The National Association of Independent Schools & Non-Maintained Special Schools (NASS) is a membership organisation working with and for special schools in the voluntary and private sectors within the UK. Its aim is to provide information, support and training to its members through a range of media in order to benefit and advance the education of young people with special educational needs.
NASS was formed in 1997 to represent non-maintained and independent special schools which are run by charities, a small but significant part of the education provision in this country catering for some 6000 of the UK's most vulnerable children all of whom are placed in our schools by local authorities. In 2000, private independent special schools were able to join as associate members and in 2007 they were given access to full membership. NASS is the only national organisation representing special schools in the voluntary and private sectors. Voluntary and private special schools represent about one eighth of the total number of special schools in England.
NASS works in partnership with key national and regional organisations and acts as a voice for special schools, raising concerns on issues affecting young people with special educational needs and their families. NASS takes a lead role in lobbying to influence government policy and bring about lasting change. It initiates and develops guidelines and procedures to further promote the standards of service, administration and management within its member schools and organisations.
NASS has grown rapidly since its inception and now has over 200 schools and organisations as members. As a developing organisation NASS endeavours to pursue opportunities to assist its members and organisations as service providers.
NASS exists to promote the role of high quality specialist provision within a modern inclusive education service which respects the choice of children, their families and carers, enables all children and young people to receive an education which is appropriate to their education and social needs and provides the maximum opportunity for all children to participate fully educational, employment, consumer, recreational, community and domestic activities that typify society.
NASS is a company limited by guarantee, number 3774801 and a registered charity, number 1083632