How Ofsted inspects SEND provision

See how Ofsted inspects SEND provision in special schools and mainstream schools with SEND provision. Find out what inspectors look for, how they gather evidence, and how they assess outcomes.

Last reviewed on 7 March 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 8093
  1. The inspection framework applies to SEND provision
  2. What inspectors will look for
  3. How inspectors will gather evidence
  4. How inspectors assess outcomes

The inspection framework applies to SEND provision

All parts of the education inspection framework (EIF) apply to:

  • State-funded and non-maintained special schools
  • Mainstream schools' SEND provision

In addition to the overall framework, there are some specific factors that inspectors will take into account regarding your SEND provision, which we cover below. 

Ofsted doesn't give separate graded judgements on your SEND provision. Instead, inspectors use evidence related to your SEND provision to inform other judgements. 

See paragraphs 275 to 281 of the inspection handbook for details.

What inspectors will look for

Are ambitious for all pupils with SEND Identify, assess and meet the needs of pupils with SEND, including when they are self-isolating and/or receiving remote education Develop and adapt the curriculum so that it's coherently sequenced to all pupils' needs, starting points and aspirations for the future Involve parents, carers and other professionals/specialist services (as necessary) in deciding how best