entering employment).

3. Legal Requirements of an EHC Plan Review

Who must be involved in the EHC review (from the age of 18)

The review must involve:

  1. The young adult with Care and Support needs (or their representative if they lack capacity);
  2. Any carer (including any parent who is a carer);
  3. Members of the multidisciplinary team responsible for ensuring the plan is working as intended (for example a teacher, health professional);
  4. Anyone else that the young adult requests you to involve;
  5. Anyone else that the young adult consents to be involved (or you make a best interest decision to involve if they lack capacity).

Timing of an EHC Plan Review

The EHC Plan review must take place no less than every 12 months.

Combining an EHC Plan Review with a Care and Support Plan Review

There is an expectation under the Care Act that any EHC Plan review is combined with any Care and Support Plan review to avoid duplication for the young adult and reduce administration.

You should either:

  1. Carry out the Care and Support Plan review yourself at the same time as you carry out the EHC Plan review; or
  2. Request a suitably skilled person carries out the Care and Support Plan review as part of the planned process to carry out the EHC Plan review.

If you carry out the Care and Support Plan review yourself you should refer to the review procedures as required.

Combining an EHC Plan review with a Direct Payment Review

If the young adult is receiving a Direct Payment there is an expectation under the Care Act that, wherever possible any review of the Direct Payment is carried out at the same time as the review of a Care and Support Plan.

If the EHC Plan is going to be combined with a Care and Support Plan review you should therefore consider whether a Direct Payment review can also be carried out at the same time. Doing so will prevent unnecessary duplication for both the young adult and the Local Authority.

Click here to access the Direct Payment review procedure.

Who can carry out an EHC Plan review

Any person carrying out an EHC Plan review must be:

  1. Competent to carry out the function; and
  2. Possess the skills, knowledge and competence required based on the young adult's needs and circumstances (for example being skilled to adapt communication appropriately for someone with a learning disability, or to work confidently alongside a multidisciplinary team).

Where the EHC Review is being combined with a Care and Support Plan review the person carrying out the review must be suitably competent to carry out reviews of both plans (or to seek the involvement of a suitably skilled person where they are not).

There are also specific requirements when the young adult has a diagnosis of Autism or is Deafblind. These are the same requirements that apply when carrying out an assessment and can be accessed by clicking here.

The responsibility of review

The Local Authority is responsible for the EHC Plan review function, and it cannot delegate any part of the function to another person or organisation.

Notifying the outcome of the review

Any decision made following the EHC Plan review must be notified to the young adult (and their representative or carer, including parent) within 4 weeks of the review meeting. This is a statutory requirement under the Children and Families Act 2014.

4. Preparing to Carry out an EHC Plan Review

Because the young adult is over the age of 18 the procedures for arranging an EHC Plan review are broadly the same as the procedures for arranging a Care and Support Plan review under the Care Act.

5. The Review Conversation

The review conversation during an EHC Plan review is broadly the same as the conversation to review a Care and Support Plan because you will need to talk about:

  1. What is working and not working in the plan;
  2. Outcomes;
  3. Wellbeing;
  4. Needs; and
  5. Risk.

6. Deciding the Outcome of an EHC Plan Review

The timeframe for deciding the outcome

The outcome may be clear during the review but equally it may not be. For example if you feel that the EHC Plan may need to end you may wish to seek advice before making this decision.

Legally, you have a maximum of 4 weeks from the date of the review to notify the young adult of the outcome of the review, although you should endeavour to do so as soon as possible to reduce anxiety and uncertainty.

Possible outcomes of the EHC Plan review

Broadly there are 2 possible outcomes following the review:

  1. The EHC Plan needs to continue (with or without amendments to outcomes, aspirations and targets);
  2. The EHC Plan is no longer appropriate and should be ended (with all Care and Support elements transferred to an adult Care and Support Plan).

Deciding the outcome through the skilled conversation

Throughout the process of review you should talk to the young adult (or their representative) and others about the likely outcome of the review, endeavouring to reach an agreement about this as the process progresses.

The responsibility for deciding the outcome

The Local Authority is responsible for making the final decision about the outcome of the review. As such this is your responsibility as you are the Local Authority's representative.

Considerations when deciding the outcome of the review

When determining the outcome of the review you must give regard to:

  1. The views of the young adult about the outcome;
  2. The impact of the outcome on the young adult's Wellbeing;
  3. The views of any carer about the outcome; and
  4. The views of anyone else consulted or involved in the review process.

You must also involve the educational establishment named in the EHC Plan in any decisions about the plan.

The decision that you make about the outcome of the review must be evidence based and robust. This means you must be able to demonstrate the information that you have used to reach a decision if challenged.

Managing disagreement about the outcome

There may be times when the young adult, their representative or another person disagrees with the decision you have made about the outcome of the review.

In this situation you should be open to reviewing the available evidence and your rationale to ensure that the decision you have made is robust. You should be open and transparent about the evidence sources you have used and take steps to try and support the young adult to understand the decision you have made.

Where ongoing disagreement persists you should:

  1. Seek the support and advice of your line manager as required;
  2. Make a record of any difference of opinion in the formal record of the review;
  3. Ensure the evidence upon which you have based your decision is robust;
  4. Make sure that the regard you have given to the views of the young adult (and others) and the impact on their Wellbeing is clear; and
  5. Make proportionate records of any conversations you have had to try and resolve the differences.

You must also make the young adult (or their representative) aware of their right to complain about the decision that has been made.

The right to appeal

Regardless of whether there is a disagreement, when the outcome is to end the EHC Plan you must notify the young adult (or their representative) of their right to appeal the decision, how to do so and the timeframe for appeal.

It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the local arrangements for dispute resolution, mediation and appeal tribunals for young people with Special Educational Needs.

7. Recording and Next Steps

Recording the review

You are responsible for establishing the current review framework used by the service for recording purposes. If you are unclear you should speak to your line manager before proceeding to make a formal record of the review.

The timeframe for making a record

There is a duty under the Children and Families Act 2014 to notify the young adult of the outcome of the review within 4 weeks. The timeframe for recording the review should therefore fall within this.

What must be recorded in an EHC Plan review record

The following information must be clearly but proportionately recorded in all cases:

  1. Whether the special education provision is working well and ensuring progress towards outcomes and aspirations;
  2. Whether the special education provision is still necessary and appropriate;
  3. Whether any new education targets, outcomes or aspirations need to be set and agreed;
  4. Whether health and Care and Support elements of the plan are working well and ensuring progress towards outcomes and aspirations;
  5. Whether there have been any changes in the young adult's circumstances and the impact of these upon the plan;
  6. Whether the EHC Plan is still appropriate.

Combining the record with a Care and Support Plan review record

If the EHC Plan review record is going to act as a combined record with the statutory review of adult Care and Support the record must also meet the statutory requirements of a statutory review record under the Care Act.

Click here to access the procedure about what must be recorded in a Care and Support Plan review record.

Providing a copy to the young adult

Following the review process the young adult must be given a written record of their review.

It is important that the young adult understands their review and the outcome of it. To this end it should be provided in a format that is accessible to them.

If the review record has been provided in a format that you know or suspect the young adult will not be able to understand you should:

  1. Consider any steps that you can take to support them to understand it (for example talking through the review over the telephone or summarising it in a simpler format); and
  2. Consider the duty to make an independent advocate available.

If an advocate is already involved they should be informed when the review has been provided to the young adult so that they can support them to understand it.

Providing a copy to others

Where the review was carried out jointly with another organisation to avoid duplication (for example children's services or health) a copy of the review must be made available to the other person that carried it out with you.

You must provide a copy of the record to the educational establishment named in the plan.

A copy should normally be shared in full with any carer (including a parent carer) unless the young adult has capacity and has asked you not to share the review, or to share only part of the review. In this case you will need to discuss and agree which elements of the review are to be shared having regard for confidentiality.

In all other cases a copy of the record can only be shared with the young adult's consent (or in their best interests if they lack capacity to consent).

You must provide a copy to anyone who the young adult asks you to provide a copy to, unless doing so will put the young adult or another vulnerable adult or child at risk of abuse or neglect (in this case you should seek the advice of your line manager about sharing the record).

If the young adult consents (or lacks capacity and a best interest decision is made) a copy of the review should be shared with any service provider, person or organisation who was involved in the review and is responsible for providing any element of the EHC Plan (including Care and Support) to the young adult.

Amending a review record

Sometimes the young adult (or their representative if they lack capacity) or anyone else that was involved in the review may ask for amendments to be made to the record. For example:

  1. They feel that there is information missing; or
  2. They feel that the record is a misinterpretation of something that was said or agreed.

In this case you should:

  1. Consider the request;
  2. If the young adult whose review it is has not made the request, consult with them (or their representative if they lack capacity); and
  3. Review any evidence or information you have which may support or refute the request.

You should not make the amendment regardless of the existence of evidence and a rationale for doing so. If you reach a decision not to amend the record you should be clear about your reasons for not doing so, and you should make the young adult aware of their right to complain about your decision.

If a decision is made to make the amendments you should proceed to do so. Where doing so results in 2 versions of the same review being available on the system it must be clear which the amended version is.

The amended record should be circulated to the same people as the original record, unless the young adult requests otherwise or there is evidence that doing so would put the person at risk of harm or abuse.

Revising the EHC Plan following review

Where the review has identified changes that are required to outcomes, aspirations or targets these should be made to the EHC Plan as agreed.

If you are not familiar with the process for revising an EHC Plan you should seek advice from your line manager or refer to available children's procedures.

Copies of revised EHC Plans must be provided to:

  1. The young adult (and their representative if they lack capacity);
  2. Any carer (including a parent);
  3. The educational establishment named in the EHC Plan;
  4. Anyone else that the young adult requests you to provide a copy to (unless doing so will put the young adult or another vulnerable adult or child at risk of abuse or neglect -in this case you should seek the advice of your line manager about sharing the record).

Deciding the timeframe for the next review

The next EHC Plan review must be in no more than 12 months time. However, the date can be earlier and decisions about the timeframe must consider:

  1. Whether the young adult's circumstances are likely to change;
  2. The complexity of the plan;
  3. Whether the progress of outcomes and targets of the plan need to be more frequently monitored;
  4. Whether other monitoring arrangements are in place (for example arrangements to monitor the Care and Support in the plan);
  5. The level of on-going risk to the young adult; and
  6. Where there is a separate Care and Support Plan, when the next Care and Support Plan review is scheduled to take place (the EHC Plan review and the Care and Support Plan review should take place at the same time).

Decisions about the timeframe for review must have regard for:

  1. The views of the young adult about the timeframe for review;
  2. The views of any carer about the timeframe for review;
  3. The views of anyone else involved in the EHC Plan; and
  4. The impact on Wellbeing of the timeframe proposed.

If you are unclear about an appropriate timeframe for review you should seek the advice of your line manager.

If the young adult (or their representative) is not happy with the timeframe for review that has been decided you must make them aware of their right to complain.

Recording the timeframe for review

The agreed timeframe for the next review should be clearly recorded on the review record and the EHC Plan (and any separate Care and Support Plan to ensure the reviews are combined).

8. Ending the EHC Plan

When an EHC Plan is no longer appropriate

In the following situations an EHC Plan is no longer appropriate because the young adult is no longer the responsibility of the Local Authority:

  1. The young adult leaves education to take up paid employment (including employment with training but excluding apprenticeships);
  2. The young adult enters higher education;
  3. A young adult leaves education and no longer wishes to engage in further learning;
  4. The young adult has moved to another Local Authority area.

When the EHC Plan may not be appropriate

In the following situations the Local Authority may decide that an EHC Plan is no longer appropriate, and that the young adult's outcomes would be best managed through alternative methods or adult Care and Support provision:

  1. Special education provision is no longer deemed necessary;
  2. The education outcomes in the EHC Plan have all been achieved;
  3. The education outcomes in the plan have not been achieved but the young adult has new outcomes that are best met in alternative ways.

The responsibility to end the plan

It is the responsibility of the Local Authority to decide whether to end the plan. However, because the person is over 18 this decision must have demonstrable regard for:

  1. The views of the young adult;
  2. The views of any carer; and
  3. The impact on the young adult's Wellbeing of the decision.

You must also involve the educational establishment named in the EHC Plan in any decisions regarding the plan.

Notifying the young adult

As soon as the decision to end the EHC Plan has been made you should notify the young adult (or their representative if they lack capacity) of:

  1. The decision;
  2. The reasons for the decision; and
  3. The date that you intend to end the plan.

Any telephone communication must be followed up in writing as a formal record.

Notifying others

When a decision has been made to end an EHC Plan you must also formally notify:

  1. The educational institution named in the EHC Plan; and
  2. The responsible CCG.

It is also important to notify the adult Care and Support practitioner with responsibility for reviewing the Care and Support Plan so they can consider with the young adult how any outstanding outcomes and aspirations can be met by the Care and Support Plan from the time that the EHC Plan ends.

The right to appeal

Regardless of whether there is a disagreement, when the outcome is to end the EHC Plan you must notify the young adult (or their representative) of their right to appeal the decision, how to do so and the timeframe for appeal.

It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the local arrangements for dispute resolution, mediation and appeal tribunals for young people with Special Educational Needs.

When the young adult appeals the decision

If the young adult (or their representative) appeals the decision to end the EHC Plan you must not end the plan until the appeal has been heard and the outcome known.

If the outcome of the appeal is that the EHC Plan should continue you should arrange to continue the plan subject to further review.

The date that the EHC Plan ends

Unless there has been an unplanned change in the young adult's circumstances (for example they have unexpectedly withdrawn from school with no intention to return) the EHC Plan should not cease until the end of the current academic year, to allow young people to complete their programme of study.

In the case of a young adult who reaches their 25th birthday before their course has ended, the Education, Health and Care Plan can be maintained until the end of the academic year in which they turn 25 (or the day the apprenticeship or course ends, or the day before their 26th birthday if later).

Ending the EHC Plan

When a decision is made to end the EHC Plan you should proceed to do so when:

  1. The agreed date to end the plan is reached;
  2. Measures are in place to follow up on any on-going aspects of the EHC Plan via other plans or adult Care and Support processes; and
  3. The Care and Support elements of the plan have been included in any Care and Support Plan.

9. Transferring an EHC Plan when a Young adult Moves

If you are notified that a young adult with an EHC Plan is moving to another Local Authority area you must arrange to transfer the EHC Plan to the new authority.

You must provide the new authority with 15 days notice of the transfer, unless you have not been provided with this notice yourself.

The new Local Authority must make arrangements to maintain the arrangements in the EHC Plan (including the Care and Support elements of the plan) until such time when it has undertaken any reassessment process it deems necessary.

Telford Adult Social Care Procedures