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Jargon Buster

School Jargon Buster


Schools often employ a range of acronyms and initialisms.  We have put together some information on those you may encounter.


Achievement - Describes both attainment i.e. the level achieved and the progress you have made from a starting point.

AfL - Assessment for Learning - Assessment for Learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there

ASD  - Autism Spectrum Disorder

AST - Advanced Skills Teacher
AT - Associate Teacher

ATL - Association of Teachers and Lecturers

Attainment - The actual level attained and/or results.

Attainment Targets - A general defined level of ability that a pupil is expected to achieve in every subject at each key stage in the National Curriculum

Blending - To draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. f-l-a-p, blended together, reads flap

CiC -Children in Care

CLA / LAC - Children Looked After / Looked After Children

CME – Child missing from education

Core Subjects - English, maths and science: all pupils must study these subjects up to Key Stage 4

CPD - Continuing Professional Development

Creative Curriculum - There are numerous different interpretations exist for the concept ‘the creative curriculum’. In some schools it means topics or themes, in others it means asking children what they want to learn.

CSS - Children’s Support Service, this is the new name for Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

DASCo – Dartford Area Schools Consortium.  Local organisation which facilitates projects, briefings, courses and projects between schools.

DBS - Disclosure & Barring Service - DBS refers to the new agency created out of a merger between the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), its full title is The Disclosure and Barring Service. The checks and information provided will remain the same but will be branded DBS Checks.

DfE - Department for Education

Differentiation - a wide variety of teaching techniques and lesson adaptations that teachers use to pupils of differing abilities in the same class.

EAL - English as an additional language

EBD - Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

EHC Plan - Educational Health Care Plan - An education, health and care plan is a document that says what support a child or young person who has special educational needs should have. "

EMTAS - Ethnic Minority & Traveller Achievement Service

ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages or English as a Second or Other Language - If English is not your main language you can take part in a course to help you improve your English. These courses are called ESOL.

EWO - Education Welfare Officer

EYFS – Early Years Foundation Stage. A framework of care and Education for children from birth to five years of age. This stage typically means Nursery and Reception Classes.

FFT - Fischer Family Trust - An assessment system

FLO - Family Liaison Officer

FSM - Free School Meals

FTE - Full Time Equivalent

G & T - Gifted and Talented - Gifted are those with high ability in one or more academic subject and the talented are hose with high ability in sport, music, visual or performing arts.

GPAS / SPAG – Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

HLTA - Higher Level Teaching Assistant

HMI - Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools

ICT - Information and Communication Technology

IEP - Individual Education Plan for SEN pupils

Inclusion - Removing barriers in learning so all pupils can participate at their own level.

INSET - In-Service Education and Training - Training for staff which takes place during the school year.

ISA - Independent Safeguarding Authority

ITT - Initial Teacher Training

IWB - Interactive Whiteboard

KMT - Kent and Medway Training

KS1 - Key Stage one – age 5-7 (Years 1 and 2)

KS2 - Key Stage two – age 7-11(Years 3,4, 5 and 6);

LA - Local Authority

LAA - Local Area Agreement

LAC - Looked After Children

LSA - Learning Support Assistant

MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulties

More able - Higher performing pupils than the majority of the class.

NAHT - National Association of Head Teachers

NASUWT - National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers

NC - National Curriculum

NEET - Not in Education, Employment or Training

NGA - National Governors’ Association

NLE - National Leader of Education

NOR - Number on Roll

NPQH - National Professional Qualification for Headship

NQT - Newly Qualified Teacher

NtG - Narrowing the Gap

NUT - National Union of Teachers

Ofqual - Office of Qualifications & Examinations Regulation

Ofsted - Office for Standards in Education

PE - Physical Education

Performance Table - Published by the DfE to compare schools' results.

Phonics - Phonics refers to a method for teaching speakers of English to read and write their language. It involves connecting the sounds of spoken English with letters or groups of letters (e.g that the sound /k/ can be represented by c, k, ck or ch spellings) and teaching them to blend the sounds of letters together to produce approximate pronunciations of unknown words. In this way, phonics enables people to use individual sounds to construct words. For example, when taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, one can build up the words "tap", "pat", "pats", "taps" and "sat."

PPA - Planning, Preparation and Assessment time to which teachers are entitled. Progression - pupils develop academically and personally from year to year and from one key stage to the next in a way which builds on what has already been achieved."

PRU - Pupil Referral Unit

PSHE Personal Social Health and Economic education

PTA - Parent Teacher Association

QTS -  Qualified Teacher Status

RE - Religious Education

SATs - Standard Attainment Tests/Tasks - National Curriculum Tests and Tasks which take place at the end of Key Stage 1 and at the end of Key Stage 2.

SCITT School - Centred Initial Teacher Training

SCR - Single Central Record - Schools must hold a single central record of all adults working with pupils. The records hold security and ID checks among other specific information.

SEAL - Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning

SEF – Self evaluation form

SEN - Special Educational Needs

SENCO - Special Educational Needs Coordinator

Setting - Putting pupils of similar ability together just for certain lessons. So, for example, it would be possible to be in a top set for French and a lower set for mathematics.

SIP - School Improvement Plan

SLE - Specialist Leader of Education

SLT - Senior Leadership Team

SMSC - Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (development)

Streaming - Splitting pupils into several different hierarchical groups which would stay together for all lessons.

TA - Teaching Assistant

Transition - The movement of pupils from Key Stage to Key Stage or school to school and the procedures associated with it."

 VCOP - vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation pupils are expected to use in their writing.

 VLE - Virtual Learning Environment

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