Area SEND: framework and handbook

This framework and handbook document sets out Ofsted’s inspection principles, guidance and the main judgements that inspectors make when inspecting area SEND.

Applies to England



The first part of the document is the area SEND inspection framework, which sets out the purposes and principles of inspection and its statutory basis, along with the inspection approach, model, frequency and timing.

The second part of the document is the inspection handbook. This handbook is primarily a guide for inspectors on how to carry out area SEND inspections.

We ran a consultation on the framework and draft handbook in summer 2022. We also ran a separate consultation for children and young people.

Read our guides for parents, carers, children and young people about inspections of local services for children and young people with SEND.

Published 29 November 2022
Last updated 14 April 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated to clarify the number of days before fieldwork begins and some processes on what happens after inspection.

  2. Added clarification to how local area partnerships should update their strategic plans and produce a priority action plan (area SEND).

  3. First published.