Jargon Buster

Below are some of the common words, phrases and acronyms that you may come across.


Accommodated – Child looked after by the Local Authority by agreement with the parent. The Local Authority does not acquire parental responsibility

ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Admissions Authority – The body that decides the rules on how children will get a place at a school and who is offered a place

Admission Limit – Maximum number of pupils intended to admit into any year of a school

Admission Number – Number of pupils that must be admitted into the year of entry, if demand requires

ADOS –  Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule . A standardized diagnostic test for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),

ADT- Attention Deficit Trait.

AEN – Additional Education Needs

Agreed Syllabus – Syllabus of religious education agreed between the religious bodies, LEA and teachers’ representatives for use in schools

Aided Schools – Schools set up and owned by a voluntary body. Usually a church body. The governing body employs staff, controls pupil admissions and religious education

AIM – Attendance Improvement and Monitoring

AIO – Attendance Improvement Officer. A professional employed by the LEA to help parents and LEA’s to meet their statutory duty in relation to school attendance

AMB – Area Management Board

Annual Review – Review of statement by LEA that must occur at least annually

Appeals – The education acts give parents rights of appeal against certain decisions relating to admission to school, special educational provision and permanent exclusion from school

AQA – Assessment and Qualifications Alliance. The largest examination board in the UK

Area Governors’ Meeting – Meeting for governors on an area basis. Once a term they meet to discuss issues in their own area

Articled Teacher – An unqualified person working as a teacher in a school, under the guidance of an experienced member of staff acting as his/her mentor

ASC – Autistic Spectrum Condition

ASD – Autistic Spectrum Disorder

AST – Attendance Strategy Team. AIO’s work within this team

Attainment Target – The knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils of different abilities and ages are expected to have by the end of each national curriculum key stage


BAS – Behaviour and Attendance Service

BESD – Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties

BSL – British Sign Language

BSP – Behaviour Support Plan


CAF – Common Assessment Framework

CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Care Order – An order of the court placing a child in the care of an authority

CIO – Charitable Incorporated Organisation

CFA – Children and families act (2014). 

Children’s Centres – These provide a one stop resource for young families, offering help and advice on everything from childcare to getting back to work

Choice Advisors – Each LA funds an independent service called Choice Advice to help parents find their way through the secondary admissions process. In some areas the advisors also cover primary and in-year admissions

CME – Child Missing Education

CMHT– Community Mental Health Team

COP – Code Of Practice. Guidance for LEA and schools on how ot identify, asses and provide for children with SEN

Co-production – is an equal relationship between people who use services and the people who are responsible for the delivery of services. They work together from design to delivery.

Community School – School set up and funded by an LEA

CP – Child Protection


DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service. Replaced the previous CRB, Criminal Records Bureau checks. Used to see if an employee has any criminal records and to make sure unsuitable people do not get to work with vulnerable people

DCD – Developmental Coordination Disorder ( Previously known as Dyspraxia)

DDA – Disability Discrimination Act

DFE– Department for education.

DLA – Disability Living allowance. A disability benefit for under 16 year olds which ; if eligible ;  can help with the extra costs of having a long term illness and/or disability.

DSA – Disabled Students’ Allowance is support to cover university study-related costs because of a mental health problem, long-term illness or any other disability.

Dual Registered – When a pupil is on the roll of more than one school. For example, they attend a PRU or on a trial basis during a managed move


EA – Equality Act, formally the Disability Discrimination Act

EAL – English as an Additional Language

EBD – Emotional Behaviour Disability

EHCP – Education and Health Care Plan. These have taken over from the old ‘Statements’

ECM – Every Child Matters

EBD / EBSD – Emotional behavioural ( and social) difficulties. 

EHE – Elective Home Education

EMA – Ethnic Minority Achievement

EMP – Enhanced Mainstream Provision. Specialist ‘unit’ within a mainstream school

EOTAS – Education Other Than At School

EP – Educational Psychologist

ESA –  Employment and Support Allowance. 

Exclusions – Headteachers may exclude pupils from school for serious breaches of discipline. These may be for a fixed period or permanent


FE – Further Education. Age 16+

FFS – For Fudge Sake. Common term used by parents/carers

Five Outcomes – Detailed in every child matters: Change for children are as follows – 1. Be healthy 2. Stay safe 3. Enjoy and achieve 4. Make a positive contribution 5. Achieve economic wellbeing

FMS – Fine motor skills

Foundation School – A former grant-maintained school, now funded by an LEA

FSM – Free School Meals


GCE ‘A’ Level – General Certificate of Education Advanced Level, usually taken 16+

GCE ‘AS’ Level – General Certificate of Education Advanced Supplementary Level. Usually a one-year course and is equivalent to half an A Level

GCSE – General Certificate of Secondary Education. Usually taken at the end of key stage 4 (age 16)

GDD– Global developmental delay

GNVQ – General National Vocational Qualification

Governing Body – The governors, with the headteacher, have overall responsibility for the school. They work for the school unpaid


Home Tuition – Tuition for pupils at home, arranged by the local authority in special circumstances


IAP – Independent Appeal Panel. When appealing for a school

IBP – Individual Behaviour Plan

IDP – Inclusion Development Programme

IEP – Individual Education Plan. A programme of learning objectives and targets – (Now being replaced by an SEN support plan)

Internal Exclusion – This where a pupil is sent somewhere within school, with appropriate support, or moved to another class on a temporary basis. May happen during break times

IPS – Independent Parent Supporter. A trained volunteer who can support or advocate for parents at meetings and tribunals. They can also help with form filing

ISAR – Inclusion and SEN Action Record. Each child who is identified as having SEN has their needs recorded using this system

ISEN – Inclusion and Special Educational Needs

ISPS – Integrated Support and Psychology Service

IW – Inclusion Worker


KS – Key Stages


LA – Local Authority. Deals with the administration of a local council. The education department may be part of the LA’s children’s services authority or trust.

LAC – Looked After Children

LD – Learning Disability

LEA – Local Education Authority.

LEA Maintained School – School for which the LEA has financial and administrative responsibility

LM – Learning Mentor

LSA – Learning Support Assistant

LSU – Learning Support Unit


Maintained School – Any county or voluntary school maintained by the authority, including any maintained special school not established in a hospital

Managed Move To A Different School – This is something that the school arranges and should only be done if the parent and the LA agree that it is in the best interest of the pupil.

MCT – Making Changes Together.

Mediation – Where a trained person helps sort out any conflict between one child and other pupils or teachers

Mislocated Children – Children of compulsory school age whose whereabouts are unknown.

MLD – Mild Learning Difficulties

MS-  Multiple Sclerosis. A condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms such as problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation, or balance

MSI – Multi-Sensory Impairment. A combination of visual and hearing difficulties



NASEN – National Association for Special Educational Needs

NC – National Curriculum

NCLB – No Child Left Behind. The aim is for all young people to be on a roll of mainstream schools and to be educated within their local communities.

NEET- Young people aged 16-25 not in education, employment or training.

Neurodevelopmental Pathway –  A new pathway for ADHD and Autism diagnosis. A panel will decide, based on the child / young persons referral form ; whether they will be put on to the pathway or not. 

Non-Contact Days – Five days a year on which pupils do not attend school. Teachers use these days for training and report writing. Also known as inset days

Non-Contact Time – Non-teaching time where teachers prepare lesson plans etc

Note In Lieu – Issued to a child parents and school when following a statutory assessment the LEA decides not to make a statement. The note should describe the child’s SEN and explain why the LEA does not think it necessary to make a statement

NQT – Newly Qualified Teacher

Number On Roll – Head count of full-time and part-time pupils, excluding nursey unit


OCD –  Obsessive compulsive disorder

OFSTED – Office for Standards in Education. Inspects and advises on schools and colleges

OMG – Oh My Goodness. Another term commonly used by parents/carers

Open Enrolment – All schools must admit pupils up to their admission number which is calculated according to the capacity of the school buildings

OT – Occupational Therapist

Out Of Area Pupils – Pupils being taught in a school maintained by one authority while living in the area of another authority

Oversubscription Criteria – The rules about who has priority for a place when a school does not have places for all the children who apply


PALs – Patient advice and liaison team. 

PAN – The Published Admission Number. The number of children that a school has agreed to admit each year

Parent – Any person who has custody of a child or young person

Parental Responsibility – All rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law the parent of a child has

PAS – Psychology and Assessment Service

PCF – Parent Carer Forum

PECS – Picture Exchange Communication System.

PEP – Personal Education Plan

PFA – Preparing For Adulthood

PIP – Personal independent payments. A disability benefit for 16 years plus which ; if eligible ;  can help with the extra costs of having a long term illness and/or disability.

PIVATS – Performance Indicators for Value Added Target Setting

PRU – Pupil Referral Unit

PSP – Pastoral Support Programme

PTA – Parent Teacher Association

Pupil Planning Team – Advise on and educate pupils with behavioural problems and pupils who have been excluded from school


QCA – Qualifications and Curriculum Authority


REC – Race Equality Council

Restorative Justice – Allows a child to put right any harm done by talking through their actions with the person they did it to

ROSCO / ROSSCO – Remote Observational Schedule for Social Communication. – Part of an autism assessment to be done online when unable to do it face to face. ( e.g During covid pandemic)


SALT – Speech And Language Therapist

SATs – Standard Assessment Tasks

SEAL – Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning

SEN – Special Educational Needs. If a child has a learning difficulty that calls for specialist educational provisions to be made for them

SEN Casework Officer – The LA officer responsible for writing and maintaining statements

SENCO – Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. Member of staff in a school or an early years setting who co-ordinates special educational needs provision

SEND – Special Education Need & Disability. 

SENDIASS – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service

SEND Tribunal – Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. An independent body that determines appeals by parents against LEA decisions on assessments and statements

SEN Mediation – Independent service to resolve disputes between parents, schools, LEA

SENSAP – Special Educational Needs Statutory Assessment and Provision

SEN Short Note – Brief information on some extra needs in education

SENST – Special Educational Needs Support Team. Incorporated into the ISPS service

SEN Support Plan – Plan with educational support needs and goals

SILC – Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre

SLD – Severe Learning Disability

SLA – Service Level Agreement

SLE – Service Level Entitlement

SpLD – Specific Learning Disability

Special Measures – A school may be identified as a failing school by an Ofsted inspection. Special measures will be required to be carried out to put the school on course to reach acceptable standards. The governing body is involved in the process

Statement of SEN – A legal document stating the specialist educational provision necessary to meet the child’s needs which have now been replaced by EHCPs ( Education and Health Care Plans)

Statutory Assessment – If a significant cause for concern has been raised, a request for a statutory assessment may be made by the parent or school to the LEA. An assessment of the child’s attainment in order to provide if necessary specialist educational provision

Statutory Functions – Functions conferred or imposed by a statutory instrument (law)


TA – Teaching Assistant

TEWV– Tees Esk Wear Valley NHS trust. These are who perform ASD and ADHD assessments and assess and manage mental health issues with under 18 year olds within County Durham 


UPN – Unique Pupil Reference Number


Voluntary Aided School – A school set up and owned by a voluntary body, usually a church body, largely financed through an LEA. The governing body employ the staff and control pupil admissions and religious education

Voluntary Controlled School – A school set up by a voluntary body, usually a church body. Totally funded through an LEA. The LEA employs the staff


YOT – Youth Offending Team

YP – Young person. Usually aged 14-18 years of age. 

If there are any terms, phrases or words you think we may have missed, please get in touch and we will do our best to add them to the list.