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Who we represent – Natspec members

Natspec member organisations offer personalised learning programmes and multi-disciplinary specialist support and expertise to enable students to make a successful transition to adult life. They support learners to be ambitious, to realise their aspirations and to develop the skills to make progress towards their goals.

Full membership is open to organisations whose primary purpose is to make post-16 education and training provision for learners with learning difficulties and or disabilities (or Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – SEND), offering either day or residential provision, and where the majority of places are commissioned by local authorities and funded through the Education Funding Agency (EFA) high needs funding system in England (or equivalent in Wales, Scotland and NI).

Associate membership is open to organisations or departments of larger organisations that offer provision for students funded through the high needs system either alongside other provision, including non-specialist provision, such as GFE departments or ITPs, or in non-maintained or independent special school sixth forms or FE units.  Organisations in the process of seeking EFA approval for funding through the market entry process are also eligible for Associate membership.

Newly EFA approved organisations can join as full members, but must pay an initial joining fee to cover additional support from Natspec to prepare them for inspection and to meet the requirements of the post-16 further education system. Natspec provides a suitably qualified consultant, and the organisation should take up the support within 9 months of joining.  Organisations that fail to use the additional support will not be able to renew membership without payment of a further joining fee.

Are you thinking of opening new provision for 16 to 25 year olds?

If your organisation is setting up new provision for high needs students aged over 16,  you might be considering applying to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to become eligible for funding as a Special Post 16 Institution (SPI).

Many new providers have been surprised and shocked at how much they have had to change or introduce as a result of becoming a college funded by the EFA and subject to Ofsted inspections.

“Becoming a college changed our whole perspective and culture. Natspec helped us with the transition”
Therese Timberlake, Robert Owen Communities, Devon

Natspec can provide advice, guidance and ongoing support on issues and topics that are an essential part of becoming a college. Find out more about how we can help your organisation.