ASCL comment on Ofsted report on urgent need to reform alternative provision 

Margaret Mulholland, SEND and Inclusion Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to a report from Ofsted outlining the need for urgent reform of alternative provision.
While many providers are offering high-quality alternative provision (AP) and achieving improved outcomes for children and young people, there are vast differences in how AP is being delivered across different local areas. 

“Ofsted’s conclusion that decisions about placing children and young people in AP are not always considered thoroughly enough, needs to be a precursor to change. The current system too often leads to children being inappropriately placed in AP because there is insufficient resource or capacity for them to remain in mainstream settings. 

“Integrating alternative provision within the SEND system, as set out in the government’s SEND and AP improvement plan, provides an opportunity to develop the specialist support available in AP settings. However, this must be flexible enough to respond to regional needs and significant investment is required for training and development to ensure all alternative provision has a positive impact on children and young people