People with Special Education Needs Glossary

People with Special Education Needs Glossary



People with Special Education Needs Glossary

Terminology, Acronyms and Definitions

This Glossary has been designed for parents & carers of Children & Young People with Special Education Needs and / or Disability ( SEND ) to help in understanding the use of key words within daily working conversations with professionals.
This glossary aiming to give you the reader a greater understanding of common acronyms and terms used in SEND discussions and support with their definition.
The information enclosed is not exhaustive.


Access to Work                                                                                     AtW
A programme aimed at supporting disabled people to take up or remain in employment, a personalised discretionary grant, used to overcome work-related barriers.

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.

Annual Review
Under the Education Act 1996 local authorities had to carry out a review of every Statement of Special Educational Need 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.

Gaining a recognised qualification and essential skills whilst working and earning a wage.
There are three types of Apprenticeships: Foundation, Apprenticeship and Higher.

Asylum Seeker
A person who leaves their own country of origin often for political, war or fear of life applied for asylum in another country a awaiting the outcome being concluded.




A monetary award made to individuals who require extra financial help for prospective students, a non-repayable grant.




Care Leaver ( Care Experienced )
An adult who has spent time in foster or residential care, or in other arrangements outside their immediate or extended family before the age of 18 years.

Care Leavers Covenant                                                                         CLC
A commitment to provide work based opportunities to young people leaving the care system. The scheme aims to create 10,000 work opportunities over the next ten years. Helping these young people to obtain the required skill set and experiences for their chosen job market.

Care Leaver Internship
A Government scheme offering 12-month paid internships for care leavers in the Civil Service, up to the age of 30 years.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service                                                  CAMHS
A multi-disciplinary service, that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing.


Child Criminal Exploitation                                                                   CCE
Children who are trafficked, exploited or coerced into committing crimes

Child in Need                                                                               CHiN or CiN
A child in need is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to reach. or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health or development. will be significantly impaired, without the provision of services, or the child is disabled.

Child Protection Conference                                                                 CPC

A Child Protection Conference is held if a child / YP is assessed as being at risk of significant harm. It may also take place where there are concerns about an unborn child. At the case conference relevant professionals can share information, identify risks and outline what needs to be done to protect.
This must happen within 15 working days of a strategy discussion.

Child Protection Plan                                                                            CP
A child protection plan sets out what action needs to be taken, by when and by who to keep the child / YP safe from harm and to promote their welfare.
The plan will be reviewed at regular child protection conferences until there is no longer risk of significant harm.

Children in Care                                                                                     CiC
A care order given by a court which allows a council to take a child into care.

Child Sexual Exploitation                                                                      CSE
The use of vulnerable children for adults for others sexual gratification whether for financial gain or empowerment this abuse happens to either gender.


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. 

Common Assessment Framework                                                        CAF
The CAF is a standardised approach to assessing a child's additional needs and deciding how those needs should be met. This is completed by the Local Authority.

Corporate Parents
An organisation or person in power who has special responsibilities to care for looked after children and young people, ensuring their mental and physical wellbeing. For example – the Local Authority with respect to Care Experienced YP.

County Lines
City gangs identify, recruit and exploit young and vulnerable people in county/coastal towns to assist criminal activities.


A crime in which gang leaders take over the home of a vulnerable person for the use of their criminal activity. The crime is named for the cuckoo's practice of taking over other birds' nests for its young.



Debt Bondage
A demand for repayment of an enforced debt by the use of services as security for the repayment for the debt or other obligation.

Direct payment

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. 

Disabled Care Leaver
An adult who has spent time in foster or residential care, or in other arrangements outside their immediate or extended family before the age of 18 years. Who has a physical, mental or learning difficulty.

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.

Disclosure and Barring Service                                                                      DBS
A check made on individuals criminal record when they apply for a job role that may require them to work with vulnerable children, adults or sensitive information. There are two types of DBS certificate Standard or Enhanced.

Domestic Abuse                                                                                    DA
Incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 years old or over. They have been intimated by partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. Encompassing emotional, financial, psychological, physical and sexual abuse.



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                                                                                 EHCNA
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 and 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.

Educational Health Care Plan                                                               EHCP
A legal document which describes a child or young persons special educational needs, the support they will require, the frequency of support and the provision that need to meet those needs and the outcomes they wish to achieve.


Education and Skills Funding Agency                                                            ESFA
Former responsibilities of the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to create a single agency accountable for funding education and skills for children, young people and adults.

Educational Support Officer                                                                  ESO
The Education Support Officer (ESO) role is responsible for providing administrative support to the Training Network Director and assisting with the effective functioning of the training network. Ensure awareness of relevant College training policies and procedures, and relevant jurisdictional policy directives.

Education Welfare Officer                                                                     EWO
Builds effective communication channels with schools and other educational providers to compile and maintain accurate data on attendance of CiC.

Eligible Child
Aged 16 or 17 years old. Looked after by Children’s Services for a period of 13 weeks since the age of 14 years old and currently being looked after.

Employment, Education and Training                                                            EET
A young person currently engaging in work, studies and opportunities

Emergency Protection Order                                                                EPO
A court order (under Section 44 of the Children Act 1989) giving Children's Social Care and the Police the power to protect a child or YP from harm by removing them to suitable accommodation or preventing them from being removed (e.g. from hospital)

An offender who has been released from prison after completion of a period of confinement due to their offences.



Female Genital Mutilation                                                                     FGM
A practice, tradition in some cultures, a procedure where partially or totally removing the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. An illegal act in many countries. Also known as ‘Female circumcision’, cutting and terms such as sunna, gudniin, halayays, tshur, megrez and khitan. 

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/specialeducational-needs-disability-tribunal/overview

Forced Marriage Protection Order                                                        FMPO
Used for the protection of a person being forced into marriage or in a forced marriage. A person is forced into a marriage if they are made to enter the marriage without their free and full consent. Force includes persuading by threats or other psychological means.

Forced Marriage Unit                                                                             FMU
A joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office unit which leads on the governments forced marriage policy, outreach and case work.

Former Relevant Child
Aged between 18 and 21 years old or 18 and 25 years old is still in full time education, previously an eligible child and/or a relevant child.

Foster Carers
Provide a family life for children or young people who are unable to live with their own biological parent(s) on a temporary or permanent basis, giving them a safe and comfortable environment. Providing physical and emotional needs and guiding them during the adjustment process of major life changes.

Freedom of Information                                                                         FOI
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities. It does this in two ways:

  • public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and
  • members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.
    The Act covers any recorded information that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by UK-wide public authorities based in Scotland. ( Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces.) 



A group of organised people who may be involved in illegal activities and violence.

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.

A person or persons builds an emotional connection with a child or young person to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking. Children and young people can be groomed online or face-to-face by a stranger or someone known to them.



Honour Based Abuse/Violence                                                             HBA/V
A crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour or the family or community.
Honour based violence and abuse, which may include emotional, psychological, sexual and physical abuse, is a reaction to what is perceived as immoral behaviour that brings shame, Izzat, Namous or sharaf on the family or community.




That all people, regardless of their abilities, disabilities, or health care needs, have the right to be respected and appreciated as valuable members society.

An internship is a period of work experience offered by an organization for a limited period of time.





A family relationship or other close relationship.



Leaving Care Grant
A young person leaving care and moving into independent accommodation may receive a one off grant payment, The purpose of the allowance is for the purchase of essential items for setting up their first home.

Local Authority                                                                                      LA
A local authority is an organisation that is officially responsible for all the public services and facilities in a particular area.

Local Offer

For Disabled Care Leavers:
The Local Offer is a requirement on local authorities to set out a local offer website “of all services available to support children and YP who are disabled or who have SEN and their families.”
Local Offer for all Care Leavers: a requirement for local authorities to publish a ‘Care Leaver Offer’ online, which outlines the services for care leavers available within the local authority area.
These are both statutory requirements, separate websites and separate documents.

Looked after Child                                                                                 LAC
A child who has been in the care of their local authority for more than 24 hours is known as a looked after child. Looked after children are can also be referred to as children in care ( CiC), depending on the Local Authority.



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

Mediation is a type of disagreement resolution. Every local authority must provide independent mediation 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.

Mental Health Care Plan
For people with mental illness and who have a number of healthcare professionals working with them. The plan gives an explanation by each individual professional to the treatment provided and also support of any crisis or prevention for relapse.

Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangement                                      MAPPA
These arrangement’s have been put in place to successfully manage violent and sexual offenders. The police and other public authorities have a duty of care to protect the public from serious harm.

Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs                                                         MASHs
Many boroughs have established (MASHs) developed by the Police, Local Authorities and other agencies providing a co-location for many safeguarding agencies. Facilitating early better quality information sharing ensuring vulnerable children and young people are supported effectively.

Multi agency planning meeting
A meeting convened by an assessing Social Worker to determine what actions/supports/assessments are required to best meet the needs of a child / YP.


Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference                                        MARAC
Regular local meetings at the Local Authority where information about those at high risk (those at risk of murder, domestic abuse or serious harm) is shared between local agencies.



New Burdens Fund
Local Authorities have been allocated funding to provide Personal Advisor support to all care leavers up to the age of 25 years old.


Non-Advanced Education
A full-time course no less than 12 guided learning hours per week during term time that a young person has been accepted, enrolled or commenced before their 19th birthday. The course should be delivered at a school or college, there are some exceptions to the rule, it should not be one that a young person is pursuing because of their employment. 


Not in Education, Employment or Training                                          NEET
A young person who is not currently engaging in any activity to improve their future employment prospects.



Office for Standards in Education Children’s services and Skills Ofsted
A non-ministerial department that inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people and services delivering education and skills for leaners of all ages.


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 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 a result of the educational or training intervention provided. 


Parent Carer Forum                                                                               PCF
A Parent Carer Forum is a representative local group of parents and carers of disabled children who work 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:

Pathway Plan
The purpose of the Pathway Plan is to produce a written document that records needs, identifies actions to be taken, and resources that need to be put in place to support young people during their transition to adulthood. Having a copy of the plan provides clarity and reassurance for the young person in relation to how their future needs will be met and who will provide support for them in relation to the different areas of their lives any staying put arrangements.

Personal Advisor                                                                                   PA
Personal Advisor are responsible for working with Looked After Young People and Care Leavers as they make the transition from care to adulthood, providing them with a Pathways plan.

Personal Budget                                                                                    PB
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 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.

Pupil Referral Unit                                                                                 PRU
An establishment maintained by local authority which is specifically organised to provide education for children who are excluded, sick or otherwise unable to attend a mainstream or special maintained school. Pupils are often referred there if they need greater care and support than their school can provide.



Qualifying Care Leaver
Aged between 16 or 21 years old or between 16 and 25 years old if still in full time education. Looked after by Children’s Services on or after their 16th birthday and have spent less than 13 weeks in care since their 14th birthday and no longer looked after by social services.



Reasonable adjustments                                                                       RA
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) 

A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, natural disaster and well founded fear of persecution on religious or political grounds.
This is a legal status - The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
In the UK, a person is officially a refugee when they have their claim for asylum accepted by the government.

Relevant Child
Aged 16 or 17 years old, looked after by Children’s Services for a period of 13 weeks since the age of 14 years old. Looked after for a period of time after their 16th birthday no longer looked after social service.



Safe Guarding
Protecting the health, wellbeing and human rights of individuals. Allowing children, young people and vulnerable adults to live free from abuse, harm and neglect.
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 Tribunal
See First Tier Tribunal (SEN and disability)

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. 

Sexual Exploitation
The sexual abuse of children and young people through the exchange of sex or sexual acts for drugs, food, shelter, protection, other basic for life and or money.

Social Impact Bond

Social impact bonds are contracts with the public sector or a government body that aim to improve social outcomes for Care Leavers and provide financial returns to investors. The primary structure in the deployment of social impact bonds involves investors, the government and a non-profit organization.

Social Worker                                                                                        SW
Supports individuals and their families through difficult times and ensure that vulnerable children and adults are safeguarded from harm. Providing professional relationships acting as guides and advocates helping to improve the out come of their lives.

Sofa Surfing
A person who is without their own abode, staying temporarily with various friends and relatives while attempting to secure permanent accommodation.

Special Educational Need and Disability                                              SEND
For Children and young people aged 0 to 25, it details the duties of the Local Authorities, health bodies, school and colleges to provide for those who require support tailored to their specific needs within an educational environment.

Staying Put
Arrangement’s for Care Leavers aged 18 years old, the legal adulthood age to remain with their former foster carers in their house hold. Details are set out in the young person’s pathway plan. A proportion of the allowance I paid by the Local Authority children’s services .

Subject Access Request                                                                       SAR
A subject access request, or SAR, is a written request to a company or organisation asking for access to the personal information it holds on you.

Substance Misuse
The harmful use of substances for non-medical purposes, used to suppress feelings or mind, mood altering purpose.

Supported Internship
A scheme to help young people aged 16 to 24 with disabilities and or complex learning difficulties to seek, find and sustain suitable employment.
The YP MUST have an active EHCP to be able to access the Supported Internship. The EHCP funds their place.
If they are under 25 and have previously had an EHCP which has been ceased, the Supported Internship provider can speak to the LA about re instating this.



Team around the Child                                                                          TAC
The team that provides, commissions and coordinates services to help children and families (often Children / YP in Care) requiring additional support but have not met the threshold for services under Sec 17 Children Act 1989.

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of children and young people for the purpose of sexual or commercial exploitation.

An Educational and training programme with work experience that unlocks the potential of young people and prepares them for their future careers by helping them to be work ready.






Virtual School                                                                                        VSK
Acts as a local authority champion to promote the progress and educational attainment of children in care (CiC) and Young Care Leavers (YCL) to gain educational outcomes comparable to that of their peers.
The school does not exist in the tangible sense, simply an organisation constructed for the effective co-ordination of educational services.
The CiC or YCL remain the responsibility of the school originally enrolled too.




To centre on a state of equilibrium or balance that can be affected by life events or challenges. A good or satisfactory condition of existence influencing health, happiness, prosperity and welfare.


Young Carer
Children and young people who assume important caring responsibilities for others, who are disabled, have physical or mental ill health problems, or misuse drugs or alcohol.


Youth Offending Service/Team                                                   YOS/ YOT
The Youth Offending Service at the Local Authority works with children and young people between the ages of 10-18 who are/have contact with the Criminal Justice System.




Web site to visit: https://www.bexleyiass.co.uk

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People with Special Education Needs Glossary


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