In July, 2022, I spoke to Margaret Mulholland, SEN and Inclusion Policy Specialist for the Association of School and College Leaders, or ASCL, about the SEND and AP Green Paper, which had been released by the DfE in March. We published part one of this interview recently – you can listen here.

In part two of the interview, Margaret and I talked more about inclusivity and discussed how we can embed it into mainstream education.

Structural barriers to inclusivity

One of the real problems that pupils with SEND face is structural exclusion, often caused by demands for attainment and pressure on schools. Margaret asks what systemic changes aimed at inclusivity need to focus on. What are the most effective ways to change the system of provision and mitigate exclusion of SEND pupils?

There is also the idea of conjoining Alternative Provision and SEND, which are two separate but often intertwined groups of pupils. Margaret discussed the potential advantages of this connection.

While academisation may have been relegated to the back burner, the role of multi-academy trusts in SEND provision has not been. Margaret and I talked about whether special MATs will emerge, or if special schools will be part of wider trusts.

Finally, there is no downplaying the importance of teaching and learning, including a need for better professional development. Ensuring teachers know what SEND is and how they can make their practice inclusive is point that Margaret made several times throughout the episode.

The government has just published its response to the SEND Review – The SEND and AP Improvement Plan – and you can expect a HEP summary in our weekly Monday Briefing. We will be speaking to Margaret again in the next few weeks to gain more of her insight into the next phase of the government’s plans for SEND and alternative provision.

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.

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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.

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