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Jargon Buster


Educational jargon, abbreviations and acronyms

In all fields of work jargon and acronyms are used that are known and understood by employees, but not necessarily by everyone else. We know that school staff use terminology and abbreviations that may be unfamiliar and we certainly don’t want to confuse anyone. So this page contains a glossary that is dedicated to clarifying exactly what is meant.​

AfL – Assessment for Learning – a programme of teaching and learning activities which are designed to provide information to be used as feedback to modify the learning activities. Examples of AfL activities are: effective questioning, observations of students during teaching and learning activities, class discussions, analysing work and providing feedback to students.​

APP – Assessing Pupils’ Progress – a structured approach to periodically assessing maths, science, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. APP is not mandatory and schools may decide whether or not to use it.

CPD – Continued Professional Development – any activity that increases teachers’ knowledge or understanding, or effectiveness in schools.

DfE – The Department for Education – responsible for education and children’s services in England.

EAL – English as an Additional Language – refers to children whose first language is not English, and may not speak English fluently or at all.

EHCP – Education Health and Care Plan – Students who are issues with an EHCP have serious special educational needs, and will receive extra assistance in their learning. Plans outline the child’s needs and required support, and are reviewed annually.

EYFS – Early Years Foundation Stage – 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.

FSM – Free School Meals – Students on FSM will have access to extra funding to support their learning activities inside and outside of the classroom

HLTA – Higher Level Teaching Assistant – a HLTA does all the things a regular teaching assistant does but they have a greater level of responsibility, such as being able to teach classes on their own, cover planned absences and allow teachers time for planning and marking.​

IEP – Individual Education Plan – identifies the special educational needs of a child and outlines target and strategies to support their learning. Also known as a One Page Profile​

LA / LEA – Local Authority / Local Education Authority – local government with responsibility for education

LAC – Looked after Children – children who are in care or looked after by foster parents. LACs have the highest status for admissions and provisions in schools.

LSA or LSTA – Learning Support or Teaching Assistants – this is a widely used job title for assistants who provide in-school support for students with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

KS – Key Stage – the National Curriculum is organised into blocks of years called Key Stages.

MLD – Moderate Learning Difficulties – Students with MLDs receive extra assistance under the SEN provision. Students with MLD have attainments well below expected levels in all or most areas of the curriculum. Their needs will not be met by normal differentiation and the flexibilities of the National Curriculum.

NQT – Newly Qualified Teacher – a teacher in their first year of qualified teaching.​

Ofsted – The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills – the regulatory and inspection body for education and children’s care service providers.

Ofqual – The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation – Ofqual regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England, including SATs, GCSEs, A-levels, BTECs and NVQs.

OTT – Overseas Trained Teacher – Teachers who qualified in countries outside of the EEA, who may work as a temporary teacher in England for up to 4 years without QTS. Teachers who qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA may be recognised as a qualified teachers and can apply for QTS status in England. You must have QTS to take up a permanent teaching post in a state maintained school.

POS – Programme of Study – sets out what should be taught in each subject at each key stage.

PPA – Planning, Preparation and Assessment time – 10% of teachers time is allocated to PPA.

PPF – Pupil Premium Funding – additional funding allocated to schools per student receiving fee school meals.

PRU – Pupil Referral Unit – established and maintained by an LA to provide education for pupils who would not otherwise receive a suitable education due to exclusion or other reasons.

PYP – Primary Years Programme – the International Baccalaureate Primary School programme for children aged 3-12.

QTS – Qualified Teacher Status – the accreditation that allows you to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales.

RSE - Relationships and Sex Education - The focus in primary school should be on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.

SATs – Standard Attainment Tests (previously known as Standard Assessment Tasks). During Key Stages 1-3 progress is assessed against 8 levels in most National Curriculum subjects. In 2016 new KS1 tests were introduced based on English reading and grammar, punctuation and spelling (not writing), maths arithmetic and reasoning. KS2 tests cover English and Maths.

SIP – School Improvement Partner 

EIP – Evaluation & Improvement Plan – an online form which helps schools evaluate their own performance, used by

Ofsted inspectors prior to an inspection to help identity where they might need to focus their efforts.

SEND – Special Educational Needs and Disability– provision to support pupils with learning disabilities. This may be provided through mainstream or more specialised education.

SENco – Special Education Needs Co-ordinator – teacher responsible for ensuring that students with learning difficulties, emotional problems and behavioural problems receive appropriate support, overseeing the completion of IEPs and liaising with external agencies.

SMT / SLT – Senior Management / Leadership Team – consisting of Headteacher, Deputy Head and Assistant Headteachers

TA – Teaching Assistant – the role of a teaching assistant is varies but usually includes some or all of the following: working in 1-2-1 or small groups of students, supporting students with learning difficulties or disabilities, preparing the classroom for lessons, creating displays, helping on school outings or events

TLR – Teaching and Learning Responsibilities – classroom teachers who take on extra responsibility could be awarded a TLR payment if they meet certain criteria.