Client: Autism Education Trust

Project: Consultation and delivery of various AET projects

The brief

The Autism Education Trust was set up by the Department for Education to ensure that all children and young people with autism receive a first-rate education, in order to allow them to achieve their maximum potential and to contribute to society in a meaningful way. The Trust’s aim is to ensure that individuals, families and professionals who influence and educate people with autism, should be fully informed and equipped with clear tools and support.

They turned to Genium to create an overarching strategy to include branding and a logo; a website; print materials; an events stand; literature and training materials to engage and support young people with autism and those responsible for their education. Initially aimed at school children between the ages of 5 and 16, the Early Years and Post-16 programme evolved, and their additional needs have been incorporated into the project.

Designed for educators and trainers, for whom English may not be their first language, Genium’s challenge was to communicate crucial information and training programmes on a range of levels, through clear, smart and compelling design.

What we did

The team’s first step was to understand The Trust and its aims fully. The consultancy process allowed Genium to immerse themselves in its purpose and aspirations in order to achieve a deep comprehension of The Trust’s objectives. The team had to put in place a strategy that would encapsulate the vast quantity of information required, and become the ‘go-to’ place for autism educators and supporters.

The impact

Almost 100,000 staff at hubs around the country have been trained since 2010. Local Authorities have testified to the unprecedented success of the project, which will continue to improve the lives of young people with autism. Genium’s innovative and forward-thinking design-led approach and overarching vision, was driven by their passion for education.

Brand & logo

Genium interpreted The Trust’s requirements with a meticulously crafted logo. Recognisable and enduring, the Autism Education Trust branding is well-defined and clearly states its purpose and personality. The logo provides an effective foundation for all training and information materials, and the branding reflects the substantial influence and relevance of The Trust.

Website & microsite


The exhilarating challenge of creating a website that is equally accessible to young people with autism as it is to their teachers and families, compelled Genium to think laterally. They built a website replete with information and training guides, retaining a smart look and feel, and concurrently developed a microsite, to mirror the original style and content. The Microsite engages its target audience on many levels – its simplicity and coherence create a seamless user journey, and the engaging, picture-led tone is appealing in design. With defined areas for schools; early years; post 16; a parent guide; local authorities and tools for teachers, the information is clearly designed for accessibility. The three-tiered system of competency framework, standards and evaluation are distinctly outlined and concisely presented.

The Kids Zone and The Den are visually striking interactive areas for children and young people to learn, play, and feel part of a community where they are understood and supported in their educational and social needs.

Training materials



Genium developed innovative training materials, unique in their function of facilitating face to face training. As well as traditional print, including brochures and reports, the team devised interactive non-linear PDFs – stylish and picture-led in design, and cutting-edge in capabilities – featuring the unique functionality of embedded videos and clickable links.

The leaflets cover a four-module training programme, designed for use across a spectrum of abilities and educational settings, for children from the ages of 0-24. This includes a programme for children of school age; a preschool programme and the post-16 group of young adults. The programmes were developed in consultation with school teachers, training providers, parents and carers, as well as with young people on the autism spectrum.

Based around four themes – the individual pupil; curriculum and learning; building relationships and enabling environments – the training materials have been designed to make a tangible difference to the lives of young people.

The materials cover three levels of training for teachers. The first level is for any adult who comes into contact with autistic kids, including catering and auxiliary staff; the second level is aimed at teachers and teaching assistants, and the third level is for teaching managers. The training resources cover a Competency Framework, and Standards. The Competency framework is a set of criteria for individual teachers to follow, and Standards are aimed at the educational setting, led by a SENCO or a manager.

Events Stand & Literature