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SEN Terminology Guidebook: Your Complete Manual for Untangling SEND Terms & Abbreviations

  • Publish Date: Posted 9 months ago
  • Author: Katie Armstrong

​In the world of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), there is an extensive array of acronyms and terminologies that can sometimes seem overwhelming.

But fret not! Katie Armstrong, one of our SEN specialist consultants at Dunbar Education, has compiled a user-friendly reference guide that includes the most frequently used terms.

Let's Dive into the World of SEN Jargon-Busting!

ASD – AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER

A unique educational requirement affecting social communication, interaction, interests, and behaviour.

ADD – ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER

A specific educational need impacting concentration and focus abilities.

ADHD – ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER

A behavioural disorder characterised by symptoms like inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

ARP – ADDITIONAL RESOURCE PROVISION

A comprehensive term encompassing various provisions where the Local Authority secures additional resources to supplement the ones provided by the school.

BSL – BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE

The predominant sign language used by deaf individuals in the United Kingdom.

BSP – BEHAVIOUR SUPPORT PLAN

A school document designed to aid students with behavioural difficulties.

CAMHS – CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE

An umbrella term for services dedicated to assisting children and young people experiencing emotional or behavioural challenges.

CAF – COMMON ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK

A form completed by professionals as the initial step in assessing the needs of a child or young person.

CFA – CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACT (2014)

The legislation that introduced the current system of support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

COP – CODE OF PRACTICE

A government document outlining the guidelines for schools, EYFS settings, and local authorities when identifying and meeting the needs of children with SEN.

DFE – DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION

The national government department responsible for overseeing schools and education.

DDA – DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT

Legislation stipulating the duty of employers and service providers to make reasonable adjustments for individuals with disabilities.

DLA – DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE

A benefit that can be claimed by the families of children with special needs.

DSA – DISABILED STUDENTS ALLOWANCE

A monetary allowance provided to disabled students to help cover additional expenses resulting from their disabilities.

EB(S)D – EMOTIONAL, BEHAVIOURAL (AND SOCIAL) DIFFICULTIES

A condition where a child's behaviour or emotional responses adversely affect their school performance.

EHC(P) – EDUCATION, HEALTH AND CARE (PLAN)

A comprehensive plan outlining a child's educational needs and the required provisions that the local authority must implement to support them.

EYFS – EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE

The set of standards governing the learning, development, and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

FE – FURTHER EDUCATION

Education below the degree level offered to individuals beyond the school age, such as Sixth Form.

FMS – FINE MOTOR SKILLS

The coordination of small muscles and eyes, involving tasks like buttoning clothes.

GMS – GROSS MOTOR SKILLS

Larger movements involving the arms, legs, feet, or the entire body, such as running or jumping.

GDD – GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY

The term used when a child hasn't achieved two or more developmental milestones in various areas.

HI – HEARING IMPAIRMENT

Partial or complete inability to hear.

IASS – INFORMATION, ADVICE, AND SUPPORT SERVICE

A provider offering independent and impartial advice to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

IEP – INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN

A school-based document that records, tracks, and reviews the support provided to a child with special educational needs.

IPP – INDIVIDUAL PUPIL PROFILE

A document containing observations and assessments of a child's strengths, weaknesses, and special educational needs.

LA – LOCAL AUTHORITY

The governing body responsible for public services like libraries, schools, parks, and child protection.

LD – LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

Challenges in acquiring knowledge and skills at the expected level for individuals of the same age, often due to mental disabilities or cognitive disorders.

LO – LOCAL OFFER

The SEND local offer, provided by the Local Authority, which offers comprehensive information for parents in one easily accessible place.

LSA – LEARNING SUPPORT ASSISTANT

A dedicated staff member in a school who supports teachers and students within the classroom.

LAC – LOOKED AFTER CHILD

A term used to describe a child under the care of a local authority.

MLD – MODERATE LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

A broad term encompassing children with significantly lower cognitive abilities and achievement levels compared to their peers.

MS – MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

A condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, leading to various symptoms such as vision problems, impaired limb movement, sensory issues, and balance difficulties.

MSI – MULTI-SENSORY IMPAIRMENT

Refers to pupils with both visual and hearing difficulties.

NEET – NOT IN EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT OR TRAINING

A term used to describe young individuals (aged 18-24) who are not engaged in education, employment, or training.

OCD – OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER

A type of anxiety disorder characterised by unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviours.

ODD – OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER

A disorder defined by a pattern of hostile, disobedient, and defiant behaviours.

OT – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

A therapist who provides support to individuals whose health conditions hinder their ability to perform specific activities.

OFSTED – OFFICE FOR STANDARDS IN EDUCATION

An independent government department responsible for inspecting various educational institutions.

PECS – PICTURE EXCHANGE COMMUNICATION SYSTEM

An approach to developing communication skills using visual aids and pictures.

PCP – PERSON-CENTRED PLANNING

A planning approach that involves individuals utilising health and social services as equal partners in designing and monitoring their care to ensure it meets their needs.

PD – PHYSICAL DISABILITY

A condition that limits a person's physical functioning, mobility, dexterity, or stamina.

PDA – PATHOLOGICAL DEMAND AVOIDANCE

A condition characterised by an overwhelming need to resist or avoid demands.

PMLD – PROFOUND AND MULTIPLE LEARNING DISABILITIES

Children with PMLD have complex learning needs and may also have significant additional difficulties, such as physical disabilities or sensory impairments.

PFA – PREPARATION FOR ADULTHOOD

A section within the Code of Practice that emphasises the collaboration between local authorities and partners in supporting young people to achieve successful long-term outcomes.

PRU – PUPIL REFERRAL UNIT

A specialised school catering to students who require more care and support than mainstream schools can provide.

PSP – PASTORAL SUPPORT PLAN

A school-based program designed to enhance a child's social, emotional, and behavioural skills.

S(A)LT – SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPIST

A support staff member providing treatment to children with communication difficulties.

SEND – SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS AND DISABILITY

An umbrella term encompassing children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities that require special educational and health support.

SEN(D)CO – SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS (AND DISABILITY) COORDINATOR

The designated teacher responsible for overseeing special education needs and disability provision within a school.

SLD – SEVERE LEARNING DISABILITIES

A significant intellectual or cognitive impairment that hampers a person's ability to live independently.

SLCN – SPEECH, LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION NEEDS

Children with SLCN may have specific language impairments or experience communication difficulties due to other conditions.

VI – VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

Partial or complete inability to see.

YP – YOUNG PERSON

An individual typically ranging from 14 to 18 years of age.

YSS – YOUTH SUPPORT SERVICE

A team within the local authority dedicated to supporting young people who do not receive adequate care or appropriate protection for their age.

Wrapping Up

If you would like a new role teaching in a SEND setting on a permanent, long-term, or short-term basis, full or part-time, our expert SEND team will be able to find the perfect role for you at one of our fantastic partner schools. Find your new role today or register your CV here.