Learn more about NASS membership

Below are just some of the key benefits of being a NASS member. Additionally, our 2023 Impact Report highlights the work we have done over the last year to support our diverse membership of non-maintained special schools, independent special schools and special academies.

If you would like further information about joining our community of special schools, please download our Membership Benefits pack or get in touch with our Operations Officer, Jenny Hayward.


Expert guidance and lobbying influence

We offer guidance and support on issues affecting you. As the key sector body, recognised by the Department for Education and Ofsted, we are a powerful voice and push for change on behalf of you and all our members. We recently launched our Manifesto for Special Schools, which you can download and learn more about here.

Staying informed

Our fortnightly newsletter, NASS News, keeps you and your staff informed on the latest guidance, sector news and NASS events. You can add as many of your staff to the distribution list as you like.

Peer networking

We hold termly Special Interest Groups that create opportunities for you to network with your peers, discuss challenges, hear from guest speakers, and share experiences and best practices. Our groups include: Academies, Heads, Principals & CEOs, Heads of Care, HR, Finance, Teaching and Learning and Speech and Learning Therapy.

Specialist training and webinars

We organise a wide range of tailored training and learning opportunities for special schools, helping your staff learn more about key topics and stay up-to-date on current guidance. Visit our Events page to see our latest training and events.

Supporting your recruitment

Our School Jobs page is one of the most frequently visited sections on our website and, as a NASS member, we can list your jobs free of charge.

Bringing the NASS community together

Our annual conference each autumn brings you together with as many of our members as possible for joint learning, sector updates and valuable networking.

Leadership programmes

We help you develop and become centres of excellence through bespoke leadership programmes for special schools. You can view our current Development Programmes here.

Developing knowledge

We invest in initiatives that will provide long-term value for you. In the last year, we commissioned a report on the cost and value of meeting need for children and young people with SEND. We also sought legal advice to give you clarity on the setting and payment of fees. Further information can be found on our Publications page.

Highlighting and celebrating excellence

We take pride in sharing your excellence and best practice. We do this by recognising your work at our annual NASS Awards and using our social media channels (LinkedIn and X) and website to highlight the difference you are making throughout the year.

Piloting innovation

We look for innovative ways to tackle issues that affect you by collaborating with partners. We give you the opportunity to be part of this research.

Special schools map

NASS member schools’ details are included on a searchable map on our website. This is widely used by parents and local authorities seeking potential placements and now features on some Local Offers.