Department of Education

The benefits of an AET partnership


AET offers face-to-face training programmes and practical resources for all those working with children and young people on the autism spectrum in early years, schools and post 16 settings up to the age of 25.

Developed by autism education specialists, the AET training programme is delivered by our network of training partner ‘hubs’ who hold a licence for the exclusive right in a local authority area or institution.

Our partners include: local authority outreach services, teaching/specialist schools, colleges, universities, early years providers, voluntary and private sectors and multi-academy trusts.


Over 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and the number of children receiving an autism diagnosis is rising. This is presenting challenges for all those concerned with education, including local authorities, in ensuring appropriate provision. The purpose of Autism Education Trust (AET) is to provide support in meeting these challenges.


Our 360˚ holistic approach offers an evidence-based support programme consisting of:

  • good practice standards against which schools, early years and post 16 settings can audit their provision and plan improvement
  • competency frameworks for practitioners to self-assess their practice and to plan CPD
  • a modular face-to-face training programme
  • a range of practical resources, including the widely recognised progression framework
  • communities of practice on international, national, regional and local level
AET Leading the way image


As a not-for-profit organisation, we make the cost of our licences as accessible as possible whilst maintaining the highest level of quality.

benefits of an aet partnership image
We offer training programmes for each of the three education phases – early years, school and post 16 – and we sell licenses to training partners for each phase in each local authority area.


Subject to meeting our quality requirements, an organisation may purchase a license for one or more phases within a territory.


Current license holders include: local authorities, specialist; mainstream and teaching schools, colleges, universities, early years providers, voluntary sector organisations and the private education sector.


The cost of an AET license reflects the size of the territory. As a not for profit programme, we are able to make the cost of our licenses as accessible as possible whilst maintaining a high-quality programme. The average cost of an early years or post 16 license is £2,000 and a school license £6,000 per annum. To reduce cost and administration, we encourage organisations to hold a joint early years/school license and offer a discount to those who take this up. For detailed licence charges click here.


The context, motivation and financial arrangements of our hubs is very variable and reflective of the diverse education sectors that we support.
The principal reasons organisations become AET hubs are:
  • They share our vision for autistic young people and want to improve educational access, experience and outcomes
  • They recognise the need to build capacity within education settings for autistic children and young people
  • They identify an opportunity to engage with and support both settings and practitioners in that capacity building process
  • They recognise the added value being an AET partner brings to this enterprise in giving access to:
    • A comprehensive and holistic programme founded on current research and broadly accepted values and principles of good practice
    • A programme that is nationally recognised and supported by the Department for Education
    • Very high-quality materials which are systematically reviewed and updated
    • Regional and national communities of practice
    • Excellent value for money
  • The opportunity to secure a financial return on their investment in a license
A local authority may invest in an AET license to support capacity building within education settings in their area and commissions a service to be our hub (outreach service, teaching school, advisory service, etc). Depending on the context and within AET pricing structures, that partner may provide some or all training free of charge or may charge end users.
In other contexts an organisation (e.g. traded outreach service, voluntary sector organisation) might recognise a ‘market opportunity’ to sell AET training to local settings and practitioners and will purchase a license to pursue their mission.


Ultimately, our aim is that our programme supports the maximum number of education settings and practitioners and delivers our vision for autistic children and young people. We very much welcome the opportunity to secure new partnerships in new areas and, should you wish to explore a partnership, we would be delighted to discuss further. Please contact: info@autismeducationtrust.org.uk.
“The AET programme focuses on autism as a difference not a deficit. It puts the child and young person at the heart of the process. It is their voice that is heard through the training. The programme is evidence-based and offers a framework for schools to include in their SEN Information Report.
Evaluations indicate that 98 per cent of those attending strongly agree that the training will have a positive impact on practice and their ability to support children with autism. Demand for the training continues to be high.”

Pamela Simpson, Assistant Team Manager, Communication and Autism Team,
Birmingham County Council

“As a National Teaching School that operates beyond our alliance boundary, we recognised the tremendous potential and seized the opportunity of becoming an AET partner.
The AET frameworks and standards alongside the meticulous training programmes have added real value to our work in supporting schools. To be a partner in delivering and developing a licenced, quality assured, national programme developed by specialists in the field of autism education gives our trainers and all of our stakeholders pride and confidence in the integrity, structure and effectiveness of the support and advice we provide.”

Gary Morrissey, Teaching School Director at The Bridge London








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