Jargon buster | Oldham Council

Jargon buster


A state-funded school in England that is directly funded by the Department for Education, through the Education Funding Agency. Academies are self governing and independent of local authority control.

They are bound by all Special Educational Needs (SEN) legislation and guidance.


Someone who can speak on your behalf, express your views and wishes, and ensure that your rights, concerns and needs are acted upon. Advocates act only according to the wishes of the person they are speaking for.

They do not take their own view of what is best or try to influence the person to make a different choice.

Annual Review

Under the Children and Families Act 2014 local authorities must carry out a review of every Education, Health and Care plan (EHC Plan) and Statement of Special Educational Needs at least once every 12 months.


Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Asset-based approach

A way of helping people by looking at what they have, rather than what they lack. This approach helps people make use of their existing skills, knowledge and relationships.

It is also called a 'strengths-based approach' and can be used as a way of improving local areas, by promoting what is good about an area rather than focusing on problems.

Assistive technology

Devices or equipment to help you do things if you have a disability. The term often refers to systems that help people communicate if they have problems with speaking.

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.


The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Responsibilities include development, funding and performance of higher education, (post 16).


Building School for the Future.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

These services assess and treat children and young people up to the age of 17 with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.

Care Plan

A record of health and /or social care services that are being provided to a child or young person to help them manage a disability or health condition.

The Plan is agreed with the child’s parent /carer or the young person and may be contained within a patient’s medical record or maintained as a separate document.

Care Plans are also maintained by local authorities for Looked After Children – in this instance the Care Plan will contain a Personal Education Plan in addition to the health and social care elements.


Cognitive Ability Tests.


Child Assessment Unit, medical assessment for under 5’s.


Careers Enterprise Company. Established in 2015 to help link schools and colleges to employers, in order to increase employer engagement for young people.


Church of England Voluntary Aided school.


Careers Guidance Information. A form created and used by Positive Steps Careers Advisors to provide a summary of careers guidance the young person has received to date.


Children looked after.

Children & Family’s Act 2014

Government legislation that details the 2014 SEND Reforms.

Children’s Trust

Local partnerships bring together those bodies which provide services to children, young people and families.

Clinical Commissioning Group

Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group for Children and Adults. This is an NHS organisation which brings together local GPs and health professionals to take on commissioning responsibilities for local health services.

A CCG plans and arranges the delivery of the health care provision for people in its area.


Child in Need: Under the Children Act 1989, disabled children are described as being ‘in need’. Social Services have the lead responsibility for assessments and for ensuring the provision of services. Other services have a duty to cooperate in supporting disabled children.

Code of Practice (CoP) SEND 2015

Guidance from the Department for Education on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014.

It explains the duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges to provide for children and young people with special educational needs under part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.


The process of planning services for a group of people who live in a particular area. It does not always mean paying for services but making sure that the services people need are available in that area.

Community Schools

LA maintained schools in which the LA is the employer, owns the land and buildings and sets admission criteria.

Community Special Schools

LA maintained schools which make special educational provision with special educational needs whose needs cannot be fully met by mainstream provision.

The LA is the employer, owns the land and buildings and sets admission criteria.

Complex needs

You may have complex needs if you require a high level of support with many aspects of your daily life and rely on a range of health and social care services.

This may be because of illness, disability or loss of sight or hearing - or a combination of these. Complex needs may be present from birth, or may develop following illness or injury or as people get older.


The fact of being descended from the same ancestor.


Where children, young people and their parents/carers work together as equal partners with professionals from the local authority, health and social care to decide the outcomes they want and agree how these can best be achieved.

Designated Clinical Officer (DCO)

The DCO supports the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Therapeutic Services, Health Services and local authority partners to meet its statutory responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Designated Person

Liaises with other services on behalf of young people in care and has a responsibility to promote their educational achievement.

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 Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

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

Disagreement Resolution

Local authorities must provide access to independent disagreement resolution to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities, schools and other settings about Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) duties and provision.


Disability Living Allowance.


Disabled Student Allowance - an allowance for undergraduate or postgraduate students who have a disability or long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia which affects their ability to study.

It can be used to pay for things such as special equipment, a note-taker or transport costs.


English as an Additional Language.

Early Support

Early Support in Oldham is for children 0 - 5 years old with significant and complex additional needs or disability who require ongoing specialist support from 2 or more services from across education, health and care.

This includes children who have great difficulty communicating, have sensory, learning or physical difficulties and/ or complex health needs.

All will need additional support with many aspects of their daily lives and it is probable that there will be a lifelong impact on their development and learning.

Early Help

Early Help pathways in Oldham ensures that the appropriate level of support is put in place for our children, young people and families.

Early years setting

Maintained or private and independent setting that delivers early education for under 5’s.


Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.


Education Funding Agency – an arm of the Department for Education that manages the funding for learners between the ages of 3 and 19 years and for those with Special Educational Needs or disabilities between the ages of 3 and 25.

The EFA allocates funds to local authorities for maintained schools and voluntary aided schools. The EFA directly funds academies and free schools.

EHC Needs assessment

Local authorities must carry out an Education, Health and Care (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 and what help he or she may need in order to learn. Parents / carers, children and young people will be asked for their views and the help they need.

Early years settings, schools and colleges and any professionals working with a child may be asked for information.


Education, Health and Care Plan - details the education, health and social care support that is to be provided to a child or young person who has special educational needs or a disability.

It is drawn up by the local authority and parents/carers and the child/ young person after an EHC needs assessment of the child or young person has determined that an EHC Plan is necessary and after consultation with relevant partner agencies.

EHC Plans replaced Statements of Special Educational Needs in September 2014.


Education Maintenance Allowance.


Educational Psychologist – a professional employed by the local authority to assess a child or young person’s special educational needs and to give advice to schools and settings on how the child’s needs can be met. Sometimes referred to as an Ed Psyc.

Epidemiological Study

Epidemiologists use statistical methods to determine whether the differences they see are real or due to chance fluctuations.


Education Supervision Order which L.A.s may apply for to deal with cases of poor school attendance.


Education Welfare Officer, a professional worker who visits pupils’ homes and deals with attendance problems and other welfare matters, in co-operation with the school.


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.


Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term used to describe impacts on the brain and body of individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. FASD is a lifelong disability.


Further Education (FE) college – provide education for young people over the compulsory school age of 16.

The FE sector in England includes general further education colleges, sixth form colleges, specialist colleges and adult education institutes.


Family Fund Trust estimates.

First Tier Tribunal

You can appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) if you disagree with the local authority’s decisions about your child’s special educational needs.

The tribunal is independent of the government and will listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision.


Family Information Service

Free School

A free school is a type of Academy, which is free to attend, but is not controlled by the local authority. Free schools receive state funding via the Education Funding Agency.

Parents, teachers, businesses or charities can submit an application to the Department of Education to set up a free school.


Free School Meals.

Foundation Learning

A personalised education programme that incorporates three key components - functional skills, vocational/subject learning and personal and social development delivered at entry level and level 1 (below GCSE).

Foundation Schools

Maintained schools in which the Governing Body is the employer, owns the land and buildings and sets the admission criteria.

Foundation Special Schools

Maintained Special schools which have the same freedoms as foundation schools.


General Household Survey.


Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Established on 1 April 2011 and consists of eleven indirectly elected members, each a directly elected councillor from one of the ten metropolitan boroughs that comprise Greater Manchester together with the Mayor of Greater Manchester.

The authority derives most of its powers from the Local Government Act 2000 and Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, and replaced a range of single-purpose joint boards and quangos to provide a formal administrative authority for Greater Manchester for the first time since the abolition of the Greater Manchester County Council in 1986.

Graduated Approach (Assess, Plan, Do, Review)

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice says that schools should follow a graduated approach when providing SEN Support. This is a cycle of:

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review Assessing and identifying a pupil’s individual needs, planning how to meet their needs, putting the plans in place and reviewing regularly to check that the support in place is meeting the child’s needs.


Higher Education i.e. university level.


Healthwatch England is an independent consumer champion, gathering and representing the views of the public about health and social care services in England. It operates both at a national and local level.


Information Advice and Guidance. Careers Advisors are trained to provide local impartial, independent and up to date information, advice and guidance about young people’s future career pathways

Independent School

A school that is not maintained by a local authority and is registered under section 464 of the Education Act 1996.

Section 347 of the Act sets out the conditions under which an independent school may be approved by the Secretary of State as being suitable for the admissions of children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. These are not free to attend.

Independent Supporter

A person recruited locally by a voluntary or community sector organisation, or a Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) to help families going through an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment and the process of developing an Education, Health and Care (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. In Cambridgeshire, this is provided by Core Assets and Cambridgeshire’s SENDIASS.

Job Coach

A person who teaches and supports a person with learning difficulties / disabilities to learn all aspects of a paid job. This support can be available through supported internships or supported employment.

Key Working

A way of working which provides children, young people and parents with a single point of contact known as a lead professional to help make sure the support they receive is co-ordinated.


Local Authority.


Looked After Child.


Local Education Authority Coordinated Voluntary Aided Programme.

Lead professional

A person who is identified as a single point of contact for a child, young person and their family to help make sure that the support they receive is coordinated.

The lead professional could be from local authority, local health organisation or school, college or setting or voluntary, community or private and independent sector.

Local Offer

Local authorities in England are required to set out in their Local Offer information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans.

Local authorities must consult on what provision their Local Offer should contain.

Mainstream school

State school which can meet the needs of most children.

Maintained school

Schools in England that are maintained by a local authority – any community, foundation or voluntary school, community special or foundation special school.


Average – add all numbers and divide by the number of numbers.


A statutory service commissioned by local authorities which is designed to help settle disagreements between parents/ carers or young people and local authorities over Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and plans. Parents/carers or young people can use the service before deciding whether to appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal.

Mediation can cover any one or all three elements of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan and must be offered to the parent/carer or young person when the final plan is issued. Parents/carers and young people are not able to appeal to the Tribunal about health and social care aspects of the plan.

Mental health capacity

The ability to make your own choices and decisions. In order to do this, you need to be able to understand and remember information, and communicate clearly - whether verbally or nonverbally - what you have decided. A person may lack capacity because of a mental health problem, dementia or learning disability.

'Consent' is when you give your permission to someone to do something to you or for you. 'Capacity' is your ability to understand what you are being asked to decide, to make a decision and to communicate that decision to people around you. Mental capacity can vary over time. If you have capacity to consent, then you understand what you are being asked to agree to, and you are able to let people know whether you agree.


Moderate Learning Difficulty – category of need

National Curriculum

The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by all local authority maintained primary and secondary schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.

Other types of school like academies and private schools don’t have to follow the national curriculum. Children who are home schooled do not have to follow the national curriculum.


Not in Education, Employment or Training. Applies to 16 – 18 year olds only (participation age group).

NHS Continuing Care

NHS Continuing Care is support provided for children and young people under 18 with complex health and care needs, who need a tailored package of care because of their disability, an accident or illness and whose needs cannot be met by existing universal and specialist services.

NHS Continuing Healthcare is available for adults who meet eligibility criteria.

Non-Maintained special school

Schools in England approved by the Secretary of State under section 342 of the Education Act 1996 as special schools which are non-maintained by the state but charge fees on a non-profit making basis.

Most non-maintained special schools are run by major charities or charitable trusts.


Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. This is the body which inspects and regulates services which care for children and young people and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.


Office for National Statistics.


Projecting Adult Needs and Service Information.

Parent Carer Forum

A Parent Carer Forum is a group of parents and carers of disabled or additional needs children who work with local authorities, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meets the needs of disabled and additional needs children and their families.


A particular route or series of steps to access support or services. It sets out different roles and responsibilities and may include timescales.


Personal Education Plan – An element of a Care Plan maintained by a local authority in respect of a Looked After Child (LAC), which sets out the education needs of the child.

If a Looked After Child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, the regular reviews of that plan should, where possible, coincide with reviews of the Personal Education Plan.

Person Centred

A way of working that makes sure a child or young person and their family are central to and involved in all aspects of planning and decision-making with the professionals and services working with them.

Personal Budget

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

It can include funds from Education, Health and 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.


A benefit that is replacing DLA for those aged 16 and over. Personal Independence Payment helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill health or a disability.

Positive Steps

Positive Steps is a support service for young people aged 13-19 (up to 25 years old for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities). The service is designed to meet the needs of individual young people, helping them to reach their full potential and make a successful transition into adult life.

Preparing for Adulthood

Preparing for Adulthood is a National programme providing knowledge and support to local authorities and their partners, including families and young people, so they can ensure disabled young people achieve paid work, independent living, good health and community inclusion as they move into adulthood.

Provision Mapping

A way of identifying the range of provision available to all pupils in a school, which is additional to and different from the school’s differentiated curriculum.
It can be used as part of the planning process for children with special educational needs.


Pupil Referral Unit


Pastoral Support Programme – for pupils at serious risk of permanent exclusion.


Quality and Effectiveness Support Team.

Reasonable Adjustments

Reasonable adjustments are changes that schools and other settings are required to make in order for a child with special educational needs or disabilities to access learning.

Adjustments 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).


Raising Early Achievement in literacy evaluation.


Raising the Participation Age. RPA is a government measure meaning that all young people now have to participate in education or training until their 18th birthday.

RPA provides the opportunity for all young people to access the provision and support that they will need to learn after the age of 16.

School Action (SA)

School Action is a level of support for pupils who are not making expected progress at school, requiring action to be taken to meet the child’s learning difficulties.

The teacher will work with the SENCO to support the child in class. Parents must be informed that the child may be considered to have SEN and is receiving school action support. Progress should be reviewed twice a year.

School Action Plus (SA+)

School action plus is for pupils where SA has not helped them make adequate progress. The school will get advice and help from the LA and/or other services such as the Health Authority.

Progress should be reviewed regularly; if the child is still not progressing, the school or parents may request an assessment which may give the child an Education, Health and Care Plan.


School Condition Allocation

Schools Forum

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

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


Social, Emotional and Mental Health – category of special need


Special Educational Needs – a child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of a same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post 16 institutions.

SEN Support

SEN Support includes any help for children and young people with special educational needs 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.


Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service – independent information and advice service for families with a child with SEND aged 0 – 25 and for young people up to age 25. Previously known as the Parent Partnership Service (PPS).


Special Educational Needs Coordinator – a qualified teacher in a school or maintained nursery, who has taken additional SEN training and has responsibility for coordinating SEN provision. All schools must have a SENCo.


Special Educational Needs and Disability.

SEN Information Report

All schools have to publish on their school website the support available in their school for pupils with SEND.

Short Breaks

Families who care for a child with severe disabilities and/or complex health conditions who meet the Children with disabilities services criteria may be entitled to receive short breaks.

A short break can allow the parent or carer of the child or young person to have time away from the caring role and allow the child or young person to participate in different activities and gain new and positive experiences.


Speech, Language and Communication – Category of special needs.

Special Educational provision

Special educational provision is provision that is different from or additional to that normally available to pupils or students of the same age, which is designed to help children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities to access the National Curriculum at school or to study at college.

Special school

A school which is specifically organised to make special educational provisions for pupils with special educational needs.

Special schools maintained by the local authority comprise community special schools and foundation special schools, and non-maintained (independent) special schools that are approved by the Secretary of State under section 342 of the Education Act 1996.

Statutory assessment

The statutory assessment is a full investigation of a child's special educational needs, including health and care needs carried out by the local authority where your child lives. A statutory assessment is a legal process.

Statutory Guidance

Statutory guidance is guidance that local authorities and other local bodies have a legal duty to follow. Statement of SEN A statement of special needs is a formal document describing a child’s learning needs and how they should be met, including what school they should go to. From September 2014, Statements were replaced by Education, Health and Care Plans.


Science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Study Programme

A flexible college programme that is responsive to the aspirations of a young person, aged 16 – 19, and up to 25 years for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities. Should include Maths, English and work experience unless assessed as not appropriate for a young person.

Supported Employment

Involves a personalised approach to working with people with disabilities, including people with learning disabilities and autism, to help them access and retain open employment, with support.

Supported Internship

A supported internship is one type of study programme specifically aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 who have a statement of special educational needs, a Learning Difficulty Assessment, or an EHC plan, who want to move into employment and need extra support to do so.

Supported internships are based primarily at an employer and are intended to help young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to achieve sustainable, paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work through learning in the workplace. Internships normally last for a year and include unpaid work placements of at least six months.

TaC or TaF

Team around the Child/Family - a multiagency team of practitioners who come together to provide support required to meet the needs of a family identified through a Family Common Assessment Framework (FCAF). The team can include a range of people such as family workers, health care staff, depending on the needs of the child and family.

Technical Education or T-Levels

These high-quality technical alternatives to A Levels will be available from 2020, starting with the routes of education and childcare, digital and construction.

Transfer Review

A Transfer Review replaces the Annual Review in the academic year that the child or young person with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Learning Disability Assessment (LDA) transfers to the new special educational needs and disability system.

A transfer review involves an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment to decide what outcomes and provision need to be included in the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. This should include education, health and 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.


A transition is a time of change; this could be at particular fixed points in a child’s education for example moving from primary to secondary school, or a move between services for example from child to adult health services.

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 of Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans, as well as information for young people in further education and training who receive support as a result of a Learning Difficulties Assessment.

Tribunal (SEND)

The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) is a legal body. The Tribunal hears appeals from parents of children with special educational needs, and young people with special educational needs about decisions made by the local authority regarding Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessments and Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. You can find out more at www.gov.uk/ special-educational-needs disability tribunal/overview Glossary.


Values, Character and Citizenship Education

Virtual school A virtual school is a team in the local authority that tracks the progress of Looked After Children as if they attended a single school.

Voluntary Aided (VA)

A school set up and owned by a voluntary body, usually a religious body, and largely financed by the LA. The Governing Body employs the staff and controls pupil admissions and religious education. The school’s buildings and land, apart from playing fields, will normally be owned by a charitable foundation.

Voluntary Controlled (VC)

Usually a denominational school wholly LA maintained but with certain residual rights regarding religious worship.