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Jargon buster

Jargon Buster

Glossary of common education and related terminology

Agreed Syllabus - The LEA's programme of study and assessment framework for Religious Education  - The syllabus is determined locally and provides the legal basis for RE in all Community schools, Voluntary Controlled schools and foundation schools without a religious character, special provision for RE is made by the Anglican or Catholic Diocese or the appropriate sponsoring body.

Appraisal - method used to assist school teachers in their professional development and career planning.

Assessment - finding out about children's knowledge and abilities in order to best plan their future learning.  This can take a variety of means such as diagnostic, formative, continuous, summative etc


Baseline Assessment - the measurement and evaluation of reception children's skills, abilities and knowledge. 

Capability Procedures - Code of Practice relating to the support and monitoring of teachers who may be failing. 

Cascading - A technique often used to impart information to other members of staff after attendance at a course or other training event. 

Case Studies - These are based on real-life situations which can be used as examples to explore, discuss and evaluate when debating educational issues.

Code of Practice - The way to carry something through, e.g. Code of Practice on the implementation of the Special Needs requirements of the Education Act 1996, Code of Practice for Health and Safety. 

CPD - Continuing Professional Development - The entitlement for all involved in education to receive up‑to-date and ongoing training and development throughout their career.

Key Stages - The four age ranges into which the period of compulsory schooling is divided for National Curriculum purposes, i.e. KS1: 4 - 7 years; KS2: 7 - 11 years; KS3: 11 - 14 years; KS4: 14 - 16 years.

DfE - The Department for Education - the government department responsible for all matters related to education and training.

Differentiation - The process of developing teaching and learning styles and materials related to the different levels of pupil understanding and ability.

EAL - English as an additional language - some pupils have English as an additional language to their home language or mother tongue.

Education Health Care Plan - A document that sets out a child's needs and the extra help he or she should get.

Educational Psychologist - Expert who works with children who have behavioural or learning difficulties.

EMAG - Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant - formerly known as Section 11 - this is funding used to support the achievement of ethnic minorities.

Equal Opportunities Policy - the school's thinking and practice on gender, race, sexuality, age and disability. 

EWO - Education Welfare Officer.  A social worker who works in an educational setting.  An EWO aims to help children maximise their educational opportunities through working with families, schools and others. 

EYFS –Early Years Foundation Stage

IEP - Individual Education Plans for pupils with special needs at Stage 2 and above on the Special Needs Register.

Induction Period - Time allocated for a newly qualified teacher's (NQT) period of supervised instruction, into the profession and their school.  In Staffordshire this is recommended to be of one year's duration.

INSET - In-Service Education and Training of Teachers - In-Service training courses provided for teachers to develop and update their professional skills, expertise and competence.

In-Service Training Days - Five days compulsory in-service training for practising teachers.  Governors need to approve the dates annually.

Instrument of Government - A legal document which sets out the constitution of governing body, e.g. the number of each category of governor which will form the governing body. 

Mentor - A member of staff or pupil who is assigned to a colleague or another pupil and has agreed to act as a first point of reference, consult and, adviser and friend in relation to a particular purpose. 

Moderation - checking the results of assessments and examinations by independent external assessors.  This helps to ensure similar standards across all schools in the marking of students' work.

NFER - National Foundation for Educational Research - Independent research organisation.  Publishes standardised tests which are widely used for assessing pupils progress in schools.

NGfL - National Grid for Learning - the national network linking schools to the Internet.

NQT - Newly Qualified Teacher - The first year of service during which the new teacher has the benefit of a more experienced teacher or mentor to help him/her develop professionally.

Ofsted - Office for Standards in Education - Supervising and accrediting body for the inspection of schools.  Schools must be inspected at least once every six years by accredited inspectors.  (Was originally every four years). 

Professional Associations:

ATL - Association of Teachers and Lecturers
NAHT - National Association of Headteachers
NAS/UWT - National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers.
NUT - National Union of Teachers
PAT - Professional Association of Teachers
SHA - Secondary Headteachers' Association
UNISON - Trade union for public sector workers formed by the amalgamation of NALGO (National and Local Government Officers' Association) and NUPE (National Union of Public Employees).


Pupil Premium: The sum of money that a pupil generates to support their learning if their family is in receipt of Free School Meals (or has been over the last 6 years-Ever 6) or if they are/have been a looked after child or if they have a family member in the Services.

Profiling - System of recording pupils' personal achievements in all areas of activity.  Used to supplement formal examination results. 

PSHE - Personal, Social and Health Education

PSP - Pastoral Support Plan.

Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) - An establishment for pupils who would otherwise not attend school, perhaps for reasons of disruptiveness or truancy. 

Quality Assurance - The process undertaken to ensure that the quality of the service provided at every stage meets or exceeds that which is specified at each stage.  All members of an organisation have a part to play in determining and guaranteeing quality.

QCA - Qualifications and Curriculum Authority - The Government Agency responsible for all matters related to the curriculum from early years to Post-16 education.

QTS - Qualified Teacher Status - Following training and a successful induction year the new entrant into teaching will be awarded this certification.

SACRE - Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - This is a statutory body made up on representatives of the Anglican Church, other religious groups, the Professional Associations and Elected Members.  Its function is to advise the LEA on matters relating to the provision of RE and Collective Worship. 

SATs - Standard Assessment Tests/Tasks - National tests and tasks to ascertain the level of attainment reached by pupils at the key stages of the National Curriculum, i.e. at 7 years at the end of KS1; at 11 years at the end of KS2

  • Aided - may be Church of England or Roman Catholic.  The LEA meets     most of the running costs but the Governors have wider powers and responsibilities.

Secondment - the release of staff on a temporary basis to work in another establishment, or for another organisation.

SEND - Special Educational Needs & Disabilities - A child is said to have a special educational need if he/she finds it more difficult to learn than most children of the same age.

SENDCO - Special Educational Needs& Disability Co-ordinator - Teacher in a school who co‑ordinates the provision for children with SEN.

SIMS - Schools Information Management System - A computer system to assist schools in managing its finances, pupils, staffing and curriculum.

Standard Number - Refers to the number the school can admit to the relevant age group in any one year.

Strategic Plan - School document setting out is priorities for the development of the curriculum, staffing structure and site over a three to five year period.

Teacher Assessment - On going evaluation of pupils progress. Formally reported to parents at end of key stages.

Threshold Assessment - performed by Headteachers to assess if teachers meet national criteria for teaching enabling them access to a new higher pay scale.