Department of Education

Developing AET Training Materials and Resources for Multi-Academy Trusts and Alternative Provision

Invitation to Tender


Statement of Requirement


This document can also be downloaded as a PDF here: Invitation to Tender for MATS AP.

Purpose of the Document

The purpose of this document is to invite proposals for developing Autism Education Trust training materials and resources for multi-academy trusts and alternative provision.  This document contains the following sections:

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

The Autism Education Trust (AET)

The AET has a vision that all autistic children and young people will have equal opportunity to experience a positive education that empowers them to achieve their ambitions.  To achieve this the AET have set out a mission that aims to provide professional development resources and opportunities that support services and staff in securing positive experiences and outcomes for autistic children and young people

At the heart of the AET is the belief that good outcomes can only be achieved by working in partnership.  The AET has strategic partners across England who are central to ensuring that training for early years, schools and post-16 settings is accessible and high quality across their regions.  The AET also has partnerships with training hubs who deliver the AET modules and have trained over 240,000 practitioners and leaders in good autism practice.

Background to the Project

The AETs network of training hubs across different local authority areas means that many educational settings receive AET training every year across England.  However,   by listening to our customers it has become clear that this local authority approach to delivery does not always meet the training needs of multi-academy trusts (MATs).  Instead they would prefer to have access to a package that they can buy and use to train their own workforce on a rolling basis.

Therefore it has been agreed as part of the AET contract with the DfE, that the AET will work with a multi-academy trust partner to create such a package.  The package will align with and compliment the current training hub offer  and will provide a solution for MATS that wish to train their own staff to understand and implement Good Autism Practice.

The Autism Education Trust has recently updated and published the Good Autism Practice Report (Guldberg et al 2019). The report outlines eight key principles that provide a framework for the development of good quality education for all autistic Children and Young People (CYP) and their families.  Every ten years the AET updates the Good Autism Practice Guidance in line with research, new policies and key messages from autistic people.  The GAP report aims to inform the continued updating and development of all of the AET programme materials. In developing the scope for this project with our DfE partners there was a recognition that a gap existed in the current AET materials in relation to alternative provision.  Hence, the MATs that work with the AET for the purposes of this project will be MATs that either provide alternative provision as part of their portfolio or MATs that can demonstrate committed partnership working with an alternative provider who will be engaged in this project.

Statement of Requirement

Project Scope and Objectives

The AET training hub model does not meet the training needs of the whole market. The aim of this project is to create a delivery model and develop an AET package of training materials and resources that meet the training needs of MATs and alternative provision.

The development of an AET package for MATs and alternative provision must involve a feedback process to involve key stakeholders who will be using the existing materials on a regular basis.  The key objective is for the package to be easily implemented to enhance good autism practice across MAT provision and alternative provision and above all support and improve outcomes for autistic CYP.

Outputs and Deliverables

Consistent with the AET contract with DfE, this is a ‘payment by results’ contract.  The MAT partner will be required to demonstrate compliance with the objectives described in the work plan below.  The MAT partner must some provide a combination of provision across primary, secondary, mainstream and specialist education.  The MAT’s portfolio does not need to include all of the provision listed but it must provide some combination of two or more types of provision.  The MAT partner must also provide alternative provision or work collaboratively with an alternative provider who is also committed to engaging in this project.

Finally, the MAT partner must have demonstrable experience of improving their provision for either SEND children and young people and/or autistic children and young people.

Detailed Requirements

The AET would like the MAT partner to bring together a project team that consists of a senior leader who works across the MAT, a SENCO, a head teacher, a staff member responsible for training and / or school improvement across the MAT and a leader for the alternative provision.  There is an expectation that all the members of the project team will attend virtual meetings, provide feedback on draft materials and facilitate the testing of materials across the MAT and alternative provision.

The project will start with an inception meeting at which the AET will (if required) familiarise the MAT partner with the current AET training materials and resources.  A detailed project plan will then be discussed and finalised. The project will have three key phases:

  • Design
  • Develop
  • Pilot & Evaluate

The AET will undertake the majority of the content development.  The role of the MAT and alternative provision provider will be to provide advice and guidance on what is needed for their provision and feedback on draft materials.  The MAT and the alternative provider will also need to commit to piloting the materials across their provision and collecting the agreed evaluation data.  A high-level project plan is provided below:

Project Plan

Project Phase AET Activities MAT Activities Timescale
Inception Arrange and chair inception meeting. Write final project plan. Attend inception meeting.  Provide input into final project plan. June / July 2020
Design Design framework for draft materials. July 2020
  Share draft framework for materials with MAT partner. Review draft framework for materials. July/August 2020
  Arrange and chair meeting with MAT partner. Provide feedback on draft framework for materials. August/September 2020
  Make revisions and finalise framework. September 2020
Develop Write draft training materials. October 2020
  Share draft training materials with MAT partner. Review draft materials.
  Arrange and chair meeting with MAT partner. Provide feedback on draft materials.
  Make revisions and finalise training materials. November 2020
  Write draft tools and other resources.
  Share draft tools and other resources. Review draft tools and resources.
  Arrange and chair meeting with MAT partner. Provide feedback on draft resources.
  Make revisions and finalise tools and other resources. December 2020
Pilot & Evaluate Develop a plan on how to pilot and evaluate the materials December 2020
  Pilot materials and collect evaluation data January / February 2021
  Analyse evaluation data March 2021
  Write report for DfE, AET Programme Board and MAT Board March 2021


Timescales and Milestones for the Tendering Process

Below are the milestones for the tendering process.

Project Stage


Invitation to Tender sent out via AET networks


Deadline for questions and time to respond


Deadline for submission of proposals


Notify shortlisted MATs




Award Partnership


Project Inception Meeting


w/c 29.06.20


Other Information

Terms & Conditions

Any partnership arising from this process will be based upon AET’s standard partnership arrangements.

Ethics and Principles

Any work undertaken must reflect the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.   Any individual aged 16 or above in direct contact with children and young people must be vetted on child protection grounds. DBS checks will be undertaken by the contractor if needed.

The AET operates with the support of all our partners.  It is expected that the MAT partner will work in a positive and supportive way that reinforces the strength of the partnerships involved.

Intellectual Property Rights

Copyright in all reports and other documents and materials arising solely and directly out of the work undertaken by partners for this project will be assigned to and shall vest in the Crown absolutely.  This condition shall apply during the continuance of the partnership and after its termination howsoever arising.

AET reserves the right to publish the documents, either in full or in part.  As such, all documents should be drafted in such a manner that allows publication without the need for further input from the chosen partner.

All copies of AET training materials are loaned to the partner for the purposes of delivering the contract and must be returned at the end of the contract. None of the AET materials are to be extracted or used for any other purpose unless with the express written permission of the AET.

Tender Response and Evaluation Criteria

Tender Response

The proposals for this project should include an outline of how potential partners will meet the requirement outlined in the Statement of Requirement section. The following information should be included:

  1. a) Understanding of AET’s requirements
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the MAT requirements (including the provision portfolio and track record for improving the provision for SEND or good autism practice)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the overall aims of the project.
  1. b) Approach to AET’s requirements
  • Provide an explanation of the proposed approach and any methodologies potential partners will work to;
  • Details of your assumptions and/or constraints/dependencies made in relation to the project
  • A project plan to show how outputs and deliverables will be produced within the required timescales, detailing the resources that will be allocated;
  • An understanding of the risks and explanation of how they would be mitigated to ensure delivery
  • What support potential partners will require from AET;
  1. c) Proposed delivery team
  • Key personnel including details of how their key skills, experience and qualifications align to the delivery of the project; and
  • Project roles and responsibilities
  • Some relevant examples of previous work that potential partners have carried out (eg. case studies) to improve either their SEND provision or good autism practice.

Evaluation Criteria

The proposal should:

  1. a) Explain the methodology and delivery mechanisms to ensure that the requirements of this specification are met in terms of quality;
  2. b) Explain how your organisation will work in partnership with AET’s project manager to ensure that the requirement is met
  3. c) Explain how your organisation will engage with stakeholders across your organisation;
  4. d) Explanation of how risks will be managed and mitigated
  5. e) Explain the resources that will be allocated to delivering the required outcomes/output, and what other resources can be called upon if required.
  6. f) If appropriate explain how you will work in partnership with an alternative provision provider

The proposal should also set out any experience relevant to the project requirement.  In particular, it must:

  1. g) Provide CVs of the members of the project team;
  2. h) Highlight relevant experience of work undertaken to improve your organisation’s SEND provision or good autism practice.

Marking Scheme



Unanswered or totally inadequate response to the requirement. Complete failure to grasp/reflect the core issues.
1 Minimal or poor response to meeting the requirement. Limited understanding, misses some aspects.
3 Good understanding and interpretation of requirements, providing clear evidence of how the criterion has been met.
5 Excellent response fully addressing the requirement and providing significant additional evidence of how the criterion has been met and how value would be added.


Procurement Processes

Tendering Timetable

The timescales for the procurement process are as follows:


Project Stage


Invitation to Tender sent out via AET networks


Deadline for questions and time to respond


Deadline for submission of proposals


Notify shortlisted MATs




Award Partnership


Project Inception Meeting


w/c 29.06.20


Tendering Instructions and Guidance

Amendments to ITT document

Any advice of a modification to the Invitation to Tender will be issued as soon as possible before the Tender submission date and shall be issued as an addendum to, and shall be deemed to constitute part of, the Invitation to Tender. If necessary, AET shall revise the Tender Date in order to comply with this requirement.


Clarifications & Queries

Any query in connection with the tender should be submitted via the AET email address info@autismeducationtrust.org.uk. The response, as well as the nature of the query, will be notified to all potential partners without disclosing the name of the potential partner who initiated the query.


Submission Process

Tenders must be submitted via email to info@autismeducationtrust.org.uk no later than the submission date and time shown above. Tenders submitted after the closing date and time may not be accepted.


An evaluation team will evaluate all tenders correctly submitted against the stated evaluation criteria.


June 2020

Autism Education Trust



Lost your password?