21: Abbreviations and Glossary


Academy Academies are a relatively new type of schools which are publicly funded independent schools for pupils of all abilities. They are established by sponsors from faith or voluntary groups and/or businesses, working in partnerships with central Government and local education partners. Their independent status is intended to allow more flexibility and for them to be ‘innovative and creative’ in their curriculum as well as with regard to staffing and governance, although they must follow the National Curriculum in Mathematics, English, Science and ICT.
ACS Average Class Size
Added Value The measured gain in pupil attainment when performance on admission to a school is compared with performance at the point of leaving. It is seen as preferable to simple ‘raw’ attainment data because it allows for socio-economic and other influences on pupil capability and thus indicates the school contribution.
AQA Assessment & Qualifications Alliance – A ‘Unitary Exam Body’ (formed by amalgamation of NEAB, AEB, SEG and C&G)
ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder
ASDAN Award Scheme Development Accreditation Network. A course seen as an alternative to GCSE examinations for disapplied pupils.
Award Scheme Development Accreditation Network. A course seen as an alternative to GCSE examinations for disapplied pupils.
At risk A term applied to pupils who have not been adequately served by social service or educational systems and who are at risk of educational failure due to, for example, lack of services, negative life events, or physical or mental challenges.


Baseline Assessment An assessment of a child’s skills and abilities usually made by a teacher within the first 7 weeks of starting primary school. It shows teachers what children can do when starting school and helps teachers to plan lessons and measure progress. Areas covered include Language and Literacy, Maths and Personal & Social Development.
BEST Behaviour and Education Support Team
BME Black and Minority Ethnic
BTEC Business & Technician Education Council (see EdExcel). A National Qualification equivalent to two A level courses. Subjects include Nursery Nursing, Business Studies and Art & Design. There are considerable practical elements to the courses with work placements offered.


  1. Cognitive Ability Test (often used in secondary schools)
  2. Capability Assessment Toolkit.
  3. Computer Aided Teaching
CiDA Certificate in digital applications. See also DiDA
CPI Child Protection Issue
Code of Practice The SEN Code of Practice gives guidance on how to identify and assess children with Special Educational Needs. When dealing with children who have SEN all LEAs, early education settings and maintained schools (both primary and secondary) must take account of the Code as must the local Health Authority and Social Services when assisting LEAs. Schools must particularly consider what the Code says when they are preparing their policies to take account of children with SEN.
Community school State schools in England and Wales which are wholly owned and maintained by the local authority. The LA is the admissions authority – it has the main responsibility for deciding arrangements for admitting pupils.


D & T / DT Design and Technology
Designated Teacher The teacher in a school with responsibilities including keeping records on LAC, ensuring the PEP is implemented and being a central point of contact for outside agencies. See separate chapter for more details.
DfE Department for education. Replaced the DCSF (Dept for Children, Schools and Families) in 2010.
DH Deputy Head
DiDA Diploma in digital applications. See also CiDA


An (as yet) unofficial, name for the ‘English Baccalaureate’. In September 2012 the Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that from the autumn of 2015, pupils will be taught for the new EBacc. Seven papers are proposed: English language, English literature, maths pure and applied (with an additional maths option), chemistry, physics and biology. The examination will be sat for the first time in these subjects in the summer of 2017 if approved by parliament. From 2016, pupils are expected to be taught for the EBacc in history, geography and languages; pupils are expected to sit the exams in the summer of 2018.
EdExcel A Unitary Exam body formed by the amalgamation of London Exams and BTEC
  1. Education Maintenance Allowance
  2. Ethnic Minority Achievement (Officer/tutor etc).
EOTAS Education Other Than At School
EP Educational Psychologist
EWO Education Welfare Officer. They are sometimes known as Education Social Workers and are employed by local education authorities to monitor school attendance and help parents meet their responsibilities
EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage
Extended school A school that provides a range of services and activities often beyond the school day to help meet the needs of its pupils, their families and the wider community


Failing school A school that has been deemed unsatisfactory following an OFSTED inspection
Foundation Schools Type of state school which is run by the local authority but which has more freedom than community schools to manage their school and decide on their own admissions. They are maintained by the LEA but some may have a foundation (generally religious) which appoints some of the governing body (which acts as the admissions authority).
Free School Free Schools are state-funded schools set up in response to what some local people say they want for children in their community. The first ‘Free School’ opened in September 2011.


GNVQ General National Vocational Qualification Vocational qualifications taken mainly by pupils age 16 and in full-time education. After October 20007 it was replaced by alternative BTEC qualifications.
Governors A school or college governor is a voluntary position that involves overseeing the running of the institution. Duties include playing a part in appointing staff (including the headteacher); setting the strategic direction, policies and objectives; approving the budget and reviewing progress against the budget and objectives.
Grant Maintained Schools State schools in England and Wales which are funded by central government through the Funding Agency for Schools.


HLTA Higher level teaching assistant. A relatively recent designation, introduced to afford higher status to more experienced TAs.
HNC Higher National Certificate
HND Higher National Diploma -a 2 year course that equates to 2 years of a degree course. HNDs are offered in many subject areas, mostly with a practical application; they may also have an industrial or commercial placement as part of the course.
HoD Head of Department
HoY Head of Year


IBP Individual Behaviour Plan
ICT Information and Communications Technology
IEP Individual Education Plan – drawn up by the class teacher and/or SENCO within a school to provide individual support for children deemed to have needs over and above that of other children in the class. This could be either due to learning difficulties or because they are considered to be exceptionally bright or gifted.


A child’s progress through school in England and Wales is measured in Key Stages. Each Key Stage covers a number of school years. Starting at Key Stage 1 and finishing at Key Stage4. The National Curriculum is divided into four key stages according to pupils’ ages:

  • Key Stage 1 for 5-7 year olds
  • Key Stage 2 for 7-11
  • Key Stage 3 for years 11-14
  • Key Stage 4 for 14-16

Some schools use the term ‘Key Stage 5’ to refer to post-16 provision.


LACES Team Looked After Children’s Education Service Team – most Local Authorities have a LACES Team (they may have other names such as ELAC). They are able to offer support and advice to carers, schools and Social Workers.
LEA Local Education Authority – the term describes a type of council which has responsibility for providing education to pupils of school age in its area. Their overall education remit also includes early years, the youth service and adult education. LEAs are responsible for contributing to the spiritual, moral, mental and physical development of the community by ensuring that efficient primary and secondary education is provided and ensuring that there are enough primary and secondary places with adequate facilities to meet the needs of pupils living in the area.
LEA Advisors LEA educationalists providing professional support to teachers and governors for ‘school improvement’
LEA Inspectors LEA educationalists who inspect school performance and report locally. Often, LEA advisers are also LEA inspectors.
LEA Education Officers Administrators who administer and advise schools on organisational systems relating, for instance, to pupil admissions, staff appointments, school budgets and central provision for children with special educational needs
Learning Modalities Usually refers to visual, auditory and kinaesthetic modes of learning. Some characteristics:

  • Visual learners are said to process information better when it is supplied in the visual, such as graphs, pictures and diagrams.
  • Auditory learners are said to learn best by listening to conversations or presentations; they learn by listening.
  • Kinaesthetic learners learn by hands-on practical activities, often preferring working within groups.
LM Learning Mentor
LSA Learning Support Assistant
LSU Learning Support Unit


Maintained School Maintained schools are funded by central government via the LEA, and do not charge fees to students. The categories of maintained school are: community, community special, foundation (including trust), foundation special (including trust), voluntary aided and voluntary controlled. There are also maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units.
MDS Midday supervisor
MDA Mid-day Assistant


NASEN National Association for SEN
NC National Curriculum
NEET Not in Education Employment or Training
NQT Newly Qualified Teacher (in 1st full time year of teaching)
NVQ National Vocational Qualification



OFSTED The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills is an official body which regularly inspects all the schools in England which are mainly or wholly state-funded. OFSTED inspectors produce education reports which are meant to improve standards of achievement and quality of education, provide public reporting and informed independent advice.
PAN Published Admission Number – this is the number of pupils that the Local Authority intends to admit into each school.
PEP Personal Education Plan. PEPs are schemes developed for young individuals in public care, designed to support their education
Performance Tables The government publishes secondary and 16-18 performance tables each year. The tables report achievements in public examinations and vocational qualifications in secondary schools (and colleges of Further Education) so that schools can be compared with each other. Primary school performance tables are published by local education authorities and report pupils’ achievements at the end of Key Stage 2.
PEX Permanently excluded (hence ‘pexed’ –a pupil who have been excluded)
Phonics This is a method for teaching reading and writing by developing learners’ ability to hear, identify, and use phonemes so that they learn the correspondence between these sounds and the symbols (graphemes) that represent them. The aim of phonics is to enable beginning readers to decode new written words by, in the first instance, sounding them out aloud.
PRU Pupil Referral Unit – short stay school for pupils who, for various reasons (often emotionally or behaviourally) need to be educated out of the mainstream system.
PSHE Personal, Social and Health Education
PSP Pastoral Support Plan/Programme


SA School Action – a stage of the SEN Code of Practice. It is used when there is evidence that a child is not making progress at school and there is a need for action to be taken to meet learning difficulties. SA can include the involvement of extra teachers and may also require the use of different learning materials, special equipment or a different teaching strategy. Teachers may become aware of the need for intervention at SA where there is little progress in the child’s ability despite targeted teaching, where there are persistent Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties or where there are sensory or physical problems.
SA+ School Action Plus – a stage of the SEN Code of Practice. It is used where SA has not been able to help the child make adequate progress. At SA+ the school will seek external advice from the LEA’s support services, the local Health Authority or from Social Services. For example, this may be advice from a Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT), an Occupational Therapist (OT) or Specialist Advisory Services dealing with Autism, Behavioural Needs etc. SA+ may also include one-to-one support and the involvement of an Educational Psychologist. As well as the use of external services, SA+ requires more detailed planning of interventions for children whose progress has been limited. A child’s progress at SA+ stage should also be reviewed regularly (i.e. at least twice a year) and an IEP should also be written to assist the child.
SATs Standard Assessment Tasks. Often incorrectly referred to as standard assessment tests (which are copyrighted in America). They are more accurately known as NCTs – National Curriculum Tests
SEN Special Educational Needs. This refers any child that has been identified as having some form of educational need either as a result of a learning difficulty or if they are deemed as particularly talented or gifted. Children designated as having special needs receive additional support either from within the school or from outside agencies.
SENCO Special Education Needs Co-ordinator
Short inspection This is a style of inspection which was introduced in January 2000. It tends to focus on quality assurance, with smaller teams of inspectors spending 2-3 days in the institution; they do not report in detail on each subject.
SMART Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Timed – used in target-setting.
SMT Senior Management Team.
A small group of senior staff in a school, normally receiving additional pay allowances, who support the headteacher in implementing school policies by acting as middle-managers.
Special Schools State schools in England and Wales which are provided by local education authorities for certain children with special educational needs. Special schools are designed for children of any age who have ‘statements’ of special educational needs. The National Curriculum may be taught, parts of it ‘disapplied’ to particular children or they may be ‘exempted’.
Special Measure This is an outcome of the school inspection process. The Registered Inspector will have concluded that the school is failing or likely to fail to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and thus requires special measures.
Statements A Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) is a statutory document that describes a child’s special educational needs and how they are to be met. The process of making the assessment is known as statementing. Statements describe any learning difficulties which pupils have, and specify the extra help or equipment they need. Usually around three per cent of school pupils nationally have statements. Some pupils with special educational needs are academically able.
Statutory School Age The period from the beginning of the term following a child’s 5th birthday until the leaving date following his/her 16th birthday


  1. Teaching Assistant (also see HLTA)
  2. Teaching Agency
  3. Teaching Assistant


Underachieving School This is an outcome of the inspection process. The Registered Inspector will have concluded that the school’s performance is below that of schools in similar circumstances.


Vertical Grouping Classes formed in primary schools from children of different age-groups
Voluntary Aided Schools Schools in England and Wales which are maintained by the Local Education Authority, with a foundation (generally religious) which appoints most of the governing body. The governing body is the admissions authority.
Voluntary Controlled Schools Schools in England and Wales which are maintained by the Local Education Authority, with a foundation (generally religious) which appoints some, but not most, of the governing body. The LEA is the admissions authority.
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