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AET Participation Work

AET Project brief - AET Participation Work



The Autism Education Trust believes that all children and young people with autism* should receive an education which enables them to reach their individual potential to engage in society as active citizens (and that individuals, families and professionals are informed, supported and equipped to enable this to be achieved).
*The term autism refers to all those on the autistic spectrum including Asperger syndrome

Strategic aims

AET strategic aims

To ensure that the voice of young people with autism and their families is strengthened and continues to play an important part in the work of the AET and its work helps inform them. 

Audiences and methodology 
The participation worker must be able to work directly with children and young people with autism and their families and carers, whether at their place of education or in meetings.  They should be able to work using a wide range of communication methods with people across the breadth of the autism spectrum from autism with learning disabilities to Asperger Syndrome and High functioning Autism.  They will also be in a position to advise the AET on the best way to develop its participation strategy and ways to impact on delivery of the work of the AET. 

Deliverables, phases and stages:
1. Developing a network of school councils with 4-6 schools by 31st December 2013
The AET Participation Worker will liaise with schools to identify suitable children, to develop accessible materials, to co-ordinate meeting logistics and to attend meetings.

The AET supports the participation of young people with autism in school councils and the participation workers either visits school councils or develops resources for school councils to use. At least one of the schools is a special school.

2. Bringing together School Council representatives once per year by 31st March 2014
Including venue hire, lunch and refreshments, transport

The AET School Council will enable representatives to feel part of something bigger and have the opportunity to meet their peers if they wish. 

3. Developing resources for school councils to use by 31st August 2014
Including development, design and production

This is necessary for the AET to be able to reach a larger number of school councils than the Participation Worker is able to visit.            

What should be included?
The AET Participation Worker should make full use of existing AET resources, and pieces of work, looking at them specifically with a view to increasing the involvement of children and young people within their own settings and in the work of the AET. 

  1.    AET Standards
  2.    AET Competency Framework
  3.    The Den - an interactive place for young people
  4.    Diagnosis DVD
  5.    Youth Council Films
  6.    100% Awesomes – Peer Awareness Programme
  7.    AET Research

Necessary elements
  1.    Reviewed by stakeholders
    a.    Expert Reference Group
     b.    At least one Parents Group / Network
  2.    Piloted through AET training hubs

  1.    Using consultation with stakeholders to confirm the most effective promotional channels
  2.    Using the organisations’ communications channel to publicise the work and the AET programme.

Key Information:
The inclusion of children and young people with autism and their families is a central part of the AET strategy.  It should run through each of the activities of the AET as detailed in the current programme of activities set out in the diagram below

AET pyramid image

It is therefore expected that the bidder chosen will work very closely with hubs trainers and members of the AET Programme Board and Expert Reference Group and should attend Programme Partners and ERG meetings.

What key skills / capabilities are important to us?
•    A clear understanding of inclusive practice and participation of young people with autism and their families and carers.
•    Ground-breaking inclusion practice
•    Thorough knowledge of a range of consultation mechanisms (e.g. Online forums, Autism Bulletin Boards and Networks e.g. Network Autism, Talk about Autism, focus groups)
•    Thorough knowledge of a range of groups for young people and adults with autism including members of the autism rights movement and parents’ groups.
•    Track record in working for and with people across the spectrum, whether they have High Functioning Autism / Aspergers Syndrome or have classical autism with or without other learning difficulties. (Although this can  be provided by a partner organisation to the bidder)
•    Ability to understand the wider policy framework including the current broader context for education CPD
•    Bidders should state where their research team includes researchers with autism and how their skills will be used in this work.

The maximum budget for this piece of work is £15,800 including VAT and expenses.  The total is comprised the following elements: 

  • 0.5 FTE Participation worker - £13,500
  • School Council Representatives event  - £2,000
  • Resources for School Councils to use - £3,000

The AET has had a Youth Council from 2008-2011 comprised of 12 young people with autism or their siblings between the ages of 7 and 16. Although their contribution was highly influential and useful to the AET, we are now looking to develop a structure that will not only meet the needs of the AET, but also empowers young people to have more of a voice in their own environments by supporting a number of school councils and the development of resources for other school councils to use independently.

Organisations and individuals who are interested in competing for this work should complete the brief tender proforma which is supplied with this document which details how they would address this remit and what particular skills and expertise they bring. This document will be assessed by a panel delegated by the AET Programme Board who will select the successful bidder.

For an overview of the AET and our work including our websites for Primary age children (Kidzone) and Teenagers and Young Adults with autism (The Den), please see the AET website.

Relevant Documents
1.  AET Participation work brief as a PDF
2.  Assessment criteria for AET Participation work
3.  AET Good Practice report
4.  AET Outcomes report
5.  AET Autism Education National Standards
6.  AET Competency Framework