Attention Deficit Disorder. A condition whereby a child has a short concentration span and is unable to stay on task. 


Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. A condition whereby a child has difficulty in maintaining concentration and is unable to stay on task due to hyperactivity.

A' Levels

Advanced Level qualifications for 16 to 18 year olds. An A-Level consists of six units including both continuous assessment and a coursework element. An AS-level can be professional or vocational, and is equal to half an A-level.

Advanced Skills Teacher (AST)

An AST is a teacher who has completed a national assessment and then been appointed to an AST post. The role includes supporting the CPD of other teachers and raising standards of teaching and learning. ASTs work with both teachers from their ‘home’ school, as well as with teachers from other local schools.

ASTs are also known as ‘Superteachers’. A school may apply for its star teacher to be awarded this status as it attracts extra revenue; the downside is that the teacher then spends less time with their own classes and more passing on skills to other staff and schools.

AS Level

Advanced Subsidiary Level Qualifications. A national exam, which is taken in the first year of sixth form, introduced as part of Curriculum 2000. In year 12, pupils can choose from a wide range of AS-level courses, according to the government. Then, in year 13, they can take more AS courses or continue some subjects to A-Level.

Asperger Syndrome

Asperger syndrome is an autistic spectrum disorder. The National Autistic Society states that: "People with Asperger syndrome find it more difficult to read the signals that most of us take for granted. As a result they find it more difficult to communicate and relate to others." In addition, individuals with Asperger syndrome "usually have fewer problems with language... [and] do not usually have the accompanying learning disabilities associated with autism."


Attainment Target. ATs set out the expected standards of pupils' performance at the end of each key stage.


Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Formerly AMMA - trade union and professional association.


Autism is defined by the National Autistic Society as: "A lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to others in a meaningful way... people with autism can often have accompanying learning disabilities but everyone with the condition shares a difficulty in making sense of the world."

Baseline Assessment

A system for measuring and evaluating skills, capabilities and limitations, for children starting school. Baseline Assessment will eventually be used in conjunction with national tests at 7, 11 and 14 to track pupils' progress and determine if the school has boosted their progress above what might have been expected of them.

Beacon Schools

The Government is spending £1.8m on a network of 100 of these throughout the country. Beacons are supposed to be "centres of excellence" which share the secrets of their success with others to raise standards in areas such as literacy, disaffection or overall performance.


Best Value Policy. Reviews how LEAs uphold and improve their services.


Computer-aided Learning.

Challenging Behaviour

New non-judgemental term which covers a range of behaviours - from severe mental or emotional problems through adolescent angst to naughtiness.

Circle Time

Primary children sitting in a circle to discuss personal matters such as bullying and emotions. There are strict rules about how children may behave and the confidentiality of what is said. Helps develop children's listening skills.

Contact Time

The hour’s teachers actually spend with pupils.


Continuing professional development. CPD is expected to be an appropriate balance of personal, professional development, attendance at nationally accredited courses and small-scale school-based activities.


Common Pay Scale. Starting point for teachers' salary scales.

Delegated Budget

The sum of money which the LEA gives to schools for spending on specific headings as locally determined.


Department for Education and Skills - the central government department responsible for national education policy, planning and finance from Nursery to Higher, Further and Adult Education.


A learning difficulty of which the chief manifestation is a particular difficulty with reading and spelling.


Dyspraxia is generally recognised as “an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. Associated with this may be problems of language, perception and thought”.


English as an additional language. Pupils whose first language is not English may receive extra support.

Early Learning Goals

These set out the learning and development skills most children should have achieved by the end of the school reception year.


Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. Children who display these problems may be placed on the Special Needs Register and given extra support.


Educational Excellence Foundation. The awarding body for technical and vocational qualifications from basic education up to Higher Education level.

Education Action Zones (EAZ)

The Government has invested money into raising education in areas facing major problems. A combination of local authority, businesses, schools and parents put together a bid for the Secretary of State for Education on what they would do to improve standards in imaginative ways.

A typical EAZ might include two or three secondary schools and the local primary schools and will operate for two to five years. The second phase of zones will each get £1m a year, of which half automatically comes from the Government, which will also match money raised privately by up to £250,000

Education Welfare Officer – EWO

Education Welfare Officer. A professional worker who visits homes and deals with attendance problems and other welfare matters.


Early Learning Goals. Outlines expectations for children to reach by end of Foundation Stage.


Early Literacy Support. Started in Autumn 2001, and is aimed at Year 1 children, who need a more intensive programme of literacy support.

Excellence in Cities (EICs)

£350m government initiative to raise standards of education among secondary schools in ten inner cities. Targeted areas are inner and North London, Manchester, Leeds, Salford, Liverpool, Knowsley, Birmingham, Bradford, Sheffield and Rotherham. Plans include more specialist and beacon schools, special programmes for the brightest pupils (including university summer schools and masterclasses in independent or specialist schools), "learning centres" to provide extra courses and facilities.


Exclusion means to exclude a pupil from school on disciplinary grounds. A fixed period exclusion is for a set length of time and the total must not add up to more than 45 school days in a school year. It should be for the shortest time necessary. An indefinite exclusion with no date for return is unlawful. A lunchtime exclusion should not be for more than five days.

Failing School

One ruled by an Ofsted inspection team to be failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.

Form of Entry

As in "a 4FE school". The number of forms or classes that a school admits each year, thus indicating the size of the school. For planning purposes a form of entry is taken as 30 pupils.

Form 7

A DfES form sent to every school each January to collect statistical information on a national basis about the numbers of teachers employed, the number of children in each age group, the organising of classes etc. It is used as the basis for calculation of funding for the school.

Foundation School

Generally, former grant-maintained schools. They retain powers over admissions, hiring and firing staff and own the land and buildings. Funding, however, comes from the Local Education Authority which also pays for any building work.

Foundation Stage

Covers education provided from 3 years old - end of Reception Year

Fresh Start School

Found by inspectors to have failed so badly, and for so long, that the local authority running it has applied to the Secretary of State for Education to close it and reopen with a new name and many new staff on the same site.

Fully Selective School

Fully selective schools are generally grammar schools. Partially selective schools assess a certain number of children, generally 10%, for a place at the school under rules decided by the admission authority.

General Certificate of Education (GCSE)

Academic examination of basic secondary education generally taken by 16-year-olds.

General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ)

Vocational qualification related to particular industries to be taken in a school or college. GNVQs can be taken at levels equivalent to GCSE and A Level.

Graduate Teacher Programme

An employment based training programme where schools can benefit from grant payments of up to £13,000 to cover the salary costs of their trainees. Schools keen to become more involved in initial teacher training (ITT) can take on additional unqualified teachers and train them on the job.

Entry to the GTP is competitive with up to 560 places a term allocated to the best schools and best graduate trainees in priority recruitment areas like London and shortage subjects. The Teacher Training Agency (TTA) pays an additional grant of up to £4,000 to cover their training costs, and also pays for their final assessment for QTS.


General Teaching Council. A professional body established to represent the views of teachers.

Governing Body

The Governing body has overall responsibility, with the headteacher, for the school. Governors work for the school unpaid.

Home School Agreement

Contract given to pupils and parents, outlining the aims and values of a school.


Human Scale Education is an educational charity promoting small schools and small classes because of the many educational benefits which it believes small size can bring.



Individual Education Plan. Identifies the special educational needs of a child and outlines targets and strategies to support their learning. Usually completed by teacher in consultation with SEN co-ordinator. Any child on the school's Special Needs Register will have an I.E.P.


This term recognises the importance of catering for diverse needs. Inclusive principles highlight the importance of meeting children's individual needs.

Induction Year

The first year on the job for newly-qualified teachers, this is intended to be a continuation of training. Such teachers are freed for a tenth of the timetable for further training.


In-service education and training. Training to support the in-service development of teachers in England.


Educating children with special educational needs together with children without special educational needs in mainstream schools, and ensuring that they engage as far as possible in the same activities.

Key Stages

The National Curriculum is divided into four main stages:

  • Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2; age 5-7 years)
  • Key Stage Two (Years 3,4,5 and 6; age 7-11 years)
  • Key Stage Three (Years 7,8, and 9; age 12-14 years)
  • Key Stage Four (Years 10 and 11; age 14-16 years)


Has to be prepared by every education authority to explain how it proposes to raise the standards of education provided for children and improve school performance. Each plan covers a three-year period.

Lay Inspector

Every school inspection team must have one. Lay inspectors must have no paid experience of teaching or managing a school, but are fully trained to take part in inspections.

LD (Level Description)

Basis for making judgements about pupils' performance at the end of key stages 1, 2 and 3.


Local Education Authority

Learning Support Assistant (LSA)

Widely used job title for an assistant providing in-school support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Learning and Skills Council

Responsible for funding and planning post-16 education and training.

Literacy Hour

Literacy Hour was introduced into primary schools in September 1998. All children now have at least one daily lesson of reading and writing. Teachers follow a specific framework that has been set by the DfES.


Learning Skills and Development Agency. National resource for policy and practice in post-16 education and training. Formerly the Further Education Development Agency (FEDA).

ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)

A chronic condition which affects about four people in every 1,000, mostly adults and children between 13 and 15. The main symptom is fatigue following exertion or mental activity.


Modern Foreign Language is part of the National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4.


Moderate Learning Difficulties. A pupil with MLD will receive extra assistance under SEN provision.

National Curriculum

Introduced in the late 1980's, this is a programme of study all state schools in England and Wales must follow. The national curriculum outlines what children should be taught from their first days in school to the onset of GCSE courses, with tests at 7,11 and 14. Compulsory subjects are English, Welsh (in Wales), maths, science, design and technology, information technology, history, geography, art, music, physical education and in secondary schools a modern foreign language.

National Tests

These take place at the end of Key Stages One, Two and Three, at 7, 11 and 14. Results are published for 11 year olds. GCSE's are taken at the end of Key Stage Four and the results published. Previously known and still mainly referred to as SATs.


National Association for Gifted Children. Advice and support for gifted children.


National Association of Head Teachers. Trade union and professional association.


National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers. Trade union.


National Grid for Learning. Government funded project to connect schools to the Internet and to provide learning materials for them via the World Wide Web.


National Literacy Strategy. Strategy aiming to improve standards in literacy.


National Literacy Trust. Promotes literacy initiatives.


National Numeracy Strategy. A national strategy, which aims to improve standards in numeracy.

Numeracy Hour

This was introduced into primary schools in September 1999 and is similar to the Literacy Hour, with a daily lesson in number work (not necessarily as long as one hour for young children) with specific work outlined for different age groups.


New Opportunities Fund. Funding and support available for ICT training.


Number on Roll - number of pupils registered at named school.


Every school inspection team must have one. Lay inspectors must have no paid experience of teaching or managing a school, but are fully trained to take part in inspections.


National Vocational Qualification. Work based qualification

Office for Standards in Education/OFSTED

The independent body which regulates and manages school inspections in England, assessing the quality and standards of education. Most schools can now expect a visit roughly every six years, unless they are thought to need more urgent assessment. Each inspection will concentrate on four things: the quality of education in the school, educational standards provided, how finances are managed and the spiritual, moral and cultural development of pupils.

Inspections are conducted by teams of Ofsted-accredited but independent inspectors led by a Registered Inspector. They must ask parents how well they think the school is doing, and parents must receive a summary of the report and anyone is entitled to see the school's full report. Ofsted monitors their performance for quality and consistency.


Overseas Trained Teachers.


Performance and Assessment Report. Provides comparative data for schools to use for self-assessment and target setting.


Professional Association of Teachers. Trade union and professional association. Incorporates PANN -Professional Association of Nursery Nurses

Performance Tables

Performance Tables. Annually published results of a school or college's performance based on national tests.


Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties. Likely to require total care from others and attendance will be at a special school.


Programme of Study. Sets out what should be taught in each subject at each key stage.


Physical and Severe Learning Difficulties. Pupils showing symptoms of PSLD will receive extra support under SEN provision, either in mainstream or special schools.


Pupil Teacher Ratio.

Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

Unit established and maintained by an LEA to provide education for pupils who would not otherwise receive suitable education because of exclusion or other reasons.

Pupil referral units (PRUs) are LEA schools designed to take, on a short-term basis, young people who have generally been excluded from school. Their purpose is to get pupils back into mainstream school as quickly as possible.


Qualifications and Curriculum Authority is the body which develops the curriculum and its assessment, including consistency and quality in public examinations.


On the Registered Teacher Programme, trainees must have two years of higher education and spend up to two years working and training as a teacher while they complete a degree.

The Teacher Training Agency (TTA) pays for their training and assessment but their schools pay salaries. Schools may apply for the RTP at any time. There are no restrictions on phase or subject but places are limited to about 100 per year. All maintained schools, non-maintained special schools and CTCs are eligible for training grants.


Standard Assessment Tests - now known as National Tests, End of Key Stage Assessments or Statutory Assessments. Children are tested in Maths, English and Science at the end of each Key Stage and awarded a level which indicates their ability, compared to the National average.

Schools With Serious Weaknesses

Not a failing school but found by inspectors to have problems which need help. The action plan will have to set targets to remove all causes of weakness within a year and there will be re-inspections during that time to act as a backstop or confirm recovery. Ofsted will also monitor action plans and local authority statements to ensure they are adequate.


School Development Plan. A projection of what a school hopes to achieve within a prescribed time limit.


Special Educational Needs. Provision to support pupils with learning disabilities - may be provided through mainstream or more specialised education.

SEN Code of Practice

This provides practical advice to LEAs, maintained schools, early years settings and others on their statutory duties to identify and make provision for children's special educational needs.


Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. Teacher responsible for ensuring that children with learning difficulties and emotional/behavioural problems receive appropriate support.


Severe Learning Difficulties. Pupils with SLD will receive extra support under SEN provision, often attending a special school.

Special Schools

Schools that cater for pupils with special educational needs, such as physical disabilities, severe or moderate learning difficulties, emotional or behavioural difficulties and autism. They can be day or boarding schools. Some special schools are for children with particular disabilities. Some special schools are outside the state maintained sector (known as non-maintained special schools) which are often run by charities and are non-profit-making. There are also independent special schools, some of which have whole school approval from the Department for Education and Skills.

Specialist Schools

Schools which receive government grants and business sponsorship to improve their facilities and resources in a specific area. The areas are languages, art, sport.

Standard Number

The maximum number of pupils the school is expected to admit. In our case 90 per year, or 360 for the whole school. We, like many schools have more pupils than our standard number.


Government programme to deliver the best start in life for every child by bringing together: early education, childcare, health and family support and technology.

VAK Model

VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic). A teaching strategy which focuses on how different children process information in a variety of contexts. The VAK model for teaching includes employing different teaching styles in order to engage pupils with different learning styles.

Voluntary Aided Schools

Voluntary aided schools were mostly set up by churches or other religions and a few by charities. They own the school buildings and have some responsibility for repair and maintenance, for which they receive help from a government grant. These schools get most of their money from the LEA but have greater independence than community schools. They are responsible for admissions and employment of staff. The majority are denominational church schools - the majority are Church of England and most of the remainder are Catholic with a small number of other faiths.

They can refuse admission to pupils who do not meet their published religious admission criteria and may give religious education and worship in line with their particular faith. The composition of governing bodies of voluntary aided schools allow for fewer LEA and parent governors while the voluntary body has a majority.

Vocational A-Levels

Vocation Advanced Level qualifications were introduced as part of the Curriculum 2000 reforms and were designed to give 16-18-year-olds more flexibility in the qualifications open to them. Vocational A-Levels, AS-Levels and GNVQs are designed to prepare students in jobs such as business, construction, engineering, health and social care. They can be taken as part of a package with other qualification and come in three levels, foundation, intermediate and advanced.

Voluntary Controlled Schools

Voluntary controlled schools are funded fully by the LEA and run almost exactly like community schools but there is some representation of the voluntary body among the governors. If the voluntary body is a religious one the school may give religious education in line with their particular faith.


Liverpool and Merseyside

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TEL: 0161 833 0300

FAX: 0161 491 6172



Greater Manchester

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