NASS is led by Chief Executive Claire Dorer OBE, who has been at the helm since 2005.

With a degree in psychology, Claire’s career includes a research psychologist post in the NHS, lecturer position at the University of Birmingham and a leadership role within the Department for Education. She leads the organisation developing strategy, representing the membership and influencing national policy. In 2022, she was awarded an OBE for services to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Mari Davis is NASS’s Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer.

She joined NASS in 2020 and works with key stakeholders to influence and shape policy impacting the SEND sector. Mari holds a degree in Public Policy and Government as well as an MBA. Her career includes working within several corporate policy teams in the local government sector; leading a national campaign promoting local democracy as well as working as a Senior Policy Consultant at the Local Government Association.  She is a fluent Welsh speaker.

Jenny Hayward is Operations Officer for NASS.

Jenny provides operational and business management to the organisation. Her responsibilities include finance, NASS membership, NASS training and events including the organisation’s annual conference and providing support to NASS members.

Before joining NASS in 2015, Jenny worked for JISC TechDis, an advisory service specialising in technology and inclusion, working across the education sectors including the Specialist Colleges sector.


Susie Patterson is NASS’s Communications Officer.

Susie joined NASS in September 2023 and is responsible for managing NASS’s communication activities. This includes raising understanding and awareness of the valuable work NASS does and promoting the demonstrable impact its member schools have on the lives of children and young people with SEND, and their families. She has over 20 years’ experience, working across a diverse range of sectors including charity and education.

Helena Wragg is NASS’s Administrative Officer.

Before Helena joined NASS in April 2024, she previously worked as an administrator for STEM Learning, a charity committed to improving lives through STEM education.

Helena provides administrative support to ensure the organisation’s business functions run effectively. This includes supporting our Operations Officer with maintaining our database of members, supporting members with day-to-day enquiries about their membership and event administration.