Special schools: curriculum requirements

Learn about the curriculum requirements for different types of special schools. Find out whether special schools must follow age-related expectations, and if there is a set amount of time you should allocate to curriculum subjects.

Last reviewed on 23 February 2024
School types: Special · School phases: All
Ref: 10379
  1. Maintained schools: your requirements
  2. Non-maintained schools: your requirements
  3. Be clear on your assessment approaches before planning your curriculum
  4. You can choose how to allocate time to curriculum subjects
  5. Special school curriculum examples

Maintained schools: your requirements

Community and foundation special schools must teach all National Curriculum subjects to pupils

But, you can deviate from the age-related expectations of each Key Stage where you believe they are inappropriate for individual pupils.

A representative from the DfE told us this. 

The National Curriculum can be disapplied for individual pupils

If a pupil can’t access knowledge, skills and understanding from their current or previous Key Stages, they can be disapplied from all or part of a National Curriculum programme of study, or all or part of National Curriculum assessment arrangements.

The pupil's