We have put together this list to help you navigate the maze of SEND language, jargon and acronyms that you may come across. Please let us know of any others so that we can update this list.

ABA – Applied Behaviour Analysis.
Academy – A state funded school in England which receives its funding from and is owned and controlled by central government, not a local authority.
ADHD / ADD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder / Attention Deficit Disorder
ADOS – Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule
AEN – Additional Educational Needs
Aiming High – activities for children and young people with SEND offered by the LA.
Annual Review – The process of ensuring that an Education, Health and Care plan continues to describe the child’s needs and how they should be met through a meeting held once each year.
Apprenticeship – A paid job that includes training, leading to nationally recognised qualifications.
ARMS – Additionally Resourced Mainstream School
ASD/ASC – Autistic Spectrum Disorder/Autistic Spectrum Condition.

BESD – Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties – this term has been replaced by SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health)
Blue Badge – The Blue Badge scheme helps you park closer to your destination if you’re disabled. Apply to your local Council.
BSL – British Sign Language

CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health services, provided by the NHS.
Care Plan – A record of the health and/or social care services being provided to a child or young person.
Carer’s allowance – A means-tested benefit awarded if you are caring for someone for at least 35 hours a week.
CCG – Clinical Commissioning Group – Plans and arranges the delivery of health care provision for people in its area.
Children & Families Act 2014 – An Act which reforms legislation to introduce changes that affect how children and young people with special education needs and disabilities get the services and support they need.
Children’s disability Team – Social Care team
Code of Practice 2015 – A document designed to help families, schools, local authorities, health services and other organisations make effective decisions regarding children with special educational needs and disabilities. This contains statutory guidance on the Children and Families Act 2014.
Commissioners – The people responsible for choosing and providing contracts with service providers.
Co-production – Equal partnership working between service providers, those in receipt of the service and their families.
CP – Cerebal Palsy. Physical impairment that affects movement. Mobility problems may vary from barely noticeable to extremely severe. Those with CP may also have sight, hearing, speech, perception and learning difficulties.
CSDPA – The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. This is one of the main acts of parliament that entitles disabled people to social care.
CYP – children and young people.

DfE – Department for Education
Differentiation – The way in which the early years setting/school’s curriculum and teaching methods are adapted to meet the needs of an individual child.
Direct Payments – Payments that allow you to choose and buy the services you need yourself, instead of them being provided by the LA. Direct Payments may be available for health care, social care and for the special educational provision in an EHC plan.
Disagreement Resolution Service – a service offered by a local authority to resolve disagreements between parents and the local authority.
DLA – Disability Living Allowance. Non means-tested benefit for under 16’s whose disabilities mean they require significantly more care than a typical child of the same age. This has been replaced by PIP (Personal Independence Payments) for adults, but children up to 16 still qualify for DLA.

Early Help Assessment – An early assessment and planning tool to facilitate multi agency support. This replaces the CAF (Common Assessment Framework).
Early Years – Birth to five years
Early Years Settings – All state funded and private pre-school education provision, such as nursery classes and schools, day nurseries and childminders.
EHCNA – An assessment of the education, health care and social care needs of a child or young person conducted by a local authority under the Children and Families Act 2014. The outcome of this determines whether a CYP is awarded and EHCP.
EHC Plan/EHCP – Education, Health and Care Plan
EHE – Elective Home Education
EHRC – Equality and Human Rights Commission. Statutory body responsible for promoting equality and diversity.
ENT – Ear, nose and throat.
EOTAS – Education Otherwise Than at School
EP – Educational Psychologist. A professional employed by the local authority to assess a child’s special educational needs and to give advice to school settings on how these needs can be met.
EqA or EQA – The Equality Act 2010
ESFA – Education and Skills Funding Agency
EWO – Education Welfare Officer
EYFS – Early Years Foundation Stage. The framework used by all early years’ settings which sets out standards to support learning and development until the end of the reception year at school.

FE – Further Education. Full or part-time education for people beyond KS5. The FE sector in England includes further education colleges, specialist colleges and adult education institutes. It does not include universities.
Free School – A type of Academy.

GDD – Global Developmental Delay
Graduated Response – When a pupil is identified as having SEN, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective provision in place. This SEN support should take the form of a four-part cycle (assess, plan, do, review) to help gain a better understanding of the pupil’s needs and tailor support accordingly. Schools must show evidence of a graduated response whereby they have sought advice, put appropriate interventions in place and evaluated progress before requesting additional or alternative provision through an EHCNA.

Healthwatch England – An independent consumer champion, gathering and representing the views of the public about health and social care services in England. It operates both at a national and local level.
HI – Hearing impairment
Home Authority – This usually means the local authority in which a child or young person is ordinarily resident and which therefore has the responsibility to the child or young person under the Children and Families Act 2014.

IEP – Individual Education Plan. A plan written by a teacher/SENCO, outlining the way the child’s needs are being met, setting SMART targets and shared with parents.
Inclusion – When anyone, regardless of impairment is welcomed and supported to be involved. Inclusion should mean disabled and non-disabled people are supported to take part in activities together.
Independent School – A school that is not maintained by a Local Authority.

Joint Commissioning – Working collaboratively across agencies to assess need, identify resources available, plan how to use resources and arrange service delivery. This also involves reviewing the services and reassessing need, with the aim of improving outcomes.
JSNA – Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. Assessment of the current and future health and social care needs of the local community.

Key Stages: The different stages of education that a child passes through:
Early Years Foundation Stage – age 0-5 (Early years setting, Nursery and Reception)
Key Stage one – age 5-7 (Years 1 and 2)
Key Stage two – age 7-11(Years 3, 4, 5 and 6)
Key Stage three – age 11-14 (Years 7, 8 and 9)
Key Stage four – age 14-16 (Years 10 and 11)
Key Stage five – age 16-18 (Sixth form)
Key worker – A trained individual who provides personalised support, co-ordination and/or advocacy for disabled children and young people and their families.

L A – Local Authority. The local council responsible for managing services in your area.
LDA – Learning Difficulty Assessment
Learning Difficulties – Conditions which make learning harder than it is for most people.
Local Offer – Online information outlining the provision available in the Local Area for SEND covering social, health and education services: what is available, how to access it, cost, and reviews. 
Local Area – The local area includes the local authority, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), public health, NHS England for specialist services, early years settings, schools and further education providers. Local Areas in England are subject to inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted in terms of their effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
LSA – Learning Support Assistant, also sometimes called Teaching Assistant.
LST – Learning Support Teacher

Maintained School – Schools in England that are maintained by a local authority – any community, foundation or voluntary school, community special or foundation special school.
Mediation – Where a trained, independent person helps to sort out any area of conflict. Mediation must be offered to a parent or young person in relation to an EHC Plan. Mediation is not compulsory for the parent or young person but they will need to consider mediation before appealing an EHC plan in most cases.
MLD – Moderate Learning Difficulties
Motability – Scheme to rent a vehicle using DLA to cover the costs/PIP.
MPFT – Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust

NAS – National Autistic Society
National Curriculum – The framework which sets out standards and appropriate levels of achievement for children’s education. It also determines how performance will be assessed and reported. Children’s expected progress is determined by reference to standardised national curriculum “levels” which prescribe the expected attainment for pupils in each year group.
NEET – Not in Education, Employment or Training.
NICE – National Institute for Clinical Excellence

OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
ODD – Oppositional Defiance Disorder.
OFSTED – Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. The body which inspects and regulates services which care for children and young people and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
OT – Occupational Therapist . A professional trained to give advice on equipment, adaptations and activities to support the learning/ social development of people with physical, emotional or behavioural difficulties.

Paediatrician – A doctor who specialises in children’s diseases and may be responsible for the continuing care of children with special educational needs.
PALS – Patient Advice and Liaison Service
Panel – A decision making body who meet to match criteria for services such as short breaks(respite), EHC assessment and school placements.
PB – Personal Budget. Money that is allocated to individuals to meet assessed needs in place of services that would otherwise be provided directly to the individual by statutory bodies. A Personal Budget is the notional amount of money which an LA has identified as necessary to secure the special educational provision in an EHC plan.
PCF – Parent Carer Forum
PCT – Primary Care Trust
PD – Physically Disabled
PDA – Pathological Demand Avoidance. A profile of ASC
PDD – Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Characterised by a delay in the development of social and communication skills.
PECS – Picture Exchange Communication System
PIP – Personal Independence Payment helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64.
‘P’levels – Performance levels used to assess a child who is not yet working within the national curriculum levels of attainment. Replaced in 2020 by “Aspects of Engagement”.
PMLD – Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties.
Portage – Home-based educational support for pre-school children with special educational needs.
Preparing for Adulthood – The Preparing for Adulthood programme provides expertise and support to local authorities and their partners, including families and young people, so they can ensure disabled young people achieve paid work, independent living, good health and community inclusion as they move into adulthood.
PRU – Pupil Referral Unit. An alternative education provision for children who need to be educated out of school, often because they have been excluded, but not always.

RB – Responsible body of a school. Usually the Board of Governors or Trustees.
Respite – The provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home. This can include residential provision, Short Breaks or Support Workers.

SAR – Subject access request. A formal request to receive copies of personal data an organisation holds about you, how they are using it and who they are sharing it with.
SCD – Social Communication Disorder SEMH – Social Emotional and Mental Health
SEN – Special Educational Needs . The needs of children who require special educational provision to be made for them. Children who have a learning difficulty which makes it harder to learn than the majority of children of the same age, or children who have a disability which prevents or hinders them from accessing the education provided for other children.
SENCO – Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. The person responsible for the planning of special educational needs within school or early years settings.
SEND – Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities
SEND Advocate – Someone who can give support to parents/carers, for example, by going to meetings, encouraging parents to get involved and helping them to understand systems related to special educational needs.  
SEND Keyworker
SEND Reforms 2014 – A joined up, person centred system for the provision of education, health and social care for children and young people from age 0 – 25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
SEND IASS – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service. A service which provides information and support to parents/carers whose children have special educational needs.
Short Breaks – An opportunity for parents and carers of a disabled child to have a break from their caring arrangements, and for their child to have a positive and enjoyable experience. They can last from just a few hours to a few days and can take place in a community setting, the child’s own home, the home of an approved carer or in a residential setting.
SLD – Severe learning difficulties
SLT or SALT – Speech and Language Therapy, sometimes used to refer to the Speech and Language Therapist , trained to give specialist assessment and advice for children with communication difficulties.
‘SMART’ targets – Targets which are Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Timed. This is what targets for individual children should be.
SPD – Sensory Processing Disorder
Special School – A school which is specially organised to make special educational provision for pupils with special educational needs.
SpLD – Specific Learning Difficulties. Learning difficulties in specific areas, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.
Statutory Assessment – A very detailed assessment of a child’s special educational needs. It includes parental, educational, psychological and medical advice and also the advice of any other professional involved with the child.
Supported living – Supported living is a type of residential support that helps vulnerable adults, including people with learning disabilities, to live independently in the community.

TAC – Team around the child meeting.
TAF – Team around the family
TR – Transition Review
Tribunal – An independent body which hears appeals against decisions made by the local authority on statutory assessments and EHC Plans.

Universal Services – Services provided to all Children and Young people in the area.

VI – Visual Impairment