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Glossary of SEND terms


Acronym Full terminology                       Meaning                
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A condition that affects behaviour, focus

and concentration.

ASD/ASC Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Condition

A developmental disability that affects

communication and interaction with the world

AAC Augmentative and Alternative Communication

All of the methods of communication

other than using speed

AR Annual Review EHCPs have to be discussed and updated every year
- Access Arrangements Support put in place to help students to do exams
AP Alternative Provision For CYP who can't go to a mainstream school

Children and Young People's Mental Health Services (formerly CAMHS)

NHS service that assesses and treats young people with emotional, behaviouralor mental health difficulties (Tier 3)

C&I Communication and Interaction

The 1st of the 4 areas of need

C&L Cognition and learning The 2nd of the 4 areas of need
- Comprehension Understanding the meaning of things
CoP Code of Practice

Statutory guidance for all organisations that

support CYP with SEND

DfE Department for Education

Government department responsible for

children's services and education

- Differentiated curriculum

Modified or adapted curriculum that meets

the different ability levels of learners

DMO District Medical Officer

Senior health agency official who advises on matters

of public health

DD (GD) Developmental delay / Global delay

Taking longer to meet certain developmental

milestones than children of a similar age

DSPL Delivering Special Provision Locally A local area group in Herts 
- Expressive Language

The ability to request, make choices, ask questions,

answer and describe events


Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

Evidence gathering process to help decide if an

Education, Health and Care plan is needed


Education, Health and Care Co-ordinator

(formerly SEN Officer)

The primary contact within the SEN team for CYP

with EHCPs, their families and schools

EHCP Education, Health and Care Plan

A legally binding document that describes the

needs of the CYP and sets out the extra

help and support needed

EHE Elective Home Education

Choice made by parents to educate CYP at home

or in some other way away from school

EOTAS Education other than at school Education of CYP outwith a formal education setting
EP Educational Psychologist Trained psychologist specialising in child development
EY Early Years

Period from birth to age 4

EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage

Nursery and Reception years in education

FFA Families First Assessment

Early help tool to identify needs and

organise the right support

- Fine motor skills Small muscles of the hands - using pencils, scissors, constructing with lego, doing up buttons 
- Graduated Approach Assess, plan, do, review cycle (APDR)
- Gross motor skills

Whole body movements - sitting, crawling,

throwing and catching, kicking a ball etc

HI Hearing Impairment Hearing loss that can be mild, moderate or severe

High Needs Funding/

Local High Needs Funding

Top-up funding for CYP with needs that meet a

higher threshold for support

HPCI Herts Parent Carer Involvement Independent parent/carer organisation
IEP Individual Education Plan

Called different things across schools.  Plan that sets

out the support that will be put in place to meet needs

INCo Inclusion Coordinator (schools)

Like a SENCo, but covers additional vulnerable groups

such as pupil premium, children looked after and those with English as an additional Language (EAL)

IPSEA Independent and Parental Special Education Advice service National parent/carer organisation
ISL Integrated Services for Learning Local Authority statutory SEND service
KS1-5 Key Stage (1-5) The different age range blocks within schools.
LD Learning difficulties

Reduced cognitive ability, difficulty with

every day activities and independence

LA Local Authority

Official body responsible for the organisation of all

public services and facilities in the area

- Local Offer

Provides information to families of CYP with SEND about

what support services are available in the local area

LSA/TA Learning Support Assistant/Teaching Assistant

Staff in schools that provide additional support to the

teacher and to some individual pupils

- Maketon

Language programme that uses signs and symbols

to help with communication

- Mainstream school

Maintained school or an Academy that is not a 

special school or an independent school

- Mediation

A way of sorting out differences between parties, 

often between parents and the local authority

MSI Multi-sensory Impairment

Hearing and Vision loss. 

Some may be completelydeaf and blind.

- Neurodiversity

The different ways that the brain works and

interprets information, highlighting that people

naturally think about things differently


Non-verbal or pre-verbal

Communication before speech has developed
Ofsted Office for standards in education

Government body responsible for inspecting

schools and childcare providers

OT Occupational Therapy Support to improve the ability to carry out every day tasks
OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Common mental health condition where a person has

uncontrollable and reoccurring thoughts or behaviours

that they feel the urge to repeat over and over 

ODD Oppositional Defiance Disorder Uncooperative, defiant and hostile behaviour
PECS Picture Exchange Communication System Using visual symbols and pictures to communicate
- Provision panel

Multi-agency group that decides on the type of setting

that best meets the needs of a child

- Personal Budget

Funding that the Local Authority can give to parents or a young person over 16 years to secure particular provision that is specified in the Education, Health and Care Plan

PD Physical Difficulty

Long term physical impairment that has a substantial

effect on the ability to carry our everyday activities

PMLD Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties

A severe learning disability that significantly affects

the ability to communicate and be independent.

PNI Physical and Neurological Impairment

Physical difficulty and/or medical need that creates a barrier 

to learning or to the setting.  Physical resources and

reasonable adjustments will need to be made.

PSB Primary Support Base 

Small specialist provisions for children with

SEND, attached to mainstream schools

PVI Private, Voluntary and Independent

EY settings that provide childcare from 0-5 years

and may be open 52 weeks of the year

RAG Red, Amber, Green

A rating often used to show if targets

are on track to be met

- Receptive Language Understanding what is being said
- Reasonable Adjustments Changes a school makes to remove or reduce a disadvantage related to someone's disability. 
SaLT Speech and Language Therapy/Therapist

Support and care for children who have difficulties

with communication, eating, drinking and swallowing

SEND Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

A learning difficulty or disability that means a

CYP may need special health or education support


Special Educational Needs (/Disabilities) Co-ordinator

The person in school responsible for ensuring

that the needs of CYP with SEND are met

- Special Educational Needs Support

Support that is different from or additional to

that which is generally given to other children

of the same age using the APDR cycle

- SEND Information Report

A statutory document on a school website that

explains how a school supports CYP with SEND

SLCN Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Difficulties with speech sounds and/or

understanding of language

SLD Severe Learning Difficulties

Dianosis of significant impaired intelligence

and impaired social functioning

SPD Sensory Processing Disorder

A condition that affects how the brain

processes sensory information

SpLD Specific Learning Difficulties

An umbrella term for Dyslexia, Dysgraphia,

Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia

- Short Breaks Activities for disabled CYP to give families a break
- Special School

Schools that provide education specifically for

CYP with needs that can't be met in mainstream

SEND SAS SEND Specialist Advisory Service

Team of SEN Advisory teachers that support

schools and pupils with a range of needs

SENDIASS SEND Independent Advice and Support Service An impartial SEND service for CYP and parents

Social Communication, Emotional

Regulation and Transactional Support

A research based educational approach that supports

the core difficulties experienced by CYP with Autism

SEMH Social, Emotional and Mental Health The 3rd of the 4 main areas of need
S&P Sensory and Physical The 4th of the 4 main areas of need
SRP Special Resource Provision

Centres attached to mainstream schools providing

access to a mainstream curriculum in a smaller and 

less stressful environment

- Transition

The process of changing from one thing to

another - class, year group, school etc


Teaching, Expanding, Appreciating,

Collaborating/Cooperating and Holistic

An approach sometimes used with

Autistic children in school

VI Visual Impairment

A loss of sight that cannot be corrected

by glasses or lenses


An online tool that schools can use to

look at at needs holistically