How Ofsted inspects your provision for 'disadvantaged' pupils

Learn how Ofsted defines 'disadvantaged' pupils and considers your provision for these pupils. Also get up to speed on the changes to inspection criteria regarding 'vulnerable' pupils, following the pandemic.

Last reviewed on 23 September 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
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  1. How will Ofsted judge our provision for 'disadvantaged' pupils?
  2. Ofsted's definition of disadvantaged pupils
  3. Ofsted no longer considers 'vulnerable' pupils as a separate group

How will Ofsted judge our provision for 'disadvantaged' pupils?

Inspectors will take into account the learning and progress of 'disadvantaged' pupils (as defined in the section below), when evaluating your:


Ofsted looks at your curriculum as part of the ‘quality of education’ judgement.

You should provide disadvantaged pupils with a curriculum that:

  • Is designed to give them the knowledge, responsibilities and cultural capital they need to succeed in life
  • Remains as broad as possible for as long as possible, and isn’t reduced for these pupils

Inspectors will also want to see that your disadvantaged pupils:

  • Make progress and learn what your curriculum intends for them to learn
  • Produce high-quality work
  • Achieve well in national tests and exams
  • Are being prepared for the next stage of education, training or employment
  • Are able to read to an age-appropriate level and fluency

This is set out in paragraph 214 of the inspection handbook.

In ‘outstanding’