Be the first to know about the latest news in the world of autism education. Please sign up here:
The AET Programme is the foundation stone of the support provided to schools in Leicestershire. 78% of schools have up to date training that empowers them to make reasonable adjustments. Since the delivery of whole school AET training, referrals to the
specialist individual service have reduced and as a result Leicestershire have managed to support schools to meet the needs of more autistic children and young people but without more money.
Between 2017 and 2018 there was a 17.5% increase in the number of autistic children and young people in Leicestershire. In 2017 Leicestershire had 498 pupils on its active caseload for specialist support which equates to 64% of the autistic children and young people in Leicestershire. In 2018 the team had 553 pupils which equates to 61% of the autistic CYP in Leicestershire on its active caseload, a 3% decrease for specialist support.
In 2017 the budget equated to an investment of £579 per CYP known to schools in Leicestershire. In 2018 it equated to £492 per children and young people known to schools in Leicestershire. A reduction of £87 per child or young person. Eligibility criteria for accessing the specialist service had not become more stringent, waiting lists had not become longer, and there was evidence to suggest that the outcomes for autistic children and young people had not been compromised.
Data from previous evaluations (Cullen et al, 2013, 2016) demonstrated that the AET training empowered staff to make reasonable adjustments and resulted in sustainable changes in practice. Leicestershire reported that the AET Programme was the key ‘whole school’ training that they have rolled out to all schools in an effort to skill up staff to a point that they have the knowledge, skill and confidence to meet the needs of autistic children and young people without support from the specialist service i.e. skilling up mainstream staff was a way of reducing the demand on services.