The Young Foundation and the National Association of Independent & Non-Maintained Special Schools ( NASS), a membership association for special schools, worked together over the past year to support a cohort of innovators developing innovations to improve experiences and outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

NASS works with leaders and staff in special schools who are passionate about improving access to learning, and experiences of education, for young people with SEND.

They want to find innovative ways to unlock learning potential and collaborate with the wider education community to improve well-being for groups of learners with specific needs; all whilst building an evidence base about the impact that different approaches to learning can have.

The Young Foundation supported the NASS SEND Incubator with a programme of activity for nine schools, which had emerging evidence of positive impact for their learners from their innovative approaches. We supported them to develop their innovations through:

  • a series of workshops
  • coaching support
  • encouraging partnerships with other schools to get feedback and share ideas
  • sourcing expert input tailored to each innovation
  • feedback from ‘critical friends’ across education and other fields.

Find out more about each initiative supported by clicking on the logos to the right-hand side.


The NASS SEND Incubator Cohort of Innovators