A

Advisory Teacher
A specialist teacher employed by the local education authority, based within SENDIS, to give advice to schools

Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU)
The AWPU is the amount of money that every maintained school receives for each pupil that is on the school roll, whether or not they have SEN. The value of the AWPU varies from one local authority to another and according to the age of the pupils. For primary age pupils the minimum is £2000 per year. For pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4 the minimum is £3000 per year.

Annual Review (AR)
Under the Education Act 1996 local authorities had to carry out a review of every Statement of Special Educational Needs at least once every 12 months.

Under the Children and Families Act 2014 local authorities must carry out a review of every EHC plan at least once every 12 months.

ASC
Autistic Spectrum Condition

ASD
Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Assessment
This involves building a picture of your child's abilities, difficulties, behaviour and his or her special educational needs and the support required to meet those needs.

Return to Top

B

Baseline Assessment
The assessment of a child's aptitude and ability as s/he starts school

Behaviour Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD)
Where a child's emotions or behaviour are barriers to their learning. This may result in them being: withdrawn and/or isolated; disruptive and/or disturbing others; hyperactive and/or having difficulties with concentration; having immature social skills; presenting challenging behaviour. These difficulties may arise from medical disorders and/or difficult home situations.

Behaviour Support Teacher
A trained and experienced teacher who can advise on the needs of children with a range of emotional, behavioural and social needs. They offer support and advice to parents, children and schools.

Benchmarking
Providing descriptions of what is expected or what has been achieved

Best Value
A more sophisticated concept than "value for money", taking into account a range of factors, including quality and the wishes of clients.

Return to Top

C

Carer
For the purpose of the SEN Code of Practice, a carer is a person named by a local authority to care for a child for whom the social services department has a parental responsibility.

Child Development Clinic (CDC)
A clinic where medical assessments are made of children whose development is giving cause for concern.

Children and Families Act 2014
This law came into force on 1st September 2014. Part 3 of the Act sets out the new law on special educational needs and disability. The Act is supported by the SEND Regulations 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 Years. You can download a copy of the Act at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/contents/enacted

Circle Time
A technique for raising pupils' self-esteem in school

Circulars
These are issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to LAs and give guidance on how the Education Act should be interpreted. Although circulars are not law many include decisions made by the Secretary of State under delegated powers.

Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
CCGs are groups of professionals that work together to commission health services, ensuring there is sufficient capacity contracted to deliver the necessary services to people.

Clusters
Groups (usually of schools) who cooperate for training/discussion etc.

Code of Practice (CoP)
The SEN Code of Practice is a guide for Local Education Authorities, parents and schools about how help should be given to children with Special Educational Needs. Local Education Authorities and schools must have regard to the code.

Connexions
This is a support service for all 13 - 19 year olds. It will aid in Transition Reviews and creating continuity during this difficult period. Every young person will have access to a 'Personal Adviser' to assist them.

Connexions Personal Advisers (PAs)
Provide information, advice and guidance for all young people aged 13-19 years when and where needed - whether they are at school, in further education, in or out of work.

Return to Top

D

DfE
Department for Education

Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)
Government department, responsible for education, formerly known as the Department for Education and Skills (DfES)

Department for Education and Skills (DfES)
Government department now called Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)

Direct payment
A payment made directly to a parent or young person to purchase specific services. Under the Children and Families Act 2014 a Direct Payment may be made as part of a Personal Budget so that the parent or young person can buy certain services that are specified in their EHC plan.

Direct payments can only be used for provision provided on the school or college premises if the school or college agree.

Disability Codes of Practice
There are two Disability Codes of Practice. One is for schools and the other covers post-16 provision. These Codes explain the duties to avoid disability discrimination in education and cover schools, colleges and local education authorities.

Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
Since 2002, schools and local education authorities must not treat disabled pupils less favourably because of their disability.

Disability Rights Commission (DRC)
This is an independent body, established by act of Parliament to eliminate the discrimination faced by disabled people and promote equality of opportunity.

Disagreement Resolution
Local authorities must provide independent disagreement resolution to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities, schools and other settings about SEND duties and provision. You can find more information on disagreement resolution in the SEND Code of Practice 11.6 to 11.10

Disapplication
Removal or lifting of a programme of study, attainment target, assessment or any other component of the National Curriculum, or any combination of these including entire subjects or the entire National Curriculum.

Return to Top

E

Early Education Settings
Providers in receipt of government funding to deliver early education including - maintained mainstream and special schools, maintained nursery schools, independent schools, non-maintained special schools, local authority day-care providers such as pre-schools, playgroups and private day care nurseries, local authority Portage schemes and accredited childminders working as part of an approved national child-minding association network.

Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships (EYDCP)
Every LA is required to establish an early years development partnership to work with them in reviewing the sufficiency of nursery education and preparing early years development plans.

Early Years Practitioners
All the adults who work with children in early education settings, whatever their qualifications.

Education Act 1996
Part IV of the Education Act 1996 was the legal framework for SEN. Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 now replaces this legislation. However there is a transition period until 2018. This means, for example, that Statements of Special Educational Need that were in place before 1st September 2014 will continue to have legal force until the child or young person transfers to an EHC plan.

Education Development Plan (EDP)
A requirement by the government for fully costed plans for educational development.

Education Funding Agency (EFA)
The EFA is the government agency that funds education for learners between the ages of 3 and 19, and those with learning difficulties and disabilities between the ages of 3 and 25.

The EFA allocates funds to local authorities, which then provide the funding for maintained schools. The EFA directly funds academies and free schools.

EHC Needs Assessment
Local authorities must carry out an EHC needs assessment if a child or young person may need an EHC plan. The assessment is a detailed look at the special educational needs that the child or young person has an what help he or she may need in order to learn.

It is sometimes called a statutory assessment.

You can find out more in the SEND Code of Practice sections 9.45 - 9.52.

Education Health and Care plan (EHC plan)
An EHC plan describes the special educational needs that a child or young person has and the help that they will be given to meet them. It also includes the health and care provision that is needed. It is a legal document written by the local authority and is used for children and young people who have high support needs.

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a weekly payment for your son or daughter if they stay on at school, college or training after compulsory schooling. It is dependent on household income. Contact a family have a leaflet explaining this at www.cafamily.org.uk

Education Other Than At School (EOTAS)
Arrangements that the local education authority makes to educate pupils other than in a school setting. EOTAS also includes children who are educated at home when parents arrange the education.

Education Welfare Officer (EWO)
EWO's work by inviting schools to discuss children whose irregular attendance is causing concern. They then make contact with parents either by telephone, letter or home visit. Education welfare officers will always work with parents and schools to try to bring about improvements in the level of attendance and also the child's well being at school.

Education Welfare Service (EWS)
The Education welfare service (EWS) supports schools and families to meet the LA's statutory requirements in promoting high levels of attendance and reducing unauthorised absence. The service does this by establishing and maintaining a good working relationship with schools and with families.

Educational Psychologist (EP / Ed Psych)
A qualified professional who has had training in psychology to understand more about the ways children learn, think and behave. The Educational Psychologist plays an important role in assessing a child's special education needs and giving advice to schools. Local education authorities usually employ educational psychologists.

Educational Psychology Service (EPS)
The Educational Psychology Service provides assessment, advice and support to help children and young people from the age of 0 to 19, who are experiencing difficulty with their learning, development, behaviour or social and emotional well being.

Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (EBD)
Emotional and/or behavioral problems that interfere with the child's education

Ethnic Minority Achievement Support Service (EMASS)
The Ethnic Minority Achievement Support Service provides quality support to raise the achievement of minority ethnic pupils. This service works in partnership with schools and communities to raise expectations and standards and promote inclusion for all pupils by offering expertise, advice, continuing professional development and resources. Its main aim is to raise attainment of under-performing minority ethnic pupils by advising schools, raising their awareness and providing effective teaching strategies for minority ethnic and EAL (English as an additional language) pupils.

Return to Top

F

FACT
First Assess Communication Tool

First Tier Tribunal (SEN and disability)
The First-Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) is a legal body. The Tribunal hears appeals from parents of children with SEN, and young people with SEN, about EHC needs assessments and EHC plans.

You can find out more at https://www.gov.uk/special-educational-needs-disability-tribunal/overview

Foundation Stage
The foundation stage begins when children reach the age of 3. Many children attend an early education setting soon after their 3rd birthday. The foundation stage continues until the end of the reception year and is consistent with the national curriculum. It prepares children for learning in year 1, when programmes of study for Key Stage 1 are taught.

Further Education (FE)
Full or part-time education for people who are over compulsory school age (16 years in England) which does not take place in a school. It can take place in a sixth form college, a further education college or a higher education institution. Further education courses are usually up to the standard of GCSE A level or National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 3.

Return to Top

G

Graduated Approach
The SEND Code of Practice says that schools should follow a graduated approach when providing SEN Support. This is based on a cycle of:

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review

You can find out more about the graduated approach in the SEND Code of Practice sections 6.44 to 6.56.

Group Education Plan (GEP)
Where pupils in the same group, class or subject lessons have common targets and therefore, common strategies, a group learning plan can be drawn up rather than IEPs for each child.

Return to Top

I

Inclusion
Educating children with special educational needs together with children without special educational needs in mainstream schools wherever possible and ensuring that children with special educational needs engage in the activities of the school together with children who do not have special educational needs.

Independent School
A school, which is neither funded by the LA, nor is it a voluntary aided school. Charitable Trusts and organisations, particularly those catering for special educational needs run some independent schools. They usually charge fees.

Independent support
A person recruited by a voluntary or community sector organisation to help families going through an EHC needs assessment and the process of developing an EHC plan. This person is independent of the local authority and will receive training, including legal training, to enable him or her to provide this support.

Individual Education Plan (IEP)
Details of the additional help your child will receive, the targets set and the arrangements for reviewing progress. It is a working document for all teaching staff recording key short-term targets and strategies for an individual pupil. IEPs should be discussed with parents and the child and they should be consulted as part of the review process. IEPs will usually be written for children who have support through Early Years Action, Early Years Action Plus, School Action, School Action Plus and Statements.

Return to Top

J

Joined-up Thinking
The present government's emphasis on the need for departments to work together (particularly where education, social services and health are involved).

Return to Top

K

Key Stage 1 (KS1)
The level of the National Curriculum taught to children in Reception to Year 2 (Age 4-7)

Key Stage 2 (KS2)
The level of the National Curriculum taught to children in years 3 to 6 (Age 7-11).

Key Stage 3 (KS3)
The level of the National Curriculum taught to children in years 7 to 9 (Age 11-14).

Key Stage 4 (KS4)
The level of the National Curriculum taught to children in years and 11 (Age 14-16).

Keyworker
Someone who provides children, young people and parents with a single point of contact to help make sure the support they receive is co-ordinated. A keyworker could be provided directly by a local authority or local health organisation, a school or college, or from a voluntary or private sector body.

Return to Top

L

Learning and Skills Council (LSC)
Many young people with special educational needs move in to further education colleges. They receive their funding from the Learning and Skills council. The LSC must have regard to the need of people with learning difficulties and has a statutory duty to take account of assessments that are arranged by Connexions.

Learning Difficulties
A child has learning difficulties if he or she finds it much harder to learn than most children of the same age or has a disability which affects his or her ability to learn in the same way or the same environment as other children.

Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA)
Learning Difficulty Assessments set out what additional learning support a young person needed when continuing their education into some form of post-16 education or training.

From 1st September 2014 Learning Difficulty Assessments will be replaced by EHC plans. Local authorities must transfer young people who already have provision as a result of an LDA to the new SEND system by 1st September 2016 if they are staying in further education or training after that date.

Learning Mentor
A person working in school with groups and individual children to help them overcome barriers to learning. Mentors may also be trained volunteers working with individual children through an external organisation.

Learning Support Assistant
A person employed by the school to provide support in the classroom or undertake specific work with a child or group of children who have learning difficulties. They work under the direction of the class teacher.

Local Authority/Authorities
Local authorities are administrative offices that provide services within their local areas. There are 152 across England which are education authorities. For more information about local government, see https://www.gov.uk/understand-how-your-council-works/types-of-council

Local Offer
The Local Offer, published by every local authority, tells you what support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their families. It includes information about education, health and care provision. It also give information about training, employment and independent living for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Local Transition Plan
Every local authority must publish a plan that explains when and how Statements of Special Educational Need will be transferred to the new system, as well as information for young people in further education and training who receive support as a result of a Learning Difficulties Assessment.

Return to Top

M

Mainstream School
This is a school that provides education for all children, whether or not they have special educational needs or disabilities.

Mediation
Mediation is a type of disagreement resolution. Every local authority must provide independent medication to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities about:

  • a decision not to carry out an EHC needs assessment
  • a decision not to draw up an EHC plan
  • the content of a final EHC plan or amended plan
  • a decision not to amend an EHC plan
  • a decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan

Mediation must also be provided on the health and social care elements of an EHC plan.

You can find more information on mediation in the SEND Code of Practice 11.13 to 11.38.

Mediation Advice
The purpose of mediation advice is to give information about what mediation involves. Parents or young people who wish to register an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability) must first seek mediation advice. The advice must be factual and unbiased. After mediation advice has been given the parent or young person can choose whether they wish to go to mediation.

However it is not necessary to seek mediation advice if the appeal is only about the name of the school, or college named on the plan, the type of provision specified in the plan or the fact that no school or other institution is named.

You can find more information on mediation advice in the SEND Code of Practice 11.21 to 11.25.

Modification
Amendment or alteration of a programme of study, attainment target, assessment, or any other component of the National Curriculum in order to give your child access to that area of the curriculum.

Monitoring
The ongoing assessment of work, progress, expenditure or achievement.

Multi-Disciplinary
Involving professionals from a range of disciplines (usually Education, Children's Social Care and Health).

Must
The SEND Code of Practice says in Section I of the Introduction:

... where the text uses the word 'must' it refers to a statutory requirement under primary legislation, regulations or case law.

This means that wherever the term 'must' is used all the organisations listed in Section IV of the Introduction to the Code have a legal duty to do what the Code says.

Return to Top

N

Named Officer
A case officer working in the Inclusion Team who is the point of contact for parents of children undergoing statutory assessment or who have statements.

National Curriculum (NC)
This sets out a clear, full and statutory entitlement to learning for all pupils, determining what should be taught and setting attainment targets for learning. It also determines how performance will be assessed and reported.

Non-Maintained Special School
A non-profit making school which charges fees. Most non-maintained special schools are run by charities or charitable trusts.

Return to Top

O

Occupational Therapist (OT)
A person trained to provide assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for children with physical difficulties. They are able to give schools advice on programmes of support, and to advise about suitable equipment and the provision of other facilities.

Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED)
A non-ministerial government department established under the Education (schools) Act 1992, to take responsibility for the inspection of all schools in England. Her Majesties Inspectors (HMI) forms their professional arm.

Outcome
Section 9.66 of the SEND Code of Practice says:

An outcome can be defined as the benefit or difference made to an individual as the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. It should be personal and not expressed from a service perspective; it should be something that those involved have control and influence over, and while it does not always have to be formal or accredited, it should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART). When an outcome is focused on education or training, it will describe what the expected benefit will be to the individual as result of the educational or training intervention provided.

Return to Top

P

Paediatrician
Doctor specialising in the needs of babies and children.

Parent Carer Forum
A Parent Carer Forum is a representative local group of parents and carers of disabled children who works with local authorities, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families. They have been established in most local authority areas. For more information please visit: http://www.cafamily.org.uk/pcp/resources or http://www.nnpcf.org.uk/

Parent Support Advisor (PSA)
The role of the PSA is to enhance childrens achievement in school by working in partnership with families, parents and carers. The PSA will help pupils in a school context to enable them to have full access to educational opportunities and overcome barriers to learning and participation by working directly with parents.

Pastoral Support Plan (PSP)
To be put in place to help modify a pupil's behaviour. They should be put in place where a child is at serious risk of permanent exclusion.

Personal Budget
A Personal Budget is money set aside to fund support as part of an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from Education, Health & Social Care.

Parents of children with an EHC plan and young people with an EHC plan can choose whether or not they wish to have a Personal Budget.

Physiotherapist
A person trained to provide assessment and treatment in movement and physical development such as balance, co-ordination, ability to sit, stand and walk. They are able to give advice to schools on programmes of support.

Portage
Home based pre-school education for children with special educational needs. There is a national Portage association, which provides a Code of Practice and accredited training. Portage home visitors work in partnership with parents, helping parents to help their child.

Primary Behaviour Support Team (PBST)
A specialist team which gives advice to school on behaviour management strategies and may work with individual children and young people.

Proposed Statement
A draft copy of the statement.

Psychiatrist
A doctor who helps people who have difficulties with the way they feel and behave. Child psychiatrists specialise in helping children.

Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)
A centre for pupils who are permanently excluded from school. Some PRUs are able to support schools with preventative work.

Return to Top

R

Reasonable Adjustments
Reasonable adjustments are changes schools and other settings are required to make which could include changes to physical features (for example, creating a ramp so that students can enter a classroom), or providing extra support and aids (such as specialist teachers or equipment).

Return to Top

S

Safeguarding
Protecting children and young people from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children and young people's health or development; ensuring that children and young people are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; undertaking that role so as to enable those children and young people to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully.

Schools Forum
Every local authority has a Schools Forum. It made up of representatives from schools and academies, and some representation from other bodies, such as nursery and 14-19 education providers.

The role of the Schools Forum includes looking at the local formula used to fund schools and SEN provision.

School Medical Officer (SMO)
Doctor who makes sure your child's health is not stopping him/her from learning. The Medical Officer may do regular check-ups on your child if s/he has a physical, sensory or medical problem.

Section 139A Learning Difficulty Assessment
See Learning Difficulty Assessment.

Self Esteem
Self esteem is the way we judge ourselves as individuals and how we value or estimate what we can do. It is closely allied to self confidence. Children with low self esteem feel inside that they cannot do things.

SEND Code of Practice
This is statutory guidance that supports Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

It tells local authorities, early years settings, schools, colleges, health & social care providers and others what they must and should do to identify, assess and provide for children and young people with SEN or disabilities.

You can download a full copy of the Code at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25

You can download a shorter version for parents at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-guide-for-parents-and-carers

Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST)
An independent body established under the 1996 Education Act that hears appeals by parents against LA decisions on assessments and statements. As from September 2002, parents will be able to lodge an appeal against a school if there is an issue around fixed term exclusions, or if the child's parent/carer feel their child has been discriminated against because of their disability. The tribunal's decision will be binding on both parties to the appeal.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)
A SENCO is a qualified teacher in a school or maintained nursery school who has responsibility for co-ordinating SEN provision.

Early years settings that are part of group provision arrangements are expected to identify an individual to perform the role of SENCO.

SEN Information Report
All schools must publish, on their websites, information about their policy and arrangements for supporting children with SEN. This must be kept up to date.

The information that has to be included can be found in Section 6.79 of the SEND Code of Practice.

SEN Support
SEN support includes any help for children and young people with SEN that is additional to or different from the support generally made for other children of the same age.

The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives that have been set for them by the school. Schools should involve parents in this process.

SEN support replaces Early Years Action / Action Plus and School Action / Action Plus.

SEND Pathfinder
SEND Pathfinders were set up in 2011 to test out the reforms the Government were proposing to introduce as part of the Children and Families Act 2014.

You can find more information about the SEND Pathfinders at http://www.sendpathfinder.co.uk

Should
Should is a word that occurs frequently in the SEND Code of Practice.

Section I of the Introduction to the Code says:

... where the text uses the word 'should' it means that the guidance contained in this Code must be considered and that those who must have regard to it will be expected to explain any departure from it.

This means that wherever the term 'should' is used all the orgainsations listed in Section IV of the Introduction to the Code must consider what the Code says. However they may depart from it.

Signposting
Sometimes a service that provides information, advice and support may be asked for help that it is not able to give directly.

When this happens the person seeking information, advice or support may signposted to other service providers. This means that they will be given information, including contact details, about other sources of help.

Special Educational Provision
For children of two or over, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LA, other than special schools, in the area. For children under two it is educational provision of any kind.

Special School
A school, which is resourced and organised to provide specifically for the education of pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs.

Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)
This is a Health Care provision. The role and aim of which is to enable adults and children with speech, language and communication difficulties (and associated difficulties with eating and swallowing) to reach their maximum communication potential and achieve independence in all aspects of life.

Statement of Special Educational Needs (Statement)
Under the Education Act 1996 local authorities issued Statements of Special Educational Need for children whose needs could not be met through the provision normally made by schools.

The Children and Families Act 2014 replaces Statements with EHC plans.

Children and young people who already have a Statement will gradually transfer to the new system. Each council publishes a local transition plan to explain how this will happen.

Statutory Assessment
Statutory Assessment is a formal procedure, which involves the collection of information from as many people as possible. Assessment works best when all involved, parents, school staff, health & social services, psychologists and other LA staff work in partnership to secure the best outcome for the child.

Statutory Guidance
Statutory guidance is guidance that local authorities and other local bodies have a legal duty to follow.

Return to Top

T

Teaching Assistant (TA)
A person employed by the school to provide general support in the classroom. They work under the direction of the class teacher.

Time Limits
The whole process, from the LA proposing to make an assessment to the sending of the final statement, should usually take no longer than 6 months. The LA may take longer if other professionals do not submit their report on time, or if children and their parents do not keep appointments. If there is to be a delay this should be explained to the parent or carer.

Transfer review
A transfer review replaces the annual review in the academic year that the child or young person transfers to the new SEND system.

A transfer review involves an EHC needs assessment to decide what outcomes and provision need to be included in the EHC plan. his should include education, health & social care needs.

You, your child or the young person must be invited to a meeting as part of the transfer review.

A transfer review ends when the local authority sends you (or the young person) a copy of the EHC plan, or when it informs you (or the young person) that an EHC plan will not be issued.

Each council publishes a local transition plan to explain how and when transfer reviews for children and young people with Statements of Special Educational Need will happen.

Transition Plan
A plan devised following the Year 9 annual review and updated at subsequent annual reviews. The purpose of the plan is to draw together information from a range of individuals within and beyond the school in order to plan coherently for the young person's transition to adult life.

Travellers' Education Service (TES)
The purpose of this service is to promote access to education to Traveller pupils and provide support to enable them to attain their full potential. The term Traveller used within this provision incorporates housed, sited and mobile Gypsy Travellers and Irish Travellers (holding ethnic minority status), Fairground and Circus families, Barge families (living on waterways) and New Travellers.

Tribunal
An independent body to which parents can take grievances relating to statementing procedures.

Return to Top