News & Briefings

Press Release: OFSTED Annual Report for 2017/18


ALLFIE shares Ofsted’s concerns that Disabled pupils and students are being forced out of mainstream education but believes the inspection framework itself is part of the problem.

Today OFSTED publishes its Annual Report for 2017/18 which highlights their concerns about the poor quality of Special Educational Need provision for Disabled pupils & students in mainstream education. The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) welcomes the OFSTED report and shares the same concerns about the lack of coordinated 0–25 strategies which is leading to the large numbers of Disabled pupils & students with SEN being forced out of mainstream education through increased exclusions and the growing insidious practice of ‘off-rolling’.

ALLFIE also shares OFSTED concerns about the negative impact that the poor implementation of the EHCP assessment process is having on the development of inclusive education practice. As well as the difficulties for Disabled pupils & students and their families caused by delays in diagnosis and the lack of specific services such as CAMHS.

ALLFIE is pleased that OFSTED want to investigate the reasons behind the decline in the numbers of Disabled pupils & students in mainstream education, particularly in Year 10 and 11 where GCSE courses take place. We also welcome OFSTED’s call for research into SEND provision in mainstream schools including working with Disabled pupils & students with behaviour that challenges.

However ALLFIE believes OFSTED should have gone further in its challenge of poor and unlawful practice – ALLFIE believes that OFSTED must look at how their current inspection framework has negatively impacted on the ability of mainstream schools to become inclusive.

“At the moment mainstream schools are feeling under huge pressure from OFSTED and the Government to hide or exclude their most ‘challenging’ pupils; many of those pupils will be disabled with challenging behaviour labels. OFSTED need to move away from the current inspection regime that places too much value on SATs and GCSEs results if they are going to encourage schools to become more confident about including a diversity of pupils and students. We need OFSTED to be brave in challenging the Government’s obsession with GCSE and SAT as a measure of success and instead work with schools to incentivise real inclusion as defined by Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities“ says Tara Flood (ALLFIE’s Director).

Click here to read the OFSTED report.