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SEND Acronyms

These are the most common acronyms but do please be aware different organisations will sometimes use different ones.


AAC Augmentative and Alternative Communication
ADVISORY TEACHER – a specialist teacher employed by the local education authority to give advice to schools
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
APA Alternative Provision Academy (or Pupil Referral Unit PRU)
AR (annual review) – under the Children and Families Act 2014, local authorities must carry out a review of every EHCP Education Health Care Plan
ARB Autism Resource Base
ASC Autistic Spectrum Condition
ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder
AS Asperger’s syndrome
ASSESSMENT – this involves building a picture of your child’s abilities, difficulties, behaviour and his or her special educational needs and the support required to meet those needs


BASELINE ASSESSMENT – the assessment of a child’s aptitude and ability as they start school
BEHAVIOUR SUPPORT TEACHER – a trained and experienced teacher who can advise on the needs of children with a range of emotional, behavioural and social needs. They offer support and advice to parents, children and schools
BENCHMARKING – providing descriptions of what is expected or what has been achieved
BESD Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties 
BOSS Behaviour Outreach Support Service
BSL British Sign Language
BSS Behaviour Support Service



CAF Common Assessment Framework / Form
CAMHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
CARER – for the purpose of the SEN Code of Practice, a carer is a person named by a local authority to care for a child for whom the social services department has a parental responsibility
CCP Consultant Community Paediatrician
CD Conduct Disorder
CDC Child Development Centre – where medical assessments are made of children whose development is giving cause for concern
CHC Continuing Health Care
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACT 2014 – this law came into force on September 1, 2014. Part 3 of the Act sets out the law on special educational needs and disability. 
C&I Communication and Interaction
C&L Cognition and Learning
CIC Children in Care
CIN Child in Need
CIRCLE TIME – a technique for raising pupils’ self-esteem in school
CLUSTERS – groups (usually of schools) who cooperate for training/discussion etc
CMHT Community Mental Health Team (adults)
CODE OF PRACTICE (CoP) – the SEN Code of Practice is a guide for Local Education Authorities, parents and schools about how help should be given to children with Special Educational Needs. Local Education Authorities and schools must have regard to the code
CP Cerebral Palsy 
CPI Commissioning, Performance and Improvement

CPP Child Protection Plan
CSW Community Support Worker
CYP Children and Young People
CVI Cortical Visual Impairment



DAMP – Deficits in Attention, Motor Control and Perception
DBS Disclosure and Barring Service
DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) – since 2002, schools and local education authorities must not treat disabled pupils less favourably because of their disability
DfE – Department for Education
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 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 independent disagreement resolution to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities, schools and other settings about SEND duties and provision. 
DISAPPLICATION – removal or lifting of a programme of study, attainment target, assessment or any other component of the National Curriculum, or any combination of these including entire subjects or the entire National Curriculum
DLA Disability Living Allowance – any award is based on the child’s care needs, not diagnosis
DS Down’s syndrome



EAL English as an Additional Language
EARLY YEARS PRACTITIONERS – all the adults who work with children in early education settings, whatever their qualifications
EBD (Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties) – emotional and/or behavioural problems that interfere with the child’s education

EBSA Emotional Based School Avoidance
EH Early Help
EHCNA (Education, Health & Care Needs Assessment) – 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 they may need in order to learn. It is sometimes called a statutory assessment
EHC Education, Health & Care
EHCP (Education Health and Care plan) – an EHC plan describes the special educational needs that a child or young person has and the help that they will be given to meet them. It also includes the health and care provision that is needed. It is a legal document written by the local authority and is used for children and young people who have high support needs
EOTAS (Education Other Than At School) – arrangements that the local education authority makes to educate pupils other than in a school setting. EOTAS also includes children who are educated at home when parents arrange the education
EP Educational Psychologist – a qualified professional who has had training in psychology to understand more about the ways children learn, think and behave. The Educational Psychologist plays an important role in assessing a child’s special education needs and giving advice to schools. Local education authorities usually employ educational psychologists
EPS Educational Psychology Service – the Educational Psychology Service provides assessment, advice and support to help children and young people from the age of 0 to 19, who are experiencing difficulty with their learning, development, behaviour or social and emotional wellbeing
EWO (Education Welfare Officer) – EWOs work by inviting schools to discuss children whose irregular attendance is causing concern. They then make contact with parents either by telephone, letter or home visit. Education welfare officers will always work with parents and schools to try to bring about improvements in the level of attendance and also the child’s wellbeing at school
EWS (Education Welfare Service) – the Education Welfare Service supports schools and families to meet the LA’s statutory requirements in promoting high levels of attendance and reducing unauthorised absence. The service does this by establishing and maintaining a good working relationship with schools and with families
EY Early Years
EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage



FAS - Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
FACT First Assess Communication Tool
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
FIS Family Information Service
FOUNDATION STAGE – the foundation stage begins when children reach the age of three. Many children attend an early education setting soon after their third birthday. The foundation stage continues until the end of the reception year and is consistent with the national curriculum. It prepares children for learning in year 1, when programmes of study for Key Stage 1 are taught.
FE (Further Education) – full or part-time education for people who are over compulsory school age (16 years in England) which does not take place in a school. It can take place in a sixth form college, a further education college or a higher education institution. 
FSM Free School Meals
FSW Family Support Worker



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’
GEP (Group Education Plan) – where pupils in the same group, class or subject lessons have common targets and therefore, common strategies, a group learning plan can be drawn up rather than IEPs for each child
GLD Global Learning Delay



HFA High-Functioning Autism
HI Hearing Impairment
HLTA Higher Level Teaching Assistant
HV Health Visitor



ICB - Intergrated Care Board (previously known as CCG)

IEP (Individual Education Plan) – now called ISP (Individual Support Plan) details of the additional help your child will receive, the targets set and the arrangements for reviewing progress. It is a working document for all teaching staff recording key short-term targets and strategies for an individual pupil. IEPs should be discussed with parents and the child, and they should be consulted as part of the review process. IEPs will usually be written for children who have support through SEN Support
INSET In-Service Education and Training
INCLUSION – educating children with special educational needs together with children without special educational needs in mainstream schools wherever possible and ensuring children with special educational needs engage in the activities of the school together with children who do not have special educational needs
INDEPENDENT SCHOOL – a school, which is neither funded by the LA, nor is it a voluntary aided school. Charitable trusts and organisations, particularly those catering for special educational needs, run some independent schools. They usually charge fees
IRP Independent Review Panel



JC Joint Commissioning

JADR Judicial Alternative Dispute Resolution (A SEND Tribunal process)
JSE Joint Strategic Executive



Key Stage 1 (KS1) – the level of the National Curriculum taught to children in Reception to Year 2 (age 4-7)
Key Stage 2 (KS2) – the level of the National Curriculum taught to children in years 3 to 6 (age 7-11).
Key Stage 3 (KS3) – the level of the National Curriculum taught to children in years 7 to 9 (age 11-14).
Key Stage 4 (KS4) – the level of the National Curriculum taught to children in years 10 and 11 (age 14-16).
Keyworker – someone who provides children, young people and parents with a single point of contact to help make sure the support they receive is co-ordinated. A keyworker could be provided directly by a local authority or local health organisation, a school or college, or from a voluntary or private sector body.



LA Local Authority
LAC Looked After Children 
LDD learning difficulties and disabilities
LEARNING DIFFICULTIES – a child has learning difficulties if he or she finds it much harder to learn than most children of the same age or has a disability which affects his or her ability to learn in the same way or the same environment as other children
LEARNING MENTOR – a person working in school with groups and individual children to help them overcome barriers to learning. Mentors may also be trained volunteers working with individual children through an external organisation
LOCAL AUTHORITY/AUTHORITIES – local authorities are administrative offices that provide services within their local areas. There are 152 across England which are education authorities. 
LOCAL OFFER – the Local Offer, published by every local authority, tells you what support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their families. It includes information about education, health and care provision. It also gives information about training, employment and independent living for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
LSA - Learning Support Assistant is a person employed by the school to provide support in the classroom or undertake specific work with a child or group of children who have learning difficulties. They work under the direction of the class teacher
LSCB Local Safeguarding Children Board



MAINSTREAM SCHOOL – this is a school that provides education for all children, whether or not they have special educational needs or disabilities
MEDIATION – mediation is a type of disagreement resolution. Every local authority must provide independent medication to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities about EHC plans. Mediation must also be provided on the health and social care elements of an EHC plan.
MEDIATION ADVICE – the purpose of mediation advice is to give information about what mediation involves. Parents or young people who wish to register an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability) must first seek mediation advice. The advice must be factual and unbiased. After mediation advice has been given the parent or young person can choose whether they wish to go to mediation. 
MLD Moderate Learning Difficulties
MONITORING – the ongoing assessment of work, progress, expenditure or achievement
MSI Multiple Sensory Impairment
MULTI-DISCIPLINARY – involving professionals from a range of disciplines (usually Education, Children’s Social Care and Health)



NC - National Curriculum sets out a clear, full and 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

ND Neurodiverse
NON-MAINTAINED SPECIAL SCHOOL – a non-profit making school which charges fees. Most non-maintained special schools are run by charities or charitable trusts
NT Neurotypical



ODD Oppositional Defiant Disorder
OFSTED Office for Standards in Education
OT Occupational Therapist – a person trained to provide assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for children with physical difficulties. They are able to give schools advice on programmes of support, and to advise on suitable equipment and the provision of other facilities.



PAEDIATRICIAN – a doctor specialising in the needs of babies and children
PARENT CARER FORUM – a Parent Carer Forum is a representative local group of parents and carers of disabled children who works 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
PD Physical Difficulty / Disability
PDA Pathological Demand Avoidance
PERSONAL BUDGET – 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 & Social Care. 
PFA Preparing for Adulthood
PHYSIOTHERAPIST – a person trained to provide assessment and treatment in movement and physical development such as balance, co-ordination, ability to sit, stand and walk. They are able to give advice to schools on programmes of support
PMLD Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
PMHW Public Mental Health Worker
PORTAGE – home-based, pre-school education for children with special educational needs. There is a national portage association, which provides a Code of Practice and accredited training. Portage home visitors work in partnership with parents, helping parents to help their child
PSP (Pastoral Support Plan) – to be put in place to help modify a pupil’s behaviour. They should be put in place where a child is at serious risk of permanent exclusion
PSYCHIATRIST – a doctor who helps people who have difficulties with the way they feel and behave. Child psychiatrists specialise in helping children
PSHE personal, social and health education
PRU (Pupil Referral Unit) – a centre for pupils who are permanently excluded from school. Some PRUs are able to support schools with preventative work.
PR Parental Responsibility
PP pupil premium



REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS – 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)


SAFEGUARDING – protecting children and young people from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children and young people’s health or development; ensuring that children and young people are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; undertaking that role so as to enable those children and young people to have optimum life chances and to enter adulthood successfully
S&L Speech and Language
SALT - Speech and Language Therapist or Therapy is a Health Care provision. The role and aim of which is to enable adults and children with speech, language and communication difficulties (and associated difficulties with eating and swallowing) to reach their maximum communication potential and achieve independence in all aspects of life.
SC Social Care
SCHOOLS FORUM – every local authority has a Schools Forum. It made up of representatives from schools and academies, and some representation from other bodies, such as nursery and 14-19 education providers. 
SDQ Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire
SEAL Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning
SEN Special Educational Needs
SENCO special educational needs coordinator – 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
SEND Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
SENDIASS Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service 
SEND CODE OF PRACTICE – this is statutory guidance that supports Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014. It tells local authorities, early years settings, schools, colleges, health & social care providers and others what they must and should do to identify, assess and provide for children and young people with SEN or disabilities
SENDIST (Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal) – an independent body established under the 1996 Education Act that hears appeals by parents against LA decisions on assessments and EHCPs. Parents can also lodge an appeal against a school if there is an issue around fixed term exclusions, or if the child’s parent/carer feel their child has been discriminated against because of their disability. The tribunal’s decision will be binding on both parties to the appeal.
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
SEN SUPPORT – 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
SIGNPOSTING – sometimes a service that provides information, advice and support may be asked for help that it is not able to give directly. When this happens the person seeking information, advice or support may signposted to other service providers. This means that they will be given information, including contact details, about other sources of help
SEMHD Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
SLCN Speech, Language and Communication Needs
SLD Severe Learning Difficulties
SLT School Leadership Team
SMT Senior Management Team
SM Selective Mutism 
S&PN Sensory and/or Physical Needs
SPLD Specific Learning Difficulty
SPD Sensory Processing Difficulty
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL PROVISION – for children of two or over, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LA, other than special schools, in the area. For children under two it is educational provision of any kind
SPECIAL SCHOOL – a school which is resourced and organised to provide specifically for the education of pupils with an EHC plan
STATUTORY ASSESSMENT – a formal procedure, which involves the collection of information from as many people as possible. Assessment works best when all involved, parents, school staff, health & social services, psychologists and other LA staff work in partnership to secure the best outcome for the child
STATUTORY GUIDANCE – guidance that local authorities and other local bodies have a legal duty to follow
SW Social Worker



TA Teaching Assistant
TAC Team Around the Child
TRANSITION PLAN – a plan devised following the Year 9 annual review and updated at subsequent annual reviews. The purpose of the plan is to draw together information from a range of individuals within and beyond the school in order to plan coherently for the young person’s transition to adult life
TAF Team Around the Family
TRIBUNAL – an independent body to which parents can take grievances relating to statementing procedures



VI Visual Impairment 



WTT Working Together Team (outreach)



YOS Youth Offending Service
YP Young People