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Steve Huggett appointed AET Director as new training and standards remit gets underway

Steve Huggett, formerly a Senior Director (Special Educational Needs & Disability) at the National Strategies, has been appointed the new role of Director of the Autism Education Trust (AET). His appointment follows the announcement earlier this year that the AET has been awarded a £1.2m Department for Education grant to develop and deliver the first ever national standard competency framework, qualification and training in autism education.

Steve brings with him a wealth of professional experience in the field of special educational needs. He trained as a teacher before becoming an Educational Psychologist and then a senior local authority manager for SEN and Inclusion. Subsequently he was seconded to the DCSF as national SEN advisor and then moved on to become a Senior Director at the National Strategies.

Steve, who started in post on Monday 11 July 2011, says;

“I believe 2011 may see the most important developments in the 30 years of my work in SEN with a key role to play for the voluntary sector. The new remit of the Autism Education Trust provides a unique opportunity to develop awareness and practice to an extent which has not been possible before. I am very excited to be part of this initiative.”

Until 1 April 2011 the AET has coordinated and promoted good practice in education for pupils on the autism spectrum across England. While it will continue to maintain a web-based resource of good practice case studies, news from the autism education field and valuable teaching resources, the AET will now focus on developing and delivering training for education professionals.

Bob Lowndes, Chair of the AET Steering Group and Chief Executive of Wessex Autistic Society, said;

“We have ambitious targets to meet over the next two years and are delighted to have Steve on board at the AET to help deliver them. We aim to train over 20,000 education professionals in autism education good practice as well as introduce a competency framework for SENCOs, teaching assistants and support staff. Steve Huggett brings experience and knowledge to this newly created role and I look forward to working with him to further develop autism knowledge and practice in schools.”

To find out more about the Autism Education Trust visit


For more information, photographs or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jennie Spears  |  07944 552634  |

The Autism Education Trust (AET) is England’s only umbrella organisation for autism education. Its work is currently supported by over 25 voluntary, statutory and community groups who contribute to the work of the AET through its Steering Group and Advisory Council membership.

To find out more, visit the AET website at

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