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Jargon Buster


Academies - Academies are independent state-funded schools. These schools have more freedom over their finances, the curriculum they teach and teachers’ pay and conditions. These schools are funded directly by central government rather than by the local authority. Some academies are sponsored and these sponsors can come from a range of backgrounds (businesses, other successful schools, universities, charities and faith bodies). Sponsors are held accountable for improving the performance of their schools.

AfL - Assessment for Learning. Day-to-day assessments which include effective questioning; observations of children during teaching and while they are working; holding discussions with children; analysing work and reporting to children; conducting tests and giving quick feedback. It is based on the idea that pupils will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim (or close the gap in their knowledge).

APP - Assessing Pupils' Progress. APP is a structured approach to periodically assessing maths, science, reading, writing and speaking and listening skills.

ASSESSMENT - Finding out about children’s knowledge and abilities in order to best plan their future learning.

ATTAINMENT TARGETS - For each National Curriculum subject there are written statements of what pupils should be taught and be able to do at each level of attainment.



BASELINE ASSESSMENT - Small tasks or tests to determine what children can do before they enter Year One and begin to access the National Curriculum.

BRITISH VALUES - As part of their SMSC curriculum (see below), schools should promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.



COMMUNITY GOVERNOR - A person appointed as a governor whom the Governing Body considers to be committed to the good government and success of the school. This person may or may not live or work in the community served by the school.

COMMUNITY SCHOOL - A state school in England and Wales that is wholly owned and maintained by the Local Authority.

CO-OPTED GOVERNOR - A governor appointed by the Governing Body, under 2012 Constitution regulations.



DfE - The Department for Education. It is responsible for education and children's services in England. “The purpose of the DfE is to make this the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up. We want to make children and young people happy and healthy; keep them safe and sound; give them a top class education; help them stay on track.” (DfE website)



EAL - English as an Additional Language. This refers to children whose first language(s) is/are not English and who may not yet be speaking English fluently or even at all.

EBD - Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.

EHC PLAN - Education, Health and Care Plan. Introduced in September 2014 to replace Statements of Educational Needs (see below). EHC plans are for children and young people who have a special educational need or disability that cannot be met by support that is usually available in a school or college.

ELGs - Early Learning Goals. These set out the learning and development skills most children should have achieved by the end of the school Reception year.

ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages or English as a Second or Other Language. If English is not your main language you can take part in a course to help you improve your English. These courses are called ESOL.

EWO - Education Welfare Officer. A person employed by the Local Authority to help parents and the Local Authority meet their statutory obligations in relation to school attendance.

EXCLUSION - A child may be excluded from school by the head teacher if they act in a way that prevents the teaching and learning of the school community.

EYFS - Early Years Foundation Stage. A framework for care and education of children from birth to five years of age.



FSM - Free School Meals. Children whose parents are on certain benefits will qualify for free school meals. Applications are made to the Local Authority. It is also used as a marker of which pupils bring extra funding for the school (pupil premium - see below) and to help monitor how well these children perform academically, so it is important beyond just identifying who will receive free lunches.

All children in the EYFS Reception Class and KS1 receive free lunches, regardless of their parents' financial circumstances but they will still be registered in the same way.



G & T - Gifted and Talented. Schools used to have to keep a list or register of those who were 'gifted' (academically at the top of the cohort - usually the top 10%) or 'talented' (exceptionally good at something non-academic like sport or music). This is no longer obligatory but some schools continue to do so and might also offer extra activities or classes to G&T children.

GOVERNOR/GOVERNING BODY - In state schools, governors have responsibility for raising school standards through their three key roles of setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and monitoring and evaluating school performance. The Governing Body holds the Headteacher to account for the overall success of the school and works in the capacity of a ‘critical friend’ of the school – supporting the school to be the best that it can.



HLTA - Higher Level Teaching Assistant. An HLTA is further qualified to support the class teacher in undertaking specific roles such as teaching the whole class during PPA time or delivering whole class areas of learning.



INCLUSION - A process by which schools, local authorities and other develop their cultures, policies and practices to include all pupils.

INSET - In-Service Education and Training. All schools in England have five days every year when they are closed to pupils to allow for staff training. They are an important part of staff training and development, ensuring that staff stay up to date with the latest developments in education. Schools can choose when they hold these, so dates vary but they are often held on the last or first day of a term/half term.

INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT - A legal document detailing the composition of a governing body of a school.



KS1 - Key Stage 1. Pupils in Year One and Year Two, aged 5-7 years old.

KS2 - Key Stage 2. Pupils in Year Three, Year Four, Year Five and Year Six, aged 7-11 years old.



LA or LEA - Local Authority or Local Education Authority.

LEA GOVERNOR - A person appointed as a governor by the Local Education Authority.

LEARNING MENTOR - School staff who work with teaching and pastoral staff to assess, identify and work with those pupils who need extra help to overcome barriers to learning inside and outside school.



MFL - Modern Foreign Languages. The learning of a modern foreign language became compulsory in primary schools in 2014. At Belmont School the children learn French.

MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulties.



NATIONAL CURRICULUM - A framework which sets out what pupils should be learning. Teachers plan and deliver lessons based on the National Curriculum. It provides a broad and balanced education for all children, covering 12 subjects overall, and is divided into four key stages according to age. It includes statutory assessments, consisting of tests and teacher assessments, at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 and teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 3.

NON-TEACHING STAFF - Members of school staff employed to provide services in a school other than teaching, such as teaching assistants, cleaners and school secretaries.

NQT - Newly Qualified Teacher.



OFSTED - The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills is an independent organisation, which reports directly to Parliament. Ofsted inspects and regulates services, which care for children and young people and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages. Ofsted sets out to raise standards in British schools through regular inspections.



PAN - Published Admission Number. The fixed number of children which a school must admit if sufficient applications are received, as published by the admission authority for the school. The PAN may be less than the indicated admission number, but the admission authority would need to publish a notice to enable parents to object to the Schools Adjudicator.

PARENT GOVERNOR - A parent elected by other parents of children at a school to serve on the Governing Body.

PE and SPORT PREMIUM - Funding given which is designed to help primary schools improve the quality of the Physical Education and sport activities they offer their pupils.

PPA - Planning, Preparation and Assessment Time. This is a statutory 10% (per week) non-contact time for teaching staff to enable planning, assessment and preparation. In practice, typically this means the class teacher in a primary school will not teach in the classroom for half a day a week and a supply teacher or another member of staff will take over with the children.

PRU - Pupil Referral Unit (or Pupil Re-integration Unit in some Local Education Authorities). This is an establishment maintained by a Local Authority which is specifically organised to provide education for children who are excluded, sick, or otherwise unable to attend a mainstream or special maintained school.

PSHE - Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education. It is a planned programme of learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. The benefits to pupils of such an approach are numerous as PSHE prepares them to manage many of the most critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up in such rapidly changing and challenging times. It also helps them to connect and apply the knowledge and understanding they learn in all subjects to practical, real-life situations while helping them to feel safe and secure enough to fulfill their academic potential.

PUPIL PASSPORT - A document used to support pupils with special educational needs (SEN). All children on the Special Needs Register have a pupil passport to help them achieve the most from their education. These are updated regularly and involve parents, teachers and the child themselves.

PUPIL PREMIUM - Additional funding given to schools for children who are from disadvantaged homes (as defined by their eligibility for free school meals at any time in the last six years - see above). It also applies to those who are or have been in Local Authority care or who have a parent in the armed forces. The aim of this funding is to ensure that these pupils benefit from the same opportunities as all other children.

PSP - Pastoral Support Plan. A document used to support positive behaviour.



QTS - Qualified Teacher Status.



RE - Religious Education; the teaching of faiths and beliefs. Teaching focusses on Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.



SALT - Speech and Language Therapist. The roll and aim of which is to enable young adults and children with speech, language and communication difficulties to reach their maximum communication potential and achieve independence in all aspects of life.

SATs - Standard Attainment Tests/Tasks. National Curriculum Tests and Tasks which take place at the end of Key Stage 1 and at the end of Key Stage 2.

SEND - Special Educational Needs and Disability. The Code of Practise 2014 states ‘A child has SEND where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, that is provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. Provision to support pupils who experience difficulties with their learning.' In the majority of instances, these are undertaken in school under the guidance of the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). Outside agencies may become involved if the school and/or parents feel is will be of benefit to the child.

SENDCo - Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator.

SDP - School Development Plan. This is a projection of what a school hopes to achieve within a prescribed time limit. It includes all areas of school life from the curriculum to the school building and environment.

SLD - Severe Learning Difficulties.

SLT - Senior Leadership Team. This consists of the Headteacher, Deputy/Assistant Head and possibly other senior members of staff

SMSC - Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. All schools in England must show how well their pupils develop in SMSC.

SRE - Sex and Relationships Education. Although this is not compulsory in primary schools, the vast majority teach SRE as part of a broader PHSE curriculum in addition to their science curriculum.

STAFF GOVERNOR - Teacher or person working at the school who is elected as a governor by people who are paid to work at the school.

STATEMENT OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS - A written statement of a child’s special educational needs and all the extra help that he or she should receive. The arrangements are made by the Local Authority. From September 2014, Statements of Educational Needs were replaced by Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans, see above).



TARGET - The individual goals set for a child. Targets are a way of checking a child’s progress.

TEACHER ASSESMENT - The teachers’ judgement about what national curriculum level a child is attaining. This judgement will be made based on evidence gathered over a period of time and from a range of pieces of work, together with test results. It is usually a more reliable judgement of a child’s attainment than a test result alone.

TA - Teaching Assistant. The main role of a TA is to support learning alongside a teacher. They may work with small groups of children or individuals to best help learning. TAs may also lead intervention programmes designed to help children. Sometimes a child with special needs will be assigned an individual TA to help them.



UNAUTHORISED ABSENCE - This occurs when the school has not given permission for the absence of a pupil. Where the reason for it cannot be established at registration, the absence shall be recorded as unauthorised. Any subsequent correction to the register recording absence as authorized shall be made in such a manner that the original entry and the correction are both clearly distinguishable.



VALUE ADDED - This is the progress that schools help pupils make relative to their individual starting points.



YEAR 1 PHONICS SCREENING CHECK - This is designed to give teachers and parents information on how children are progressing in phonics. It helps to identify whether a child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.