Glossary of Terms
Academies are a new type of school. They are publicly funded independent schools, for pupils of all abilities, established by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups working in highly innovative partnerships with central Government and local education partners. Their independent status allows them the flexibility to be innovative and creative in their curriculum, staffing and governance and to work in different ways to traditional LEA schools.
Qualifications Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales.
The main aim of Access programmes is to prepare adult learners from non-traditional backgrounds and under-represented groups for admission to undergraduate education. They often lead to GCSEs and A levels and are run by Colleges of Further Education. ACCESS to teaching would offer GCSE Mathematics, English and Science and appropriate A levels for Initial Teacher Training degree entry.
Advisory Centre for Education.
Association of Chief Education Officers.
Adult and Community Learning Fund.
Advisory Committee for Vocational Training (European Union).
Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder.
Schools which handle their own pupil applications are admission authorities. They send out information about the school and pupil application forms, giving a deadline for receipt. Local education authorities are also admission authorities as they are responsible for admissions to community and voluntary-controlled schools.
Advanced General National Vocational Qualification
This is similar to BTEC. The subjects offered have a vocational element such as childhood studies.
Broader-based sixth-form studies, the same standard as A levels.
Advanced Extension Award
Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services.
Arts and Humanities Research Board.
Association of Colleges.
Accreditation of Prior Learning.
Alliance of Parents and Schools.
Assessment and Qualification Alliance.
Advanced Skills Teacher.
A file that is included with e-mail.
Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
BA with QTS
Bachelor of Arts — arts degree-level ITT qualification leading to QTS. One of the main routes into primary teaching.
An assessment of a child's skills and abilities usually made by a teacher within the first seven weeks of starting primary school. It shows teachers what a child can do when starting school and helps them to plan lessons and measure progress. Areas covered include Language and Literacy, Maths and Personal and Social Development.
British Educational Communications and Technology Agency.
BEd with QTS
Bachelor of Education — degree-level initial teacher training qualification leading to qualified teacher status. One of the main routes into primary teaching.
Behaviour Support Plan
A statement which sets out local arrangements for schools and other service providers for the education of children with behavioural difficulties.
An independent educational charity established to promote books and reading among readers of all ages and cultures.
Brothers and Sisters
A rule applied by some admission authorities if your school of choice is over-subscribed. They will sometimes treat the application more favourably if your child already has a brother or sister at the school.
Basic Skills Agency.
BSc Bachelor of Science
Science degree-level initial teacher training qualification leading to qualified teacher status. One of the main routes into primary teaching.
Qualification equivalent to two A level courses. Subjects include Nursery Nursing, Business Studies and Art and Design. There are considerable practical elements to the courses with work placements offered.
Cognitive Ability Test (Produced by the National Foundation for Educational Research).
Some admission authorities give priority to children who live in an area around the school.
Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges.
Careers Education Guidance
Chief Education Officer.
Continuing Education and Training.
City and Guilds of London Institute.
The Support Society for Children of Higher Intelligence.
Childminders look after children under five and school age children after hours and in the holidays. The local authority decides how many children a childminder can care for, and childminders are able to register as part of a network to provide early education.
Council for Industry and Higher Education.
Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research.
Centre for Language in Primary Education.
Careers and Occupational Information Centre.
State schools in England and Wales which are wholly owned and maintained by the local education authority. The local education authority is the admissions authority — it has main responsibility for deciding arrangements for admitting pupils.
Schools in Northern Ireland which come under the control of Education and Library Boards.
State schools in England and Wales which are wholly owned and maintained by local education authorities.
Child Protection Issue.
Careers Research and Advisory Centre.
Continuous Student Record.
City Technical College
Independent all ability non-fee-paying schools for pupils aged 11-18. There are 14 CTCs and one CCTA — City College for the Technology of the Arts, in urban areas across England. CTCs teach the national curriculum to pre-16-year-olds with a focus on Science, Mathematics and Technology. They offer a wide range of vocational qualifications and part of their role is to innovate in the development, management and delivery of the curriculum.
These take children under five for the whole working day. Children can attend on a part-time or full-time basis according to their parents' needs. They may be run by local authorities, voluntary organisations, private companies, individuals or employers. There must be at least one adult for every eight children and at least half of the staff must have a qualification recognised by the local authority.
Department of Education for Northern Ireland.
Advocates who liaise with other services on behalf of young people in care.
Department for Education and Skills.
This is a subject guide on the Internet. In computer file systems, a directory is a named group of related files that are separated by their name from other groups of files.
The National Curriculum assessments have been designed to make sure that as many children as possible can be assessed. There may, however, be a small number of pupils who are not able to take part in some or all of the assessments, even allowing for the full range of arrangements that can be made. Usually this only happens if all or part of the National Curriculum is not suitable for a pupil because he or she has certain special educational needs. The assessments are designed to cater for most pupils with special educational needs.
Desirable Learning Outcomes.
Data Protection Commission/Commissioner.
Disability Rights Commission.
Education Assets Board.
English as an Additional Language.
Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership
Plans education locally for children below compulsory school age, and childcare for children from 0 to 14 years. One Partnership in each local education authority area draws up a plan each year which explains what local early education and childcare services will be provided and includes a list of all local providers of free early education.
Early Years Development and Childcare Plan
A local plan which sets out how early education and childcare services will be provided.
EAZ's/Education Action Zones
Groups of 15-25 schools which aim to create new partnerships, raise standards and generate innovation within education. These groups of schools receive £1million a year for three to five years. An EAZ based on a single secondary school and its associated primaries will receive £350,000 a year. These smaller EAZs are only being set up in Excellence in Cities areas.
Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.
Education Development Plan.
Education Welfare Officers
(otherwise known as Education Social Workers) Employed by local education authorities to monitor school attendance and help parents meet their responsibilities.
Early Excellence Centres.
Excellence in Cities
EiC was launched in March 1999 by the Prime Minister and Secretary of State. Its aim is to raise standards in specific city areas through targeted intervention and investment. EiC is mainly focused on secondary schools. The main programs involved are: extending opportunities for Gifted and Talented pupils, expansion of the number of specialist and beacon schools, establishing City Learning Centres, introducing new smaller Education Action Zones, providing access to Learning Mentors, and establishing Learning Support Units to tackle disruption.
Education Maintenance Allowance
European Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students.
Education Standard Spending
Education and Training Development Agenda.
European University Institute.
The suspension or expulsion of a pupil from school for disciplinary reasons.
A school that provides a range of services and activities often beyond the school day to help meet the needs of its pupils, their families and the wider community.
Family Literacy and Family Numeracy Courses
Offered by most Local Education Authorities, these courses let you and your child learn skills together, and separately, in small courses run in co-operation with local schools.
Funding Agency for Schools.
Further Education Competitiveness and Development Fund.
Further Education Collaboration Fund.
Further Education Development Agency.
Federation of Children's Book Groups
A national, voluntary organisation which aims to promote enjoyment and interest in children's books and reading.
Some admission authorities give priority to children from certain primary schools.
Further Education Funding Council.
Further Education Funding Council for Wales.
Further Education National Training Organisation.
FE Resources for Learning.
An information service for all staff working within the Post Compulsory Education sector. It aims to support individuals and organisations in making effective use of Information Learning Technologies.
In data processing, a related collection of records.
Type of state school which is run by the local authority but which has more freedom than community schools to manage their school and decide on their own admissions.
Free School Meals.
Full-Time Education and Training.
General Certificate of Education.
General Certificate of Secondary Education.
A BBC revision guide which uses TV, books and the Internet to help children prepare for GCSE exams.
Grants for Education, Support and Training.
Grant Maintained (school).
Grant Maintained Schools Advisory Committee.
Grant Maintained Schools Foundation.
General National Vocational Qualification
Vocational qualifications taken mainly by pupils age 16 and in full-time education.
Grant Maintained Schools
State schools in England and Wales which are funded by central government through the Funding Agency for Schools.
General Teaching Council.
General Teaching Council for Scotland.
Graduate Teacher Programme
A new scheme which is expected to be launched in 1998, providing on-the-job training for graduates.
Graduate Teacher Training Registry - Central agency for processing applications for most postgraduate (Post Graduate Certificate Education) initial teacher training courses.
Higher Education Institution.
Health Education Authority.
Head Teachers Leadership and Management Programme.
Healthy Schools Initiative
Government scheme to help improve the health of both pupils and teachers. The initiative includes a Wired for Health website, a Healthy Teacher focus to address occupational health issues for staff and cooks' academies in schools to improve knowledge about nutrition.
Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Higher Education Funding Council for Northern Ireland.
Higher Education Funding Council for Scotland.
Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
Higher Education Regional Development Fund.
Higher Education Reach Out Fund.
Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools.
HMI — Her Majesty's Inspector
OFSTED inspectors produce education reports which are meant to improve standards of achievement and quality of education, provide public reporting and informed independent advice.
Higher National Certificate.
Higher National Diploma — a two-year course that equates to two years of a degree course. Offered in many subject areas, mostly with a practical application. HNDs may also have an industrial or commercial placement as part of the course.
All state schools are required to have written home-school agreements, drawn up in consultation in parents. They are non-binding statements explaining the school's aims and values, the responsibilities of both school and parents, and what the school expects of its pupils. Parents will be invited to sign a parental declaration, indicating that they understand and accept the contents of the agreement.
Health & Safety Executive.
Institute of Careers Guidance.
Information and Communications Technology.
Individual Education Programme.
Programmes which are drawn up by the class teacher and/or special needs co-ordinator within a school to provide individual support for children deemed to have needs over and above that of other children in the class. This could be either due to learning difficulties or because they are considered to be exceptionally bright or gifted children.
Information and Learning Technology.
These are schools which are not funded by the state and obtain most of their finances from fees paid by parents and income from investments. Some of the larger independent schools are known as public schools, while most boarding schools are independent. Further information is available from the ISIS— Independent Schools Information Service.
In-service education and training - all teachers have access to INSET in schools, helping them to refine their teaching and management skills.
Investing in Young People Scheme
A government initiative to help young people make the best of their abilities and to ensure that they all have access to, and are encouraged to take up education or training post 16. This could be in schools, colleges or work-based training.
Independent Schools Council.
International Standard Classification of Education which was initially designed by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in the early 1970s to serve as an instrument suitable for assembling, compiling and presenting statistics of education both within countries and internationally.
Independent Schools Information Service.
Initial teacher training — most people need to take an ITT course in order to gain qualified teacher status (QTS).
Provider of initial teacher training — e.g. college/university, consortium of schools.
A child's progress through school is measured in Key Stages. Each Key Stage covers a number of school years. Starting at Key Stage 1 and finishing at Key Stage 4.
- Key Stage 1 Infant School (3-7 years).
- Key Stage 2 Junior School (7-11 years).
- Key Stage 3 Lower Secondary School (12-13 years)
- Key Stage 4 Upper Secondary School (14-16 years).
Local Education Authority
The term 'local education authority' (or LEA) describes a type of council which has responsibility for providing education to pupils of school age in its area. Their overall education remit also includes early years, the youth service and adult education. An LEA is responsible for promoting high standards of education. It is responsible for contributing to the spiritual, moral, mental and physical development of the community by ensuring that efficient primary and secondary education is provided and ensuring that there are enough primary and secondary places with adequate facilities to meet the needs of pupils living in the area.
A card issued to all children over the age of 16 to remind them of their continued access to careers guidance and information.
A free advice telephone line which offers information on adult education and courses wherever you live and wherever you want to study (0800 100 900).
League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers.
Licensed or Registered Teacher Scheme
Employment based training leading to qualified teacher status.
An hour of learning to read and write in school, broken down into various activities.
Local Management of Schools.
Leadership Programme for Serving Heads.
Learning Support Assistant.
Language Sports and ArtsColleges.
Learning and Skills Council.
Music and Ballet Schools Scheme.
Modern Foreign Languages.
Mild Learning Difficulties.
More than one concurrent presentation medium, for example on CD-Rom or website. Combination of text, sounds and/or motion video.
National Association of Advisers for Computers in Education.
National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education.
National Advisory Council for Careers and Educational Guidance.
National Association for Able Children in Education
National Advisory Council on Education and Training Targets.
National Association for Gifted Children.
National Association of Head Teachers.
National Advisory Group on Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning.
National Audit Learning Survey.
National Association for Special Educational Needs.
National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers.
National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education.
Covers what pupils should be taught in state maintained schools. The National Curriculum provides a balanced education for a child covering 11 subjects overall, and is divided into four Key Stages according to age.
National Curriculum Levels
All pupils undergo national tests and teacher assessments at ages 7, 11 and 14. The school will then send a report to parents telling them what National Curriculum Levels their child has reached in both tests and assessments.
National Numeracy Strategy
A government initiative which aims to raise standards of numeracy for all children in infant, primary and junior schools. It tries to involve parents as much as possible.
National Council for Educational Technology.
National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations.
National Childcare Strategy.
National Curriculum Test.
National Council for Vocational Qualifications.
New Deal for Schools.
National Education Business Partnership.
National Employers' Organisation for School Teachers.
National Foundation for Educational Research.
National Grid for Learning
Government body responsible for information and communications technology in schools.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.
Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.
National Institute of Careers and Education Counselling.
Northern Ireland Higher Education Council.
National Information System for Vocational Qualifications.
New Opportunities Fund
A lottery distributor created to award grants to education, health and environment projects throughout the UK.
National Primary Head Teachers' Association.
National Professional Qualification for Headship.
Newly Qualified Teacher.
National Record of Achievement.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Nursery Classes in State Primary Schools
These take children from the age of three or four and are open during school term time. They usually offer five half-day sessions a week. There must be one adult for every 13 children and staff are qualified teachers and assistants.
National Union of Teachers.
National Vocational Qualification — work-based qualification.
National Year of Reading.
OFSTED Complaints Adjudicator.
Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations Board.
Office for Standards in Education
An official body which regularly inspects all the schools in Englandwhich are mainly or wholly state funded. OFSTED inspectors produce education reports which are meant to improve standards of achievement and quality of education, provide public reporting and informed independent advice.
Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.
Out of School Childcare Initiative.
Often referred to as those rules applied by admission authorities when a school has more applications than places. They must by law be fair and objective and must be published annually in prospectuses and by local authorities in a prospectus explaining admissions at all schools in an area.
Performance and Assessment Reports
Produced by the Office For Standards in Education (OFSTED) and issued annually to schools. The contents of each PANDA report are confidential between OFSTED, the school, and the Local Education Authority, although schools are free to disseminate the information as they see fit.
Professional Association of Teachers.
A project which is testing out a Government policy over a defined period prior to its full implementation.
Portable Document Format
A file that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print or forward to someone else. It is created using Adobe Acrobat software. Acrobat Reader is needed to view and use the files.
Personal Education Plan (PEP)
PEPs are schemes developed for young individuals in public care, designed to support their education.
The Department for Education and Skills publishes comparative secondary and 16-18 performance tables each year. The tables report achievements in public examinations and vocational qualifications in secondary schools and Further Education sector colleges. Primary school performance tables are published by local education authorities and report the achievements of pupils at the end of Key Stage 2.
Postgraduate Certificate of Education — postgraduate-level Initial Teacher Training qualification.
Parents Information Network.
The time at the end of a lesson in which the teacher finds out what children have learnt and re-emphasises the main points of the lesson.
Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties.
These generally take children between the ages of three and five and most offer half-day sessions. Usually non-profit making and managed by volunteers and parents. There must be at least one adult for every eight children and at least half of the adults must be qualified leaders or assistants.
Private nursery schools
These take children between the ages of two and five and offer half or full-day sessions and some stay open in the school holidays. There must be at least one adult for every 13 children and at least half of the staff must be qualified teachers.
A school's prospectus is a brochure containing useful facts and figures, which the governing body must publish each year for parents and prospective parents. Ministers set minimum requirements for content, so that parents can easily make comparisons between different schools. Copies will be available at the school for reference or free of charge to parents on request.
Potential Schools Budget
Personal and Social Education.
Personal, Social and Health Education.
Parent Teacher Association.
Pupil Teacher Ratio
Pupils with statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN)
These statements describe any learning difficulties which pupils have, and specify the extra help or equipment they need. Around 3% of school pupils nationally have statements. Some pupils with special educational needs are academically able. But schools face challenges in achieving Level 4 at Key Stage 2 for many pupils with SEN. The information on the numbers of pupils with SEN in each school helps you take this into account when looking at the school's results.
Pupils without statements
These are other pupils registered as having special educational needs but whose schools meet the pupils' needs without statements.
Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
Qualifications Data Collection Steering Group.
Qualified teacher status
The professional status you need to obtain to teach in state maintained schools in England and Wales. QTS is normally awarded after successful completion of an Initial Teacher Training course.
Quality in Education and Training Associates.
Reception Classes in State Primary Schools
These take children at four and five, some starting children off with half-day sessions. There must be at least one adult for every 13 children. Staff are qualified teachers and assistants.
Race Employment and Education Forum.
Rewards and Incentives Group (RIG)
On 9thJanuary 2004 the Government, Employers' Organisation and the ATL, NAHT, NASUWT, PAT and SHA signed the Agreement on Rewards and Incentives for Post-Threshold Teachers and Members of the Leadership Group. http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/docbank/index.cfm?id=6075 (new window)
The RIG, comprising the signatories to the January Agreement, has been working since February 2004 towards the successful implementation of its provisions and towards the School Teachers Review Body's (STRB) longer term vision by considering what further reform is necessary to enable schools to better use the pay and performance management systems to meet the objectives of raising standards and rewarding teachers.
Current RIG membership:
National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers
Association of School and College Leaders
Association of Teachers and Lecturers
Department for Education and Skills
National Employers Organisation for School Teachers
Professional Association of Teachers
Remodelling is set out in a national agreement signed by the Secretary of State that aims to reform the school workforce. It is about giving teachers more time, extra support and renewed leadership.
Register of Independent Schools.
Special Agreement School.
School Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
School-Centred Initial Teacher Training
School-based teacher training course leading to Qualified Teacher Status.
Scottish Vocational Educational Qualification equivalent to BTEC and Advanced GNVQ.
Scottish Executive Education Department.
Scottish schools which are equivalent to grant-maintained schools in England.
SEN/Special Educational Needs
This denotes any child that has been identified as having some form of educational need either as a result of learning difficulty or if they are deemed as particularly bright or gifted. These children receive additional support either from within the school or outside agencies. Consult the DfES booklet SEN: A Guide for Parents if you think your child may have special educational needs.
Special Educational Needs Coordinator.
Society of Education Officers.
Secondary Heads Association.
Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.
Schools Information Management Systems.
Student Loans Company.
Severe Learning Difficulties.
Students with Learning Difficulty and/or Disability.
Senior Management Team.
Schools Organisation Committee.
Scottish Office Education and Industry Department.
Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers.
State schools in England and Wales which are provided by local education authorities for certain children with special educational needs.
This type of school includes technology, languages, sports and art colleges operating in England.
Specialist Schools Programme
Additional funding enables secondary schools to develop strengths in a particular subject area, supported by local industry and in partnership with local schools and the wider community to share resources and expertise, while still delivering a National Curriculum-based education.
Scottish Qualifications Agency.
Safer Routes to School
A government initiative to make the environment safer to encourage children to walk or cycle to school, thereby avoiding school car runs. Schools and local education authorities work with local community and transport planners to facilitate safer routes to school.
Social Services Department.
Secondary Subject Shortage Scheme.
Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association.
State Nursery Schools
These take children from the age of three or four and are open during school term time and normally offer five half-day sessions a week. There must be at least one adult for every 13 children. Staff are qualified teachers and assistants.
Otherwise known as publicly funded schools and attended by over 90 per cent of pupils. Parents do not pay any fees. Scottish state schools are maintained and controlled by the local education authority.
School Teachers Review Body.
Voluntary learning activity outside normal lessons which aims to improve children's motivation, build their self-esteem and help them to become more effective learners.
A new, innovative cross-departmental strategy to improve services for children under four and their families in disadvantaged areas. Over the next three years it will support the development of at least 250 local programmes across England. These programmes will involve parents and carers as much as possible.
Scottish Vocational Qualifications.
Technology College Trust.
A formal assessment made by a teacher when your child is aged 7, 11 and 14. Used alongside the national tests to judge a child's educational progress.
Training and Enterprise Council.
Times Educational Supplement.
The National Assembly for Wales
The body responsible for education policy in Wales.
Times Higher Education Supplement.
Teacher's Pension Scheme.
Teaching Quality Assessment.
Teacher Training Agency
Responsible for raising standards in schools in England by attracting able and committed people to teaching and by improving the quality of teacher training.
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service — central agency for processing applications for undergraduate courses including degree level initial teacher training courses (BEd, BA/BSc with qualified teacher status).
University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate.
Universities Funding Council.
University for Industry.
UK Council for Overseas Student Affairs.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Visual Display Unit.
Vocational and Educational Training.
Virtual Teacher Centre
A service for schools professionals providing news, support for professional development and the facility to search resources across the National Grid for Learning.
Voluntary aided school
Schools in England and Wales which are maintained by the Local Education Authority, with a foundation (generally religious) which appoints most of the governing body. The governing body is the admissions authority.
Voluntary controlled school
Schools in England and Wales which are maintained by the Local Education Authority, with a foundation (generally religious) which appoints some — but not most — of the governing body. The LEA is the admissions authority.
Voluntary grammar schools
Grant-maintained, integrated schools in Northern Ireland which take both Protestant and Roman Catholic pupils
Voluntary Maintained Schools
Schools in Northern Ireland which are mainly managed by the Catholic Church.
WAMG - Workforce Agreement Monitoring Agreement
WAMG is a unique partnership of 11 organisations representing employers, the government and school workforce unions as signatories of the national agreement signed on 15 January 2003.