Previously known as City academies, they are all-ability schools established by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary organisations working in partnership with central government and local education partners.
A difficulty that arises as a result of an illness, accident or similar incident that happens after birth.
All statements must be reviewed annually. The Annual review ensures that that once a year the parents, the pupil, the LEA, the school and all professionals involved consider the progress the pupil has made over the last 12 months, and whether amendments need to be made to the statement.
An autistic spectrum disorder characterised by difficulties with social interaction, social communication and inflexible thought patterns in an otherwise intelligent and able child.
A 'statutory' or 'formal' assessment is used to find out if a child has special educational needs which require specialised or more help than is normally available in the child's school.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autistic spectrum disorders are characterised by difficulties interacting and communicating.
The characteristics of autism can be described as the 'triad of impairment':
- Socialisation - poor social skills;
- Communication - difficulties with speech language and communication;
- Imagination - rigid thought and resistance to change.
The commonly used terms 'autism' and 'asperger's syndrome' are autistic spectrum disorders.
Child Development Centres
Child Development Centres are usually located at hospitals. They comprise a number of professionals working within a single team, usually under the direction of a consultant paediatrician, to carry out a multi-disciplinary assessment of a child who is failing to develop normally.
Clinical Psychologists help parents and children who are experiencing emotional and/or behavioural difficulties in their home environment.
Code of Practice
The Code of Practice gives practical guidance on how to identify, assess and support children with special educational needs. All early education settings, state schools and Local Education Authorities must take account of this Code when they are dealing with children who have special educational needs.
The Community Paediatrician has overall responsibility for the good health of children in the local authority area in which he or she works.
Connexions provide confidential advice, support and information via telephone, e-mail, web chat for everyone aged between 13 and 19. They support children in the transition from school to further education opportunities, work or training.
Consultant Developmental Paediatrician
A Consultant Developmental Paediatrician is responsible for assessing and diagnosing children who are failing to develop normally. This is often done in tandem with other professionals as part of a multi-disciplinary assessment.
Something that is present from birth, and which becomes more obvious as the child grows and matures.
Differentiation is the adjustment of the teaching methods and/or resources according to the learning needs of the pupils. It can be aimed at the groups within the class or individuals. See also personalised learning.
DfES stands for the Department for Education and Skills. It is the government department that is responsible for education.
Educational Psychologist (EP)
Most Educational Psychologists are employed by local education authorities (LEAs). They work with schools to provide support for children with SEN. They may perform assessments of children with SEN and produce a report as part of the statutory assessment.
A disorder that affects the co-ordination of movement. This can affect co-ordination of the speech organs (oral dyspraxia) or other actions e.g. eating, dressing or writing.
Every Child Matters
Every Child Matters is an approach to the well-being of children and young people from birth to age 19. The programme places better outcomes for children firmly at the centre of all government policies and approaches involving children's services.
Children with expressive difficulties find it problematic to convey their thoughts through the use of language. For example a child might use the word 'table' instead of 'chair' while fully understanding the difference between the two, or use incorrect grammar such as 'I can't want play'.
An extended school is one that provides a range of activities and services, often beyond the school day, to meet the needs of its pupils, their families and the wider community.
The Foundation Stage is the term used for the phase of education for children aged 3 to 5, including nursery and reception classes. The Foundation Stage has its own curriculum based on key areas of learning.
General Practitioner (GP)
General Practitioners or GPs, also known as 'Family Doctors', provide healthcare as part of a general practice. GPs are usually the first point of contact for a family seeking medical advice.
Glue ear or 'otitis media with effusion', produces thick glue like fluid in the middle ear cavity. This may result in a fluctuating or chronic conductive hearing loss which can have an impact on speech and language development.
Each school has a board of Governors that is responsible to parents, funders and the community for making sure the school provides a good quality education.
Health Visitors are a key member of the primary healthcare team and promote health in a practice area (most health visitors cover the area of a GP's practice). The Health Visitor has an overview of how a child should be developing and will usually come to the home to offer help and advice.
Inclusion is about providing children with special needs with the same opportunities as their peers in whatever setting is best able to meet their needs.
An independent school is not funded by the state and is not part of the LA's normal range of provision.
Individual Education Plan (IEP)
An IEP sets out the special help that a child will receive at school or early years setting to meet his or her special educational needs.
IPSEA (Independent Panel for Special Education Advice) is a volunteer-based organisation that offers free and independent advice on Local Education Authorities' legal duties to assess and provide for children with special educational needs.
Key Stages (1, 2, 3 etc.)
The National Curriculum uses 'Key Stages' as a framework to explain when things should be taught to children and when they should be assessed. Key Stage 1 is 5-7 years, Key Stage 2 is 7-11 years, Key Stage 3 is 11-14 and Key Stage 4 is 14-16.
A language unit or department is a specialised resource for children with speech and language difficulties, which is usually based in a mainstream school. These settings can vary in their entrance criteria and procedures.
Learning and Skills Council (LSC)
The Learning and Skills Council is responsible for funding and planning education and training for over 16-year-olds in England .
Learning Mentors work with school pupils and college students to help them address barriers to learning and improve achievement. The work they do depends on the priorities of the school they work in but can include running after-school clubs, anti-bullying programmes or helping young people to revise.
As part of the National Curriculum, all primary aged children must now spend an hour a day working on reading and writing.
Local Education Authority (LEA)
Each council has an LEA. The LEA is responsible for the education of all children living within the council's area. In Scotland the equivalent of an LEA is called an Education Authority or EA; in Northern Ireland it is a board. In many areas, LEAs are combining with social services children's departments to become Children's Services. Children's Services will have the same responsibilities for educational provision for children with special educational needs as the LEAs.
A maintained school is a school that is part of the LA's normal range of provision. All state schools are 'maintained' schools.
Music therapists are trained musicians who have had further training to qualify as therapists. They use the experience of making music creatively to establish communication and a relationship with the child without the need for language, and to support and develop the child's emotional well-being.
The National Curriculum is a framework given to teachers by government, so that all school children are taught in a way that is balanced and manageable.
A not-for-profit school which charges fees. Most non-maintained special schools are run by charities or charitable trusts. Places at these schools can be paid for by LEAs.
Numeracy is the term used for the teaching of maths in early primary schools. The numeracy curriculum is divided into 5 strands, numbers and the number system, calculations, measures, shape and space, and handing data.
Occupational Therapists (OT) see children who have difficulties with practical everyday activities such as dressing, eating, playing with toys etc.
OFSTED stands for the Office for Standards in Education. OFSTED is the inspectorate for children and learners in England and they oversee the quality of the provision of education and care through inspection and regulation. They inspect childcare providers, schools, colleges, children's services, teacher training and youth work.
P Scales may also be called P levels. They are designed to describe the attainment of pupils who are working below Level 1 of the National Curriculum. P Scales may be used to describe the performance of pupils of any age, who may have a range of special educational needs.
Parent Partnership Officer (PPO)
Your local Parent Partnership Service offers information, advice and support for parents of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) it will also be able to put you in touch with other local organisations.
Personalised learning is about tailoring education to meet individual needs, interests and aptitudes to ensure that every pupil achieves and reaches the highest standards possible, no matter what their background or circumstances or level of ability.
A system of teaching reading and spelling that stresses basic symbol-sound relationships and how this works in decoding words.
A child with phonological difficulties finds it problematic to select and use the correct sounds necessary for speech.
Physiotherapists see children who have difficulties with movement (eg: walking, kicking a ball). The therapist will assess the child's movements and identify what the physical problems are and then devise a treatment plan.
Play therapists use play as a way of assessing and working with a child. They may provide ideas for parents to use with their children to promote play as well as speech, language and communication.
Difficulties in using language. A child with pragmatic difficulties may have difficulty understanding other people's language and behaviour, and may have problems using appropriate language for the setting.
Primary National Strategy
The National Literacy Strategy and the National Numeracy Strategy have now combined to become the Primary National Strategy. This strategy extends the sort of support previous given only to Literacy and Numeracy to other subjects.
A child with receptive difficulties has problems understanding spoken language.
A special educational needs Co-ordinator or SENCO is a teacher who has the responsibility for SEN provision within his or her school. They work with the other teachers and professionals to support children with special educational needs such as children with speech, language and communication needs.
Brothers and sisters, including half and step brothers and sisters.
Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST)
The special educational needs and disability tribunal is an independent body which will hear a parent's case if they disagree with their LEA about the child's statement or statutory assessment or about disability discrimination in the child's school.
The environment in a special school may be adapted specifically for children with moderate to severe learning difficulties or emotional and behavioural difficulties or speech, language and communication difficulties.
Many secondary schools are now ‘specialist schools' and focus on a particular area of the curriculum, for example some schools are sports colleges or specialise in performing arts. All specialist schools have to teach the full range of subjects in other schools.
Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Children with special educational needs have significantly greater difficulty in learning than most children of the same age or have a disability. These children may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age.
Specific Language Impairment
Specific Language Impairment (SLI) is a term used to describe language difficulties that are not caused by any known neurological, sensory, intellectual, or emotional deficit. It can affect the development of any aspect of language: e.g. vocabulary, grammar, and discourse skills. SLI is a disorder with long-term impact it's not just a matter of late language acquisition or something that children can grow out of. Children with SLI are considered to have SLCN as their main or primary difficulty.
Speech and Language Delay
A child with a speech and language delay develops speech and language following the normal pattern, but at a slower rate or later than usual. He or she uses language in the way that a younger child would.
Speech and Language Disorder
Any disorder which affects a child's development of speech or language skills in relation to the age appropriate developmental pattern. For a child with speech and language disorder, progress of speech and language does not follow the normal patterns of development. Also referred to by a number of terms including:
- specific language disorder;
- specific language impairment (SLI);
- developmental dysphasia (less commonly used).
Speech and Language Therapists
Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are specialists in speech, language and communication difficulties. SLTs work to assess, diagnose and develop a programme of care to maximize the communication potential of the people under their care/referred to them. SLTs also work to support people with swallowing, eating and drinking difficulties.
Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties
Speech, language and communication difficulties (SLCD) is a term used to refer to the specific problems some children and young people experience when acquiring language. See also Speech and Language disorder.
Statement of Special Educational Needs
The Statement of Special Educational Needs, or 'Statement' describes the special educational needs of a child and the help that she or he will get to meet those needs. In Scotland there is a different system whereby a child obtains a Record of Needs
Statutory Assessment Tests or Tasks (SATs)
SATs are tests that all children have to take at age 11, and 14. These are formal exams that are marked externally and the results from each school are published for parents to see.
Almost all schools now employ teaching assistants to support whole classes, small groups or individual pupils. Teaching assistants may be called other things, such as learning support assistant (LSA) or special support assistant (SSA) particularly if they support a child with special needs.
Transition is when a child moves from one educational setting to another, such as from primary school to secondary school, or from education into adult life.
The annual review in year 9 (and any subsequent annual reviews until the young person leaves school) must include the drawing up and subsequent review of a Transition Plan. The Transition Plan should draw together information from a range of professionals within and beyond the school in order to plan for the young person's transition to adult life.