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AET Project brief - Training Hubs

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AET Project brief - Training Hubs - NOW CLOSED  

The Autism Education Trust has now appointed 7 AET training hubs. We had 26 applicants and interviewed 16 over 3 days. All were at least good and most were excellent in terms of track record and expertise. Big factors in determining the successful bidders were robustness and size of networks already established and capacity of the organisation to deliver. At this stage we have appointed 7 training hubs but we hope to appoint another 3 some time next year. The following organisations have been appointed as AET training hubs:

ambitious about autism logo    Ambitious about Autism

birmingham city council logo    Birmingham LA

bridge school logo    The Bridge School

Leicestershire county council logo    Leicestershire County Council

NAS logo    The National Autistic Society

norsaca logo nottinghamshire county council logo    Nottinghamshire/Sutherland House/NORSACA

Oldham city council logo    Oldham LA

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

The purpose of the AET is to further raise awareness of the importance of autism education across the children’s workforce, to bring organisations involved in delivering autism education services together in order to promote effective practice and share information and to involve children and young people with autism and their families and carers in the planning and delivery of information and resources to enhance and improve autism education across the country.

To act as a hub to facilitate the delivery a 3-tier programme of training against the National Autism Education Standards to schools across England.

Audiences and methodology
There will be three levels of training which will be aimed towards professionals with specific needs:

Level 1 (Universal, whole school training): This training will cover autism awareness and training across a wider range of SEN, including content from the Dyslexia SPLD and Communication Trusts.

Level 2 (Supportive, for staff working regularly with children with autism): This level of training will enable the development of high-level, local expertise through the delivery of more detailed, specialist training, Children with autism present with a diverse range of difficulties and need specific, individually tailored education to enable them to achieve the high expectations we have for them to participate in society, socially and economically, which in turn needs staff to be both flexible and very well trained.

Level 3 (Specialist, aimed at SENCOs): This will be a highly specialised qualification. Holders will be able to train as a trainer for Levels 1 and 2, thereby extending the reach of the programme beyond the initial 200 schools and enhancing its sustainability.

Each level will require the school to develop a training pack. Each pack will be developed to incorporate the use of existing material and resources as well as to include the views of local children with autism and their parents. Parents and children will need to be involved in the development in a meaningful way and not in a tokenistic fashion.

Phases and Stages:
Phase 1: Hub schools will be recruited by end October 2011 and will recruit, either internally or externally (with the help of AET), a part time worker (0.5 FTE) who will lead on training. They will also begin recruiting their cluster schools by January 2012.

Phase 2: Hub Schools will recruit young people with autism and parents who will deliver parent and young people’s voice incorporated use of existing resources and will adapt materials provided centrally to include participation from local parents and young people with autism by January 2012

Phase 3: The training programme will be trialled in each cluster by March 2012.   

Phase 4: Training will be rolled out from September 2012 and approximately 15,000 staff will have received Level 1 training, 600 still will have received Level 2 training and 200 staff will have received Level 3 training by March 2013.

What should be included?
The project needs to recruit 10 lead trainers who will be based in the each of the Hub schools and recruit the cluster schools.

    1. Recruitment of Training Lead either internally or externally 
        (with the help of AET)
    2. Recruitment of cluster schools

    1. Roll out training in accordance with the training schedule
    2. Establish a sustainable programme through the Training Lead.
    3. Development of training packs for each level of training which 
        will utilise the experiences, thoughts and feelings of local parents 
        of and children with autism.
    4. Establish the School as a demonstrator of good practice
    5. Support the local delivery of training

What are the key deliverables / milestones? 
    1. Recruit and train cluster schools.
    2. Develop training packs with the participation of local parents and children.
    3. Develop a sustainable training programme and deliver successful training
        a. 15,000 staff to receive Level 1 training by March 2013.
        b. 600 staff to receive Level 2 training by March 2013.
        c. 200 staff to receive Level 3 training by March 2013.
    4. Increased pupil attendance and participation in school.

What key skills / capabilities are important to us?  
    • Ability to undertake high quality work
    • Track record in working with people across the spectrum, whether they have High 
        Functioning Autism / Asperger Syndrome or have classical autism with or without 
        other learning difficulties. (Although this may have to be provided by a partner 
        organisation to the bidder)
    • Ability to understand the wider policy framework
    • Bidders should state where their employees include individuals with autism and how 
        their skills will be used in this work.

When do we need it?
A draft timetable is suggested below:
Training hubs schedule table image

Key Dates for bidders:
• Assessment Criteria documentation returned to me by Friday 23rd September 2011
• Returns assessed by AET Panel Monday 26th September
• Bidders invited to present their documentation, present training materials and answer Q&A Wednesday 5th Oct and Friday 7th Oct
• All bidders notified week beginning 10th October

The budget for the delivery of this piece of work centres on the provision of staff to deliver training in each of the chosen Hubs. The budget equates to a 0.5 FTE member of staff over 2 years.

The development of training materials is a part of a separate bidding opportunity which will also be made available on the AET website.

Organisations who are interested in competing for this work should submit a brief tender document detailing how they would address this remit and what particular skills and expertise they bring.  This document will be assessed by the AET Project Board who will select the successful bidder.

For an overview of the AET, please see the AET Presentation.

Please also see the AET website at

Please refer to the Training Hub Provider FAQ's

Relevant Documents
Assessment Criteria for Training hubs - interactive PDF or word document
AET Presentation July 2011 (PDF)