Academy – a state funded school in England, directly funded by the Department of Education. Academies are self governing and independent of control from the local authority.
Annual review – the review of an EHCP which the local authority has a duty to organise every 12 months, as a minimum.
Care plan – a record of health or social care services that are being provided to your child or to the young person.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS): assessing and treating children and young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health problems. This includes assessment and diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder.
Compulsory school age – a child is of compulsory school age from the beginning of the term following their 5th birthday until the last Friday of June in the year in which they become 16, provided that their 16th birthday falls before the start of the next school year.
Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) – an allowance for undergraduate or post graduate students who have a disability or long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia which can impact their ability to study. It can be used to pay for things such as special equipment, a note taker, or transport costs.
Early help assessment – a social care assessment of a child and his or her family to identify needs at an early stage and enable suitable support to be put in place.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) – this begins when children reach the age of three. Many children attend an early education setting soon after their third birthday. This stage continues through nursery until the end of reception year and prepares children for learning in year 1. It is consistent with the National Curriculum.
Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) – details the education, health and social care support that is to be provided for a child or young person with SEN or a disability. It is managed by the LA after an EHC needs assessment.
First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (SENDIST) – independent body which has jurisdiction under Section 333 of the Education Act 1996 for determining appeals by parents against LA decisions on EHC needs assessments and plans. It also hears claims of disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
Free school – a type of academy which is free to attend, but not controlled by the LA. They receive state funding via the Education Funding Agency. Parents, teachers, businesses or charities can apply to the Department of Education to set up a free school.
Graduated approach – a model of action and interaction in early education settings, schools, and colleges to help those who have SEN. The approach recognises there is a continuum of SEND, and that where necessary, increasing specialist expertise should be brought to bear on the difficulties that a child or young person may be facing.
Independent school – a school that is not maintained by the LA and is registered under S464 of the Education Act 1996. The Act sets out the conditions under which an independent school may be approved by the Secretary of State as being suitable for the admissions of children with EHCPs.
Information, Advice and Support Services – these provide information and advice to children and young people with SEND. Known as SENDIASS in the context of SEND, they provide neutral and factual support on the system. Although they are funded by the LA, they are typically run either at arm’s length from the LA or by a voluntary organisation to enable families to have confidence in them.
Local Offer – LA are required to set out in a website entitled Local Offer the provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people with SEND in their area, including for those who do not have an EHCP. The LA must consult with families on what provision the Local Offer should contain. The LA is scrutinised by Ofsted for its availability, quality of information, the extent to which parents have been consulted and how they are able to access it.
Maintained school – schools in England that are maintained by the LA, including special schools.
National Curriculum – the clear, full and statutory entitlement to learning for all pupils, determining what should be taught and setting attainment targets for earning, and how performance will be assessed and reported.
Non-maintained special school – schools in England approved by the Secretary of State under S342 of the Education Act 1996 as special schools which are not maintained by the state but charge fees on a non-profit making basis. Most are run by major charities or charitable trusts.
Ofsted – Office for Standards in Education, a non-ministerial government department responsible for inspections of schools and LA children’s and SEND services.
Parent – Under Section 576 of the Education Act 1996, the term ‘parent’ includes any person who is not a parent of the child, but has parental responsibility or who cares for him or her.
Personal Budget – the amount of money identified by the LA to deliver provision set out in an EHCP where the parent or young person is involved in securing the provision.
Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) – any school maintained by a LA under Section 19 (2) of the Education Act 1996 which is specially organised to provide education for pupils who struggle to attend school due to illness, exclusion or any other reason.
Special Educational Needs (SEN): a child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO): a qualified teacher in a school or maintained nursery school who has responsibility for coordinating SEN provision. In a small school, the headteacher or deputy may take on this role. In larger schools there may be a team of SENCOs. Other early years settings in group provision arrangements are expected to identify an individual to perform the role of SENCO and childminders are encouraged to do so, possibly sharing the role between them where they are registered with an agency.
Special educational provision: provision that is different from or additional to that normally available to students or pupils of the same age, which is designed to help children and young people with SEN or disabilities to access the National Curriculum at school or to study at college.
Special school: specifically organised to make special educational provision for pupils with SEN. Special schools maintained by the local authority comprise community special schools and foundation special schools and non-maintained (independent) special schools that are approved by the Secretary of State under Section 342 of the Education Act.
Speech and language therapy: a health care profession, the role and aim of which is to enable children, young people and adults with speech and language difficulties (and associated difficulties with eating and swallowing) to reach their maximum communication potential
Young person – in the context of SEND is a person over compulsory school age and under the age of 25. Compulsory school age ends on the last Friday in June in the academic year in which they turn 16 years of age.