The National Autistic Society website proudly proclaims that they are now hosting the Autism Education Trust.
The National Autistic Society is delighted to host the Autism Education Trust and welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with colleagues across the sector. The trust will play an important role in sharing best practice, influencing decision makers, developing high quality support for early years and school staff and involving children with autism and their families in shaping provision.
So far so good.
The Autism Education Trust (AET) is a new organisation established with funding from the Department for Children, Schools and Families. It is dedicated to coordinating and improving education support for all children with autism in England.
About the AET
The aim of the Autism Education Trust is to create a platform for voluntary, independent and statutory providers to plan and develop appropriate autism education provision across all education settings, including early years.
This is excellent news. I went straight over to the Department for Children, Schools and Families to get some more information … and found no mention at all of the Autism Education Trust. So back to the NAS website to learn that the Department for Children, Schools and Families has only made an initial commitment to fund this for one year. It is actually an initiative of the The National Autistic Society, TreeHouse and The Council for Disabled Children.
The best estimates available to the UK government indicate that perhaps 1% of school children are on the autistic spectrum. Is it me or should the government be making a more long term commitment to financing this initiative?
Never mind, the money is there for now and full marks to the voluntary sector for taking the initiative and persuading the government to provide some backing. The question is, “How can we make the best use of this opportunity?” I suggest that people contact Judith Kerem, the project manager <firstname.lastname@example.org> if they have anything to offer to this project.