Curriculum requirements: special schools

Learn about the curriculum requirements for different types of special schools. Find out what your school needs to cover for your pupils with special educational needs (SEN), to stay compliant.

Last reviewed on 27 November 2023
School types: SpecialSchool phases: AllRef: 44339
  1. Requirements for maintained schools
  2. Requirements for non-maintained schools
  3. Your school can choose how to allocate time to curriculum subjects
  4. See special school curriculum examples

Requirements for maintained schools

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

But, your school can deviate from the age-related expectations of each Key Stage where it believes 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 EHC plan

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