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Jargon Buster

"Academy"  - A state funded school in England which recieved its funding primarily directly from and is owned and controlled by central governmnet, not a local authority. 

"ADD" - Attention Deficit Disorder. 

"ADHD" - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. 

 "Advice" - Written reports from parents, teachers and other professionals on pupil's special educational needs. 

"ASD" - Autistic Spectrum Disorder. 

"CAF" - Common Assessment Framework. A method of assessment which can be used by social services, health or education. It is non statutory, i.e. it does not replace statutory assessment. 

"CAFA" - The Children and Families Act 2014. 

"CAHMS" -  Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. 

"Care plan" - A record of the health and/or social care services being provided to a child or young person. 

"CCG" - Clinical Commissioning Group. 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. 

"Code" or "CoP" - The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015. This contains statutory guidance on the Children and Families Act 2014. 

"CP" - Celebral Palsy, physical impairment that affects movement. People with CP may have mobility problems which vary from barely noticeable to extremely severe. Those with CP may also have sight, hearing, speech, perception and learning difficulties. Between a quarter and a third of children and adolescents with CP, and about a tenth of adults, are also affected by epilepsy. 

"CSDPA" - The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. This is one of the main Acts of Parliament which entitle disabiled people to social care. 

"DfE" - Department for Education. 

"Direct Payments" - Payments made in lieu of services being provided. Direct Payments may be available for health care, social care and for the special educational provision in an EHC plan. 

"Disagreement Resolution" (sometimes called "Dis Res") - The dispute resolution service offered by a local authority to resolve disagreements between parents and the local authority. NB. This is not always an independent service and it does not necessarily mean mediation which has a specific meaning (see below).

"EA 1996" - Education Act 1996. 

"Early Years Provider" - A provider of early education places for children under five. This can include state funder and private nurseries. 

"ECP" - Educational and Child Psychologist. 

"EFA" - Education Funding Agency, An arm of the Department for Education. It allocates funding to local authorities for maintained schools and voluntary aided schools. It is also responsible for funding and monitoring academies.

"EHC needs assessment" - An assessment of the education, health care and social care needs of a child or young person conducted by a local authority under the Children and Families Act 2014.

"EHC plan" - An education, health and care plan as defined in section 37 (2) of the Children and Families Act 2014. 

"EHRC" - Equality and Human Rights Commission. 

"EP" - Educational Psychologist. 

"EqA or EQA" - The Equality Act 2010. 

"EYFS" - The Early Years Foundation Stage. A statutory framework which covers children both in pre-school settings and in reception classes up to their fifth birthday. 

"FE" - Further Education. The FE sector in England includes further education colleges, sixth form colleges, specialist colleges and adult education institutes. It does not include universities.

"Free school" - A type of Academy. 

"Healthwatch England" - 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.

"HI" - Hearing Impairment. 

"Home Authority" - This usually means the local authority in which a child or young person is ordinarily resident (and which therefore has the responsibility to the child or young person under the Children and Families Act 2014). 

"IEP" - Individual Education Plan. A plan which sets out the support a child is receiving in their school or other setting. There is no longer a specific requirement for children with SEN to have a plan called an IEP under the Code but children with SEN may still have IEPs.

"Independent school" - A school that is not maintained by a local authority.

"Independent supporter" - A person recruited locally by a voluntary or community sector organisation to help families going through an EHC needs assessment and the process of developing an EHC plan.

"LA" - A local authority in England. 

"LDA" - A learning difficulty assessment under section 139A Learning and Skills Act 2000. 

"Local Healthwatch" - The local version of Healthwatch England in a particular area. 

"LSA" - Learning Support Assistant, also sometimes called Teaching Assistant ("TA"). 

"Mainstream School" - State school which can meet the needs of most children. 

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

"Mediation" -  A method of seeking to resolve disagreements by going to an independent mediator. Mediation must be offered to a parent or young person in relation to an EHC Plan. Mediation is not compulsory for the parent or young person but they will need to consider mediation before appealing the education parts of an EHC plan in most cases.

"MLD" - Moderate learning difficulties – not a legal term but often used in relation to the description of a school, i.e. an MLD school.

"National Curriculum" - A statutory entitlement to learning for all pupils, determining what should be taught and setting attainment targets for learning. It also determines how performance will be assessed and reported. Children’s expected progress is currently determined by reference to standardised national curriculum “levels” which prescribe the expected attainment for pupils in each year group. This aspect is set to change in the near future but we expect something else to be put in its place.

"OCD" - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

"ODD" - Oppositional Defiance Disorder. 

"Ofsted" - 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.

"OT" - Occupational Therapy, sometimes used to refer to the occupational therapist. 

"PCP" - A provision, criteria or practice (relevant for indirect discrimination and the dury to make reasonable adjustments under the EqA). 

"PDD" - Pervasive Developmental Disorder. 

"Personal Budget" - A Personal Budget is the notional amount of money which an LA has identified as necessary to secure the special educational provision in an EHC plan.

"Physio" - Physiotherapist. 

"PMLD" - Profound and multiple learning difficulties. 

"Portage" - Home-based educational support for pre-school children with SEN. 

"PPO" / "PPS" - Parent Partnership Officer who operates within a Parent Partnership Service; every local authority must have one. They provide advice to parents about SEN. They range from large services sometimes run by voluntary organisations to services run by a single part-time member of staff;

"PRU" - Pupil Referral Unit - for children who need to be educated out of school, often because they have been excluded. They have the same legal status as schools in some respects but do not have to teach the national curriculum.

"RB" - The responsible body of a school. 

"SEN" - Special educational needs. 

"SENCO" - Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator - the teacher with responsibility for co-ordinating special help for children with SEN at their school. 

"SEND" or "the Tribunal" - The First-tier Tribunal, Special Educational Needs and Disability – sometimes referred to by its former name “Sendist”.

"SEP" - Special educational provision. 

"SLD" - Severe learning difficulties – not a legal term but often used in relation to the description of a school, i.e. an SLD school.

"SLT or SALT" - Speech and Language Therapy, sometimes used to refer to the Speech and Language Therapist. 

"Special school" - A school which is specifically organised to make special educational provision for pupils with SEN. 

"Studio School" - A type of Academy. 

"TA" - Teaching Assistant also sometiems called Learning Support Assistant ("LSA").

"UTC" - University Technical College (which offers academic and technical education to secondary school pupils) - a type of Academy. 

"VI" - Visual impairment.