We have put together a glossary of different terms or acronyms that you may hear in meetings or have within documents sent to you about your child.

A - C

ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder - A special education need which impacts on social communication, social interaction, interests and behaviour.

ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder - A special education need which affects concentration and the ability to focus.

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - A behavioural disorder which includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviours.

ARP – Additional Resources provision - A range of provision where the Local Authority contracts resources in addition to those provided by the school

AR – 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

BSL – British Sign Language - The most common sign language used by deaf people in the UK

BSP – Behaviour Support Plan - A school document which is created to help a pupil with behavioural difficulties

CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service - The term for all services working with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing

CAF – Common Assessment Framework - Professionals complete this form as the first step to assess the needs a child or young person may have

CFA – Children and Families Act (2014) - The law which introduced the current system of supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities

COP – Code of Practice - A government document that schools, EYFS settings and local authorities follow when identifying children with SEN and meeting their needs

D - F

DFE – Department for Education - The national government department overseeing schools and education

DDA - Disability Discrimination Act - Lays out the duty on employers and service providers to make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities

DLA – Disability Living Allowance - A benefit which can be claimed by the family of a child with special needs

DSA – Disabled Students Allowance - A monetary allowance for disabled students to cover some of the extra costs incurred because of their disability

DR - 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.

DPF - Doncaster Parent Forum - Doncaster Parents Voice is Doncaster Parent carer forum where parents can go to get emotional support from other parents who have been through similar situations and access different events that can support them moving forward.

EB(S)D – Emotional Behavioural (and Social) Difficulties - A condition in which behaviour or emotional responses of a child adversely affect their performance at school

EHC(NA) - Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment - An Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment is an assessment of a child or young person's education, health and care needs.

EHC(P) – Education, Health and Care (Plan) - This plan outline educational needs a child has and the provision that the local authority must put in place to help them

ESFA - Education and Skills Funding Agency - Is accountable for funding education and skills for children, young people and adults and delivers the policies and priorities set by the Secretary of State. It is also responsible for the regulation of academies, further education, sixth-form colleges, and training providers.

An Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment is an assessment of a child or young person's education, health and care needs.

EYFS – Early Years Foundation Stage - The standards for learning, development and care of a child from birth to 5 years old

FE – Further Education - Education below degree level for people above school age, such as Sixth Form

FMS – Fine Motor Skills - The co-ordination of small muscles and the eyes, such as buttoning clothes

G - I 

GMS – Gross Motor Skills - Larger movements made3 with the arms, legs, feet, or entire body, such as running or jumping

GDD – Global Developmental Delay - The term used when a child has not met two or more milestones in all areas of development

HI – Hearing Impairment - Partial or total inability to hear

IASS – Information, Advice and Support Service - A provider of independent and impartial advice to parts of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities

IEP – Individual Education Plan - A school-based document which records, tracks, and reviews the support a child with special education needs receives in school

IPP – Individual Pupil Profile - A document which contains a series of observations and assessments on a child’s strengths, weaknesses, and special education needs

L - N 

LA – Local Authority - The body responsible for public services such as libraries, schools, parks, and child protection

LD – Learning Difficulties - Difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills to the normal level expected of those of the same age, especially because of a mental disability or cognitive disorder

LO – Local Offer - The SEND local offer is provided by the Local Authority and gives information for parents in a single place

LSA – Learning Support Assistant - A member of staff in a school provided to support teachers and pupils in the classroom

LAC – Looked After Child - The term for a child who is looked after by a local authority

MLD – Moderate Learning Difficulties - The umbrella term used to describe children who have cognitive ability and attainment levels significantly lower than that of their peers

MS – Multiple Sclerosis - A condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms such as problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation, or balance 

MSI – Multi-Sensory Impairment - Pupils with MSI have a combination of visual and hearing difficulties

NEET – Not in Education, Employment or Training - This term is used to describe young people (18-24) who are not in education, employment, or training

O - P 

OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - OCD is an anxiety disorder characterised by unwanted thoughts and repetitive activities

ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder - A disorder that is defined by a pattern of hostile, disobedient, and defiant behaviours

OT – Occupational Therapist - A therapist who provides support to people whose health prevents them from doing particular activities

OFSTED – Office for Standards in Education - A non-ministerial department of the government which is responsible for inspecting a range of educational institutions

PECS – Picture Exchange Communication System - An approach to developing communication skills using pictures

PCP – Person-Centred Planning - A way of planning that sees people using health and social services as equal partners in the development and monitoring of their care to ensure it meets their needs

PD – Physical Disability - A limitation on a person’s physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina

PDA – Pathological Demand Avoidance - A condition characterised by an overwhelming need to avoid or resist demands

PMLD – Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities - Children with PMLD have complex learning needs and may also have other significant difficulties such as physical disabilities or sensory impairment

PFA – Preparation for Adulthood - A section in the Code of Practice which lays out the need for local authorities and their partners to work together with young people to help them achieve successful outcomes in the long term

PRU – Pupil Referral Unit - A type of school which caters for children who aren’t able to attend a mainstream school because they require greater care and support than their school can provide

PSP – Pastoral Support Plan - A school-based programme which is designed to help a child improve their social, emotional, and behavioural skills

S - Z 

S(A)LT – Speech and Language Therapist - A member of support staff who provides treatment for children who have difficulties with communication

SEND – Special, Educational Needs and Disability - The umbrella term for children who have a learning difficulty and/or a disability that means they need special health and education support

SEN(D)CO – Special Educational Needs (and Disability) Co-ordinator - The teacher who is responsible for special education needs and disability provision in a school

SENDIAS - Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Information, Advice and Support -SEDNIAS offer free confidential and impartial information, advice and support to children and young people aged 0-25 and their families.

SLD – Severe Learning Disabilities - A very significant intellectual or cognitive impairment that impacts a person’s ability to live independently

SLCN – Speech, Language, and Communication Needs - Children with SLCN may have a single specific language impairment or experience secondary communication needs resulting from another condition

VI – Visual Impairment - Decreased or total inability to see

YP – Young Person - A person generally from 14 to 18 years of age

YSS – Youth Support Service - A local authority team that supports young people who are not receiving the standard of care of protection appropriate to their age


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Last updated: 25 February 2021 15:45:45

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