Amanda Spielman has warned that the neediest children are missing out on support through home schooling.
The Ofsted chief inspector said attendance rates for this group were “surprisingly low” and hadn’t picked up after the first lockdown.
She said that this was despite “considerable efforts” by schools and social care.
“It’s the combination of the loss of services they might need, things for special needs like speech and language therapy. they’ve lost education and of course they’ve lost those teacher eyes that spot new problems and worsening problems,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.
“Referrals drop dramatically in the first lockdown and they’re still not back up to normal levels so we’re really worried that there are not enough children getting services they desperately need which could compromise their longer term development.
“It’s really important that schools social services and other services really do work together to spot and make sure children get the help,” she added.