Shining the Spotlight - Nasen

We are really proud of our members and will jump at every chance to shout about them and their achievements! This is a dedicated place to showcase members and to shine the spotlight on their projects.

 Early Years resources

This time, we're looking at the National Association of Special Educational Needs, commonly known as Nasen.

Who are nasen?

nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs) was established in 1992 following the amalgamation of the National Association for Remedial Education (NARE) and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE).

Although a charity, nasen is also a membership organisation and currently has over 6,000 members. Its mission is to promote the advancement of all individuals with SEND/ALN mainly through working with the professionals who support them.

As well as providing news, updates, resources (many of which are free), CPD and representation on national bodies, nasen also works on specific projects.

What do they do?

One of nasen’s current projects is the development of a suite of resources for those working in the early years, all of which are free to access.

The resources include a set of mini guides which look at different elements of SEND in the early years and are also tailored to suit different settings and providers within this phase (childminders, reception classes, maintained nurseries and PVIs, governing-body led settings). In addition to this there is also a series of easily accessible webcasts that cover a wide range of topics around SEND in the early years.

As well as offering various courses and face to face training, nasen also recently developed an online course of CPD for mainstream, non-SEND specialists called Focus on SEND training.

Consisting of 6 modules, the first 5 focus on High Quality Teaching, Identifying Needs, Participation and Engagement, Outcomes and Meeting Needs. The 6th module encourages participants to find out more by carrying out research in action as part of their work.

Based on the principles of effective CPD, Focus On SEND is practical in nature and encourages collaboration between education professionals in their school or setting.

Next steps

As a leading partner of the Whole School SEND consortium, nasen is in the process of further developing the SEND Gateway, a ‘one stop shop for SEND’, in order to allow schools and other settings to be more strategic in their search for resources, information and research. These developments have also seen the creation of a facility which allows schools and settings to share their effective practice for SEND with others. As we are working in a system that is becoming increasingly school rather than LA led, it is important that various routes to enable this are created.

More information

Find out more about nasen on their website: You can also keep up to date with them on Twitter (@nasen_org) and Facebook (