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Undertake a feasibility study for the application of the AET professional development model for the children’s social work community

The Autism Education Trust has been awarded a contract by the Department for Education to continue its well-established work in building capacity across the education system for children and young people with autism.

As part of this contract DfE requires AET to undertake a feasibility study as to the possible use and/or adaptation of its workforce professional development materials and delivery mechanism for use within the children’s social work community. This brief describes the various elements and required outputs of the work stream and which will be reflected in the contract entered into with the successful provider.

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Purpose

Provide a feasibility report and recommendations that sets out how AET materials and delivery mechanisms would need to be adapted to provide a programme for the children’s social work sector, with buy-in from sector representatives.

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Background

The Autism Education Trust
The Autism Education Trust (AET) was founded in 2007 by Ambitious about Autism, The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) and The National Autistic Society (NAS) and has received consistent support from government since that time.

The vision of the AET is that all children and young people with autism should receive an education which enables them to engage in society as active citizens and that their families and the professionals who work with them are informed, supported and equipped to enable this to be achieved.

In order to achieve this, the AET has a mission to build capacity in the education system for children and young people with autism.
The AET achieves its mission through:
   •    the identification and promotion of high standards in autism education practice
   •    the identification and promotion of effective practitioner competency in support of those standards
   •    providing a platform for training in effective practice in support of improved competency
   •    disseminating information regarding evidence-based and good practice approaches/services to policy makers, commissioners and practitioners
   •    providing an interface between users, practitioners and policy makers in respect of service development
   •    ensuring that full and proper engagement of stakeholders informs its work and facilitating the engagement of stakeholders with government

The AET is in a unique position to carry out these activities because of:
   •    Its independence
   •    The partnership it supports between voluntary bodies and voluntary bodies and the maintained sector
   •    The active role of people with autism in the work and governance of the AET.
   •    Its national brief
   •    Its focus on practical activity in education contexts

A core element of the AET offer is its professional development (training) programme delivered through its regional delivery partners. This training centres around three ‘tiers’: ‘making sense of autism’, ‘good autism practice’ and ‘leading good autism practice’ within each of the three education phases – ‘early years’, ‘school’ and ‘post 16’. It is complemented by other training modules.

As a consequence of previous DfE funding, the materials developed to support this training are recognised as being of a very high quality and the programme’s delivery through its regional delivery partners has proven to be successful in securing excellent reach and impact.

Within the context of the Children and Families Act 2014, DfE is interested to understand how a similar approach to professional development might be applied to the children’s social work community and has commissioned AET to undertake a feasibility study as to how its existing materials and delivery approach might be adopted and/or adapted to meet the needs of this audience.

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Key deliverables.

There will be 5 key deliverables:

   1.    Identify cohort of Principal Social Workers, social workers and parents with whom to consult on issues and needs. (Note. DfE will assist in this process).
   2.    Present existing AET training materials to cohort and secure feedback as to suitability, necessary adaptation, relevance and/or development requirements. (in partnership with existing AET partner if necessary)
   3.    Present the training to a group of SWs as a pilot and secure feedback as to relevance and/or development requirements. (in partnership with existing AET partner if necessary)
   4.    Explore most appropriate structures and mechanisms for training delivery.
   5.    Provide report and recommendations

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Key skills and capabilities.

   •    Good understanding of the professional development context of the children’s social work community
   •    Good understanding of the issues faced by families of children with autism
   •    Ability to communicate effectively with all stakeholders including AET Young Person’s Panel
   •    Good organisational skills
   •    Good analytical and report writing skills

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Timescales

The delivery timetable is set out below:

 Activity  By when
Provider appointed  June 2017
Present brief and consult AET Young Person’s Panel Saturday 9th September 2017 
Identify cohort of principal social workers, social workers and parents with whom to consult on issues and needs.
Present existing AET training materials to cohort and secure feedback as to suitability, necessary adaptation, relevance and/or development requirements. (in partnership with existing AET partner if necessary)
Explore most appropriate structures and mechanisms for training delivery
 September 2017
Present the training to a group of SWs as a pilot and secure feedback as to relevance and/or development requirements. (in partnership with existing AET partner if necessary)
Explore most appropriate structures and mechanisms for training delivery.
 December 2017
Provide report and recommendations
 February 2018

 

 

 

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Budget  

The maximum funding for this contract is £12,000 inclusive of any VAT. This is to include all travel and expenses, room hire and engagement of other parties (see below).

In bidding for the contract, we would advise prospective providers to allow £750 per day to engage an AET partner in delivering existing materials to stakeholders as above. We would also advise allowing an element to meet the travel expenses of parents and carers who agree to engage.
We would anticipate social work professionals engaging Free of Charge.

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Further information

Organisations or individuals who are interested in competing for this work should submit the proforma available with this brief by  Tuesday 23rd May 2017.   Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Wednesday 31st May 2017.

For an overview of the AET please see the AET website at www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk
For individual queries please email our Administrator, Joanne Driver at Joanne@autismeducationtrust.org.uk . We will either respond to your query by email or arrange a phone call if necessary.

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Relevant links

The AET programme

Proforma