Department of Education

Autism Education Trust Governance Review

Invitation to Tender


Statement of Requirement



This document can also be downloaded as a PDF here: AET Governance Review – Invitation to Tender

Purpose of the Document

The Autism Education Trust (AET) is looking to work with a consultant to review its governance to identify areas of improvement to support the AET’s development and growth.   The purpose of this document is to invite proposals to review the composition and performance of the Programme Board, taking into account the future development and growth plans for the AET.

This document contains the following sections:

  1. Introduction to the Autism Education Trust
  2. Statement of Requirement
  3. Tender Proposal & Evaluation Criteria
  4. Procurement Procedures

The Autism Education Trust (AET)

The Autism Education Trust was formed as a partnership in 2008 to help improve the quality of education for children and young people with autism across England.

Vision: The AET’s vision is that all children and young people with autism receive an education that enables them to fulfil their aspirations and engage in society as active citizens.

Mission: Our mission is to provide professional development resources and opportunities that support education services and staff in securing positive experiences and outcomes for children and young people with autism.

Our core values are: person-centred, outcomes and process focussed, inclusive and accessible, evidence-based, high quality and working in partnership.

Programme: The AET is a not for profit programme led by two national autism charities – the National Autistic Society and Ambitious about Autism.  Supported by the Department for Education, the AET promotes and supports partnerships throughout the education system to improve educational access, experience and outcomes for children and young people with autism.

Our work centres on the promotion of good practice standards for education settings; competency frameworks for practitioners and the provision of a range of professional development training programmes for early years, schools and post 16 settings delivered by local licensed training hubs and supported by our regional strategic partners.

Governance: The AET is governed by its Programme Board which determines its strategy, protects its values and supports and ensures the core team deliver the agreed objectives. Programme Board membership reflects a broad and rounded perspective from across the autism and education communities to include autistic people and parents. The AET is not a legal entity and is hosted on behalf of the partnership by the National Autistic Society (NAS).

Current members are:

  • Jolanta Lasota – Chair. Chief Executive, Ambitious about Autism.
  • Ryan Bradley – manager for the Communication and Interaction Service in Oxfordshire.
  • Phil Christie – a consultant child psychologist, and former director of an autism specific school, working as part of autism associates.
  • Dr Glenys Jones – Chartered Psychologist and Honorary Lecturer at the University of Birmingham
  • Wendy Peel – Specialist Teacher, Communication and Autism Team, Birmingham City Council & Parent.
  • Carol Povey – Director of the Centre for Autism, National Autistic Society.
  • Alex Rowley – Representing the autism community.
  • Iain Sim – Principal, West Kirby Residential School.
  • Pam Simpson – Assistant Manager, Communication and Autism Team, Birmingham City Council.
  • Claire Thomson – Head of Specialist Education Services and Safeguarding at Babcock Education.

The Programme Board is supported by the Youth Panel, which consists of autistic young people aged 16-25 years.

Statement of Requirement

Project Scope and Objectives

  • To review the composition and performance of the Programme Board, taking into account the future development and growth plans for the AET.
  • To develop a governance improvement plan.

Timescales and Milestones

Activity Deadline Lead
Brief advertised 20/01/20 AET
Proposals submitted 10/02/20 Providers
Providers shortlisted 14/02/20 AET
Provider interviews 18/02/20 AET/Providers
Appointment of provider 20/02/20 AET
Project initiation meeting w/c 24/02/20 AET/Provider
Review of Programme Board March 20 Provider
Presentation of draft feedback/proposals to AET Governance working group w/c 06/04/20 Provider/AET
Presentation of draft feedback/proposals to PB Strategy Day April Provider/AET
Final report May Provider



AET Jolanta Lasota and Sarah Broadhurst
Stakeholders AET Programme Board, Director, Strategic Partners and Youth Panel
Background information on AET Website www.autismeductaiontrust.org.uk


Contract Value

The maximum allowable budget for this project is £15,000 (plus reasonable travel and subsistence expenses and VAT).  Your proposal should include costs and expenses.

Other Information

The Project is to be delivered in accordance with the following quality expectations/standards/policy/laws:
  • All materials and text should be written to a high standard of clear and plain English, avoiding jargon.
  • The provider should be able to meet agreed deadlines
  • The projects should be completed without risk to the reputation of AET.
  • All work must be carried out in line with GDPR and other legal and good practice guidelines.
  • The work that is completed by the company appointed to undertake the tender is considered to be the sole property of AET. In consideration of the payments made by AET to the appointed company, the company will assign all of its right, title and interest in the Intellectual Property of the overall project to AET.
  • The scope of the work and terms and conditions will be outlined in a contract developed by AET once the work has been awarded.


Tender Response and Evaluation Criteria

Questions/areas to be addressed Please comment on:

  • Aim and objectives as set out in this document
  • Proposed plan including methodology, resourcing and timescales
  • Anticipated challenges and risks and how to tackle these
  • How AET and groups will be involved in the project
Main assessment areas for written proposal
  • Understanding of the AET’s purpose, strategies, audiences and constraints
  • Extensive experience of governance reviews in the third and/or public sectors
  • Experience and knowledge of the third sector
  • Demonstrable ability to deliver what is needed within the deadlines and budgets set.


Procurement Processes

To submit: Supply a project proposal to Jolanta Lasota at: jlasota@ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk



Date due By 4:00pm on the 10th February 2020.
Format of the proposal One electronic submission.
Limits to the tender (e.g. word or page length) Maximum 8 pages not including attachments.

Attachments to be limited to 2 pages.

Presentation/Interview: Interviews will take place on 18th February 2020.


January 2020

Autism Education Trust



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