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August 2010

Welcome to the August 2010 edition of the Autism Education Trust e-newsletter.

In this edition:

1. Autism Education Trust News

  • AET seeks diarists for The Den
  • New case studies now online 
  • AET at Special Needs London

2. Other SEN / education news

  • NAS launches new system for schools ASD training
  • TreeHouse welcomes applications for new Governors

3. New Resources

  •  Think Pieces from the Special Schools and Academies Trust

4. Events and Training

5. New Publications

6. Have Your Say

7. Further information

Thank you for your continued support and enjoy the summer holidays,

Sarah-Jane Critchley
AET Project Head

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1. Autism Education Trust News

AET seeks diarists for The Den
We hope you have had a chance to visit The Den, the AET's new website for teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum at. We have now launched a competition to find a diarist for The Den, so if you know of anyone aged between 14 and 20 on the autism spectrum or with a sibling with autism, please encourage them to enter.
Diarists will be asked to contribute something to the site at least every two weeks; this can be text, photos or video. Young people can enter the competition by telling us in no more than 500 words why they should be our diarist. The winner will receive an AET goody bag, as well as fame as our online diarist.
Please spread the word about this competition and ask any would-be diarists to follow the link here to enter.

New case studies on website
New case studies are being added to the AET website all the time. Sharing real experiences of good practice in autism education can be one of the best ways to bring about improvements in autism services and we are now in the process of redesigning this area of the site to make the case studies easier to search and read. If you have an example of good practice that you would like to share, we would really like to hear from you please email us at.

AET at Special Needs London
Come along and see us at Special Needs London, taking place on 15 & 16 October at the Business Design Centre. We will be exhibiting at the event, which is aimed at teachers, SENCOs, support staff and parents and brings together a huge and varied range of resources, advice and training for every kind of special and additional educational need. A programme of CPD seminars will also be held. To register online for free entry to the show and to book seminars click here

2. Other SEN / education news

NAS launches new system for ASD training in schools
The National Autistic Society's Education Support Service has launched a new cost-effective system for schools to join forces in local areas to benefit from expert ASD specific training and advice. The Learning Action Group model has been introduced to allow schools to continue to develop their provision and inclusive practice for pupils on the autism spectrum in a changing and more challenging economic climate. Schools are encouraged to register their interest in setting up their own local Learning Action Group now.

Learning Action Groups (LAGs) are set up for groups of either mainstream primary, mainstream secondary or SEN schools. The LAGs address relevant topics and issues relating to autism and offer practical support through advice, bespoke training and interaction with other professionals. The programme includes one full INSET day and six workshop sessions. The cost of running the group is shared by all the schools participating. A minimum of two and a maximum of 10 schools can form a Learning Action Group.

Setting up a LAG
1. EITHER: Register your school's interest by emailing. In this instance you may have to wait until other schools in your area have expressed an interest.
2. OR: Speak to schools in your confederation or cluster and email with a list of schools ready to form a group. This will fast track the launch of your LAG. Independent schools may wish to invite other schools with which they have links.

TreeHouse welcomes applications for Governors
TreeHouse School is recruiting three new governors to join the School's Governing Body and welcomes applications. The three posts are for Sponsor, Community and Local Authority governors who will support the school through the next stages of development.

TreeHouse is the national charity for autism education and runs a special school in North London, as well as providing information and training, commissions research and campaigns for change. In a recent Ofsted inspection, the school's governance was graded outstanding. This is an important and exciting time for the organisation, which is currently working on developing its strategy for the next three years.

For a full application and information pack, visit here. The deadline for applications is 23 August 2010. If you have any questions, contact Julie O'Sullivan, Head of School, on 020 8815 5444.

3. New Resources

Think Pieces from the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
A series of Think Pieces are available to download from the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust website as part of its research project into complex learning difficulties and disabilities. The research tem, led by Professor Barry Carpenter and funded by the Department for Education, has been working in SSAT member special schools across the UK to develop effective teaching strategies for students with special educational needs. From September 2010, 50 further UK schools and 10 international schools will trial the tools and materials developed during the first phase of the project.

The Think Pieces cover the following topics:
1. A vision for the 21st century special school
2. The child / student population
3. Pedagogy for the 21st century special school
4. The curriculum challenge
5. Removing barriers to learning - the contribution of new technologies
6. Mental health and emotional wellbeing
7. Building a wider workforce / transdisciplinary practice
8. Professional learning
9. The Family context

Readers are encouraged to add their comments and thoughts about the articles to the online blog. Download the full documents here.

4. Events and Training
Here is a selection of autism education related courses in the coming months. The information below is from external sources and its inclusion in this newsletter should not be seen as endorsement or accreditation.

Autism and the Criminal Justice System
Tuesday 5 October 2010 Ð Wellcome Collection Conference Centre, London
A one-day conference from The National Autistic Society providing practical guidance for criminal justice professionals in skills and techniques for working with people with autism. Includes the latest information on legislative issues and best practice from key experts and practitioners in the field.
Tickets £225 +VAT (or £110 +VAT for NAS members). Tel: 0115 911 3367
For more information visit The NAS.

The Future of Services for Autistic Children
Thursday 4 November
A full day conference for all professionals working in children's services and the education workforce focusing on service provision for children and young people on the autism spectrum, at all stages of education. The sessions include a range of workshops, as well as panel discussions. Tickets cost £99. To reserve a place, email or call: 020 7384 2365.

5. New Publications
Please download a PDF with the full list of recent autism related publications, which you may find of interest.

6. Have Your Say
We are always keen to hear your thoughts and suggestions for the AET. Please go here and fill in the online form to tell us about your experiences of autism education. We want to hear from parents, young people with autism and professionals working in the autism education field.

7. Further information
We hope you would like to continue receiving the AET e-newsletter. However, if you would like to unsubscribe to the AET e-newsletter please email us with the word 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.

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