Glossary of Educational Terms

This glossary covers a wide variety of common educational Terms and Acronyms used on this website.


ACCAC Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales
ACE Advisory Centre for Education – an advisory service for parents.
ACPC Area Child Protection Committee
ACL Adult and Community Learning.
ACS Average Class Size.
ADEW Association of Directors of Education in Wales
AD(H)D Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder.
Admissions In community schools part of a Local Authority policy but in foundation and voluntary aided schools the governing body is responsible for setting a policy.
AEN Additional Educational Needs
AGPM Annual Governors’ meeting with Parents
ALS Additional Literacy Support.
AMP Asset Management Plan
APA Annual Performance Assessment.
APS Average Points Score.
APTC Administrative, Professional, Technical and Clerical
AS Asperger’s Syndrome
AST Advanced Skills Teacher
ASBO Anti Social Behaviour Order.
ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
ASPECT Assessment Profile on Entry for Children and Toddlers.
Associate member A person who is appointed by the governing body to work with a committee but who is not a governor.
ATL Association of Teachers and Lecturers, formally AMMA.
At Risk Register Children identified by Social Services or Schools as in danger of emotional, physical or sexual abuse or mental cruelty from within their families
ATs – Attainment Targets The knowledge, skills and understanding which pupils of differing ability and maturity are expected to have by the end of each Key Stage of the National Curriculum – i.e. At ages 7,11, 14 and 16.
Audit Commission Organisation established by Government to monitor the use of funds by local authorities and to promote good practice and efficiency in local government.
Authorised Absence Where the absence has been agreed by the school. This could be for holiday or sickness absence.
AWPU Age Weighted Pupil Unit. The sum of money allocated to the school for each pupil according to age. The main source of funding for the school from the LA.


Ballott A method of voting, normally secret.
Baseline assessment An assessment of a child’s skills and ability usually made by a teacher within the first 7 days of school entry.
Basic skills Reading, writing and arithmetic.
BECTA British Educational Communications and Technology Agency.
Behaviour Support Plan A statement that sets out arrangements for schools and other service providers for the education of children with Behavioural difficulties.
Benchmarking Comparing school expenditure with broadly similar schools from the LA, the region and nationally.
BES Behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
BEST Building Excellent Schools Together – Wales Improvement Program
Best Value A policy confirming that governing bodies will work with regards to economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
BIP Behaviour Improvement Program
BSA Basic Skills Agency
Budget Share The total sum of money allocated to a school for the financial year by the LA.
BVPP Best Value Performance Plan Statutory County Council Plan reporting progress relative to a number of statutory measures of public service efficiency.
BVSR Best Value Service Review


CAF Common Assessment Framework.
CAL Computer-Assisted Learning.
CAMHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
Capital Expenditure Spending on building projects and large items of equipment.
Casting Vote An additional vote to be used by the Chair of Governors if an equal number of votes are cast for and against a motion.
CAT Cognitive Ability Tests for knowing, thinking and reasoning.
Catchment Area A defined geographical area from which a school takes its pupils
Child Protection Register Acentral register maintained by Social Services which lists children in the area who are considered to be suffering from, or are likely to suffer, significant harm and for whom there is a protection plan.
Clerk to the Governing Body Person appointed to carry out advisory and administrative duties e.g. preparing agenda, minuting meetings.
Collective Worship All maintained schools should provide for collective worship for their pupils. The precise nature at a foundation or voluntary school will depend on the religious character of the school.
Community and Controlled Schools Schools wholly funded by the LEA.
Community governors Governors appointed by the governing body to represent community interests. Community governors can be persons who live or work in the community served by the school or persons who do not work or live close to school but are committed to the good governance and success of the school.
Contingency Fund Money set aside for unexpected costs.
Core subjects English, math’s and science.
COSHH Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
CP Child Protection.
CPD Continuing Professional Development – any activity that increases teachers’ knowledge or understanding.
CPI Child Protection Issue.
CPS Common Pay Scale.
CRB Criminal Records Bureau.
Curriculum A broad definition including not just the list of subjects taught but all the pupils’ learning experiences at school and the processes of learning as well as the knowledge that is acquired.


DCSF Department for Children, Schools and Families.
DDA Disability Discrimination Act.
Delegated budget Money provided to schools which governors can manage at their discretion.
Delegated powers Authority given to a committee or the Head teacher to take action on behalf of the governing body.
Delegation A process where one body or person gives another body or person authority to take decisions on a particular matter.
DfES Department for Education and Skills.
Diocesan Board The Christian denominations divide the country into ecclesiastical districts called dioceses.
Diocese The area over which a bishop has jurisdiction.
Disapplied Pupils The National Curriculum has been designed to make sure that all children are assessed. However, there may be a small number of pupils who are not able to take part in some assessment, even allowing for the full range of arrangements that can be made.
DIUS Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
DRC Disabilities Rights Commission
DSG Dedicated Schools Grant.
Dual Use The use of any part of the school premises by community groups and others, whether during or outside of school hours.
Dyslexia Used to describe the specific learning disorder of children who have difficulty in acquiring reading, spelling, writing and numeracy skills


EAL English as an Additional Language.
Early Education Service All pre-school education provision such as nursery classes and schools, day nurseries and playgroups
EAZ Education Action Zones.
EBD Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
EBP Education Business Partnership.
ECM Every Child Matters.
EDI Electronic Data Interchange
EDP Education Development Plan which each LA is required to prepare setting out its strategies for improving standards in schools and raising pupil attainment.
Education Welfare Officer Person employed by the LEA to help parents and LEAs meet their respective statutory obligations in respect of school attendance.
Educational Psychologist Trained teachers with a degree in Psychology employed by the LEA to advise and help teachers and where necessary, to make recommendations to the LEA on providing for the needs of some children
EIC Excellence in Cities.
Eleven Plus Elective test usually taken at age 11 so selective grammar schools can choose the most academic pupils.
ELWA The joint brand name of the National Council for Education and Training for Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
EMAS Ethnic Minority Achievement Service.
EOC Equal Opportunities Commission
EOP Equal Opportunities Policy.
EOTAS Education other than at School alternative education provision for children excluded from schools.
EP Educational Psychologist.
EPS Educational Psychology Service
Equal Opportunities Chance for everyone to participate in school life/curriculum.
Equal Opportunities policy A governing body’s thinking and practice on issues of equality surrounding gender, race, sexuality, disability and class.
ES Extended School.
ESO Education Supervision Order which a LA may apply for to deal with cases of poor attendance at school.
ESP Education Strategic Plan – a statutory plan to link the school improvement agenda of the Authority and state schools in this area.
ESS Education Standard Spending.
ESTYN Office of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales.
ETAG Education and Training Action Group
ETAP Education and Training Action Plan
Ethnic Minority A group that has different national or cultural traditions from the majority of the population.
EWO Education Welfare Officer employed to help pupils and parents where there are problems, particularly regarding attendance.
Exclusion The temporary or permanent banning of a pupil by the head teacher on disciplinary grounds.
Ex-Officio By virtue of holding a particular office.
Extended Schools Schools which provide a range of extended services and facilities for the benefit of pupils, parents, families and the wider community.
EY Early Years
EYDCP Early Years Development & Childcare Partnership
EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage.


Fair Funding The new (from April 2000) regime for 100% funding of LEAs and schools according to their respectively defined responsibilities, superseding LMS (Local Management of Schools 1988-2000)
Family Centre Provides pre-school education and opportunities for parents to be involved.
FE Further Education
Federation The coming together under one governing body of not more than five maintained schools.
Feeder Schools Some authorities give priority to children from certain primary schools.
FGB Full Governing Body.
FMSiS Financial Management Standard in Schools.
FOI Freedom of Information.
Form Entry The number of classes that a school admits each year.
Formula The calculation of the funds given to schools by the LA.
Foundation Governors Governors appointed by the foundation body of a voluntary school for the purpose of securing that the character of the school is preserved and developed, and in particular that the school is conducted in accordance with the provision of any trust deed.
Foundation Phase Educational provision for all children from 3-7 years.
Foundation Schools Type of school run by the Local Authority but with more freedom than community schools to manage their school and decide on their admissions. The school’s land and buildings are either owned by the governing body or by a charitable foundation.
FSES Full Service Extended School.
FSM Free School Meals.
FTE Full Time Equivalent.


G&T Gifted and Talented.
GB Governing Body
GCSE General Certificate of Secondary Education – public examinations taken by most 16-year-olds
GDT Governor Development Team.
GEST Grants for Education Support and Training Programme
GNVQ General National Vocational Qualifications – broad-based vocational qualifications offered to 14-19 year olds at Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels.
Graduated response/approach The model of action and intervention described in the SEN Code of Practice for Wales to help children with SEN
Grammar School Selective secondary schools entrance is based on a test of ability, usually at age 11.
GTC The General Teaching Council – an independent professional body for teachers.
GTC (W) General Teaching Council (Wales)


H&S Health & Safety
HASAW Health And Safety At Work.
HE Higher Education
Healthy Schools Initiative Government scheme to help improve the health of both pupils and teachers.
HLTA Higher Level Teaching Assistant.
HMCI Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools.
HMI Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools
HOD Head of Department.
Home-School Agreements A written contract between school, parents or carers and the pupil. It sets out expectations of attendance, behaviour, standards of education and homework. This is a statutory document for the governing body.
HOS Head of Service
HOY Head of Year.
HSE Health and Safety Executive
HSWA Health and Safety at Work Act


IAN Income Allocation Notification.
ICT Information and Communication Technology.
IEP Individual Education Plan devised for meeting the special education needs of individual pupils with needs over and above that of other children.
IiP Investors in People. External award accrediting the competence of sections in relation to policies and practice affecting the people they manage.
Inclusion Inclusion in education involves the process of increasing the participation of students in, and reducing their exclusion from, the cultures, curricula and communities of local schools.
Increments Process by which individuals move through their salary scale until they reach the top.
Independent Parental Supporter (IPS) Someone who can support parents, for example, by going to meetings, encouraging parents to get involved and helping them understand the SEN framework
Independent Schools A school that is not maintained by an LEA.
INSET In-Service Education and Training – professional development for teaching and support staff. 5 INSET days are held each year, pupils do not attend school on these days.
Instrument of Government A legal document setting out the composition of the Governing Body.
Internal Control A system which encompasses the policies, processes, tasks, behaviours and other aspects of an organisation which is effective and efficient.
IPF Institute of Public Finance.
ISB Individual Schools Budget.
ISC Independent Schools Council.
ISP Individual Support Plan
ISR Individual School Range.
ITT Initial Teacher Training.


JAR Joint Area Review.


KS Key Stages – The four stages of the National Curriculum for pupils aged 5-16.
KSI Pupils aged 3-7.
KS2 Pupils aged 7-11.
KS3 Pupils aged 11-14.
KS4 Pupils aged 14-16.


LA Local Authority (previously known as the LEA the Local Education Authority).
LA21 Local Agenda 21 – international agenda for initiatives to improve the environment.
LAC Looked After Children
Lay Member A member appointed to a panel hearing appeals against non-admission or exclusion, being a person without personal experience in managing or providing education in any school.
LEA Local Education Authority. A local government body that is responsible for providing education and for carrying out statutory assessments and maintaining Statements
LEA Governor Governor appointed by the LEA
LEA Maintained School School for which an LEA has financial and administrative responsibility.
Learning Direct A free advice line offering information on adult education Tel 0800 100 900.
Learning Support Assistant (LSA) A widely used job title for an assistant providing in-school support for pupils with SEN.
Liaison Governor A governor who acts as a critical friend to the Governor Development Team to monitor the training provision and evaluate the quality of the service provided to all governors.
Local Management Schools The term that describes a scheme for delegating financial responsibility from the LEA to schools.
LMS Local Management of Schools
LPSH Leadership Program for Servicing Head teachers
LSA Learning Support Assistant
LSB Local Schools’ Budget
LSC Learning and Skills Council.


Mainstream school An ordinary school which is for all children. This would normally be a state school
Maintained Special School Special Schools which are maintained by the LEA.
Mentor Governor An experienced governor who will work with a new governor.
MFG Minimum Funding Guarantee.
MFL Modern Foreign Languages.
Minor Authority A parish or community council
Mixed Ability A Teaching group in which children of all abilities are taught together and not streamed or set.
MTA Meal Time Assistant.
Multi-disciplinary Two or more professional trained in different specialisms working together to provide support, help and advice.


NAHT National Association of Head teachers.
Named Officer The person at the LEA who deals with your child’s case
NAPE National Association for Primary Education, covering the ages from 3 to 13.
NASG National Association of School Governors.
NASUWT National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers.
National Curriculum Disapplication A term used where Curriculum requirements may not apply to a pupil.
NAW National Assembly for Wales
NC National Curriculum – Established by the 1988 Education Act to ensure that all pupils receive a broad and balanced education.
NCOGS National Co-ordinators of Governor Services.
NCPTA National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations
NCSL National College for School Leadership.
NCVQ National Council for Vocational Qualifications (see QCA)
NFER National Foundation for Educational Research
NGC National Governors Council
NGFL National Grid for Learning.
NNEB National Nursery Examination Board
NOF New Opportunities Fund – source of government and/or lottery funding for change, for example it funds teacher training for ICT.
Non Teaching or Support Staff Members of school staff employed by the governors to provide services in school other than teaching, such as classroom assistants, cleaners and administrators.
Non-Maintained Special Schools which are not maintained by the state, but charge fees on a non-profit making basis.
NOR Number On Roll.
Note in Lieu A document that may be issued when, following a statutory assessment, the LEA decide not to make a Statement
NOV Notes Of Visit.
NPQH National Professional Qualification for Headteachers.
NQT Newly Qualified Teacher -Teachers who obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) must successfully complete an induction period of three school terms (or equivalent) in order to remain eligible for employment as a teacher in maintained schools and non maintained special schools.
NRA National Record of Achievement.
NRWS New Relationship with Schools.
NUT National Union of Teachers.
NVQ National Vocational Qualification


Occupational Therapy (OT) Occupational therapy is the use of the purposeful activity and play to help a child attain maximum level of functional performance.
OCR Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations Board.
OFSTED Office for Standards in Education. The body which sets standards and arranges school inspections.
Outturn Statement of what the school actually spent by the end of the financial year.


PAN Planned Admissions Number – The number of children the LA (or governing body of an Aided School) determines can be admitted to a school.
Parent A parent includes any person, who is not a parent of the child but has parental responsibility; or who cares for them under Section 576 of the Education Act 1996.
Parent Governor Governor elected by the parents of pupils on roll at the time of the election.
Parent Partnership Service (PPS) A service which provides support and advice to parents whose children have SEN
Parental Responsibility (PR) Parental Responsibility as per Section 2 of the Children Act 1989. Means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which a parent or legal guardian of a child has by law.
PAT Pupil Achievement Tracker.
PBIT Primary Behaviour Improvement Team – To work in partnership with parents, teaching staff and other agencies to encourage the positive behaviour of children with emotional and behaviour difficulties: to enable them to succeed within a mainstream primary school.
Performance Management A review of teachers’ performance both as individuals and in teams. It sets a framework for heads, teacher and their team leaders to establish and review priorities and objectives.
Peripatetic teacher Normally a teacher who provides specialist instruction e.g. music at a number of schools.
PFI Private Finance Initiative.
PGCE Post Graduate Certificate of Education
PGR Parent Governor Representative elected to serve on the Councils’ Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning)..
Physiotherapy Physiotherapy is a health care profession that emphasis’s the use of physical approaches in the promotion, maintenance and restoration of an individuals physical, psychological and social well-being.
PIB Pre-Inspection Briefing.
PIPS Performance Indicators in Primary Schools
PIs Performance Indicators – measures to judge incremental, year-on-year trends or progress relative to national, regional, local or similar authority averages or top of class scores.
PLASC Pupil Level Annual Schools Census.
Plenary The time at the end of a lesson in which the teacher finds out what children have learnt.
PPA Planning, Preparation and Assessment 10% non contact time for teachers.
Professional Development Days Non pupil days set aside for teachers to attend for planning, in service training curriculum or staff development.
Progress File Formerly the National Record of Achievement. Supports pupils from Year 9 in planning their future progression.
Prospectus Document describing the school’s ethos for prospective parents. The Education Act defines sections which must be included to allow parents to compare schools.
PRP Performance Related Pay
PRS Pupil Referral Service.
PRU Pupil Referral Unit.
PSHE Personal, Social and Health Education.
PSP Pastoral Support Program/Plan for pupils at serious risk of permanent exclusion.
PSS Pupil Support Service
PTA Parent Teacher Association
PTR Pupil/Teacher Ratio, calculated by dividing the number of pupils in a school by the number of full-time equivalent teachers.
Pupil Referral Unit Any school established and maintained by an LEA which is specially organised to provide education for pupils who would not otherwise receive suitable education.
Pupils on Roll Pupils registered at a school.


QCA Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
QTS Qualified Teacher Status
Quorum The number of governors who must be present to validate the proceedings of a governors’ meeting.


Raise Online Reporting and Analysis for Improvement through School Evaluation. Online performance and assessment reports produced nationally.
RAP Raising Attainment Plan.
RE Religious Education
Remodeling Remodeling is set out in a national agreement that aims to reform the workforce. It is about giving teachers more time and support in order to raise standards, increase job satisfaction and improve the status of the profession.
Regulations Subordinate legislation deriving its authority from an Act of Parliament, legally binding on governing bodies and others.
Resolution A formal resolution made at a meeting which has been voted upon and agreed.
RI or RGI Registered Inspector (one authorised by Estyn to lead an inspection team)
RIG Rewards and Incentives Group.
ROA Record of Achievement (a document now required for all children leaving school containing a record over time of a pupil’s achievements in and out of school).


SACRE Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education. Local statutory body which advises on religious education and collective worship.
SAFE Security Action for Education.
SALT Speech and Language Therapist.
SATs Standard Assessment Tasks used for curriculum assessment.
SCAA School Curriculum and Assessment Authority
School Action When a class or subject teacher identify that a pupil has special educational needs they provide interventions that are additional to or different from those ordinarily provided by the school.   Refer to the SENCO
School Action Plus When the class or subject teacher and the SENCO are provided with advice or support from outside specialists.
School Profile A report by governors on the school’s performance, pre-populated with data supplied by the DCSF.
SCW Sports Council Wales
SDP School Development Plan.
SEAL Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning.
SEBS Social Environmental Behaviour Skills.
Secondment The release of staff on a temporary basis to work elsewhere.
SEF Self/School Evaluation Form.
SEN Special Educational Needs – policy and practice in relation to some 20%+ of the pupil population who at one or another time in their school careers experience some form of learning difficulty.
SEN Code of Practice for Wales A guide for schools and LEAs about the help they give to children with SEN
SENCO Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
SENDA Special Educational Needs Discrimination Act
Service Children’s Education (SCE) The SCE oversees the education of the UK Service children abroad and those who have significant special educational needs.
SHA Secondary Heads’ Association
SI Statutory Instrument. Subordinate legislation made under the authority of an Act of Parliament. It has the same force in law as an Act of Parliament.
SIAS Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools.
SIC Statement of Internal Control.
SIMs Schools Information Management Systems. A computer software package to assist schools in managing information on pupils, staff and resources.
SIP School Improvement Plan.
SLA Service Level Agreement – a written contract between a provider of services and their purchaser, commonly found in local government internal arrangements between one department or service and another, eg between Education Services and Schools.
SMART Targets An acronym for School Attainment Targets – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-limited.
SMT Senior Management Team.
SN Standard Number. The legally determined number of pupils in the admission year group below which the PAN (Planned Admissions Number) may not be set.
SNAP Cymru SNAP Cymru’s Independent Parent Partnership Service is free to families and offering impartial, accurate information, advice and support to young people, parents and carers.
SOP Schools Organisation Plan
Special Educational Needs Children have special educational needs if they have learning difficulties that need special educational provision. They have learning difficulties if they find it harder to learn than most children of the same age or they have disabilities that make it difficult for them in school
Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales An independent body that hears appeals against decisions made by LEAs on statutory assessments and Statements
Special Educational Provision The additional or different help given to children with SEN
Special School A school that is specially organised to make special educational provision for pupils with SEN whose special educational needs cannot be met within mainstream school.
Special Unit A unit attached to a mainstream school to cater for children with specific special needs.
Speech & Language Therapy  (SLT) The SLT is a health care profession, the roll and aim of which is to enable young adults and children with speech, language and communication difficulties to reach their maximum communication potential and achieve independence in all aspects of life.
SPLD Specific Learning Difficulty i.e. Dyslexia
SSA Standard Spending Assessment (Government assessment of what a local authority needs to spend in a given year.
SSFA School Standards and Framework Act 1998
Standard Number The legally determined number of pupils in the admission year group below which the PAN (Planned Admissions Number) may not be set.
Statementing Statement of special educational needs. A document that sets out a child’s significant special educational needs and all the additional help they should receive
Statutory assessment A very detailed examination of a child’s special educational needs
Statutory School Age A child reaches statutory school age at the beginning of the term following his or her fifth birthday.
STPCD School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document
Strategic Role Planning, in order to attain agreed goals.
STRB School Teachers Review Body. A body appointed by the Prime Minister to examine and report on such matters relating to the statutory conditions of employment of school teachers including teachers pay.
Sure Start An innovative cross-departmental strategy to improve services for children under 4 and those in disadvantages areas.


TA Teacher Assessment
T&L Teaching and Learning.
Target Setting Each autumn, governing bodies of all maintained primary and secondary schools must set targets for improving pupil performance.
Teachers TV A digital television channel and website which enables teachers and schools to learn by sharing practical ideas and information.
TES Times Educational Supplement.
Threshold Teachers may apply to be assessed to be paid above the threshold of their incremental ceiling.
TLRs Teaching and Learning Responsibility additional payment for specific teaching and learning responsibilities over and beyond the normal teaching role.
Transition Plan A plan drawn after the year 9 annual review of a Statement. It sets out the steps needed to move from school to adult life
TTA Teacher Training Agency
TUPE Transfer of Undertakings


UCAS Universities and Colleges Admissions Service a central agency for processing applications for university courses.
UNISON Union of local authority, health and other public sector employees.
UPS Upper Pay Spine.


VA Voluntary Aided Schools – A school set up and owned by a voluntary body, usually a church body, largely financed by an LEA. The governing body employ the staff, and control pupil admissions and religious education. They also pay 15% towards some building costs.
Value Added Shows the progress made by an individual pupil or groups of pupils compared with the average progress made by similar pupils nationally between the Key Stages.
VC Voluntary Controlled Schools – A school set by a voluntary body usually a church body (Church in Wales). Totally funded by an LEA. The LEA employs the staff and is the admission authority.
Vertical grouping Classes formed (in primary schools) with pupils of different age groups.
Virement A local authority term to enable monies to be transferred from one budget heading to another.
VSGA Vale School Governors Association.


WAG Welsh Assembly Government
WDA Welsh Development Agency
WLB Welsh Language Board
WLGA Wales Local Government Association



YELLIS Year Eleven Information System.
YJB Youth Justice Board.
YOT Youth Offending Team.