In March 2022, the Department for Education released the SEND and AP Green Paper, a document which summarised the challenges faced by SEND and AP provision, and set out ambitious reforms to create a single, well-regulated, national SEND and AP system (Read a summary of the paper here). There was a consultation on the paper soon after, which closed in July 2022, and that’s when I spoke to Margaret Mulholland, SEN and Inclusion Policy Specialist for the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

Margaret has a wealth of knowledge and ideas about how the  SEND and Alternative Provision system operates and also casts her expert eye over how well the Green Paper addressed its issues. This HEP Talks episode is a must-listen for anyone keen to gain a greater understanding of how this system works.

But does the Green Paper itself demonstrate an understanding of the system? That is what Margaret and I discussed in the first part of the interview. Beyond that, you’ll hear Margaret’s riveting explanation of the thorniest issues in SEND and AP provision – funding and perverse incentives. Finally, we hit upon the topic of inclusivity, and what it really means to make schools and classrooms ‘inclusive’.

Listen to the full interview on HEP Talks

As always, we hope you enjoy listening to the full interview on HEP Talks, which can be found on AppleSpotifyGoogle, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

If you have a topic that you’re interested in or want to talk about on our podcast, please send me an email at and you might get featured on an upcoming episode. Stay tuned to HEP Talks!

About the Author:

Luke Kemper

Luke Kemper is Insight and Intelligence Lead at HEP. He recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development. Before that, he worked for seven years as a university lecturer and high school teacher in China and Poland.

HEP Talks Podcast

The voice of Haringey Education Partnership. A weekly briefing on the latest stories in education news, deep diving into developments and interviews with leading voices in Education.

More Insights