Some of the words used on this Internet site may not be familiar to you.
Use the drop down list below to switch on a definition and the double-click to go back to the top of this page.
Select a keyword :
The Adult Learning Grant (ALG) is an allowance (up to £30 per week currently) available to adults, in England, on low incomes studying full time for a first full level 2 qualification and to young adults on low incomes studying full time for a first level 3 qualification.
The Department for Education and Skills, working with the Learning and Skills Council and other partners began piloting ALG in ten local Learning and Skills Council areas in September 2003. It is intended to increase the size of the current pilot in September 2004 by extending it to cover the north-east and south-east regions. The pilot will then be evaluated to establish the best operational design for a national programme.
The Behaviour Improvement Programme (BIP) is a key part of the National Behaviour and Attendance Strategy and originated under the Government's wider Street Crime Initiative.
Thirty four LAs were selected to pilot intensive strategies to improve behaviour and attendance in target schools, based on high street crime and truancy rates.
The BIP represents the Government's commitment to tackling behaviour and attendance and targeting resources where they are needed most - from the beginning of the initiative to March 2006 the Government is investing over £342m in BIP.
Each authority has developed locally based programmes that best meet the needs of schools where poor attendance and truancy are significant barriers to learning.
The programme supports strategies already in place in the area and provides the resource to develop additional measures to support schools.
The Government's policy to reduce infant class sizes is a central part of its drive to raise standards in schools. By allowing teachers to spend time with individual pupils, smaller classes may benefit pupils in those vital early years when they need to acquire basic skills. Research conducted by the University of London's Institute of Education shows that smaller classes have a significant effect on pupil progress in Mathematics and Literacy in reception classes.
The School Standards and Framework Act placed a duty on local education authorities and schools to limit the size of infant classes for five, six and seven year-olds taught by one qualified teacher to 30 or fewer pupils. The limit became a statutory duty from September 2001, the start of the 2001-02 school year.
The Government provided funding to implement the class size limit by making £775 million available between 1998-99 and 2002-03. From April 2003 the infant class size grant ceased to be ring-fenced. For the 2003-04 financial year and beyond the infant class size grant will be absorbed within each LA's standard spending assessment. It remains the responsibility of LAs and schools to comply with the infant class size limit.
Number of children taking up places and number of places taken up by children.
A free part-time early years education place consists of a minimum of five two and a half hour sessions of early years education per week for thirty three weeks of the year, usually spread over three terms of eleven weeks.
Parents do not necessarily take up their full entitlement and one free part-time early years education place of 55 sessions may be taken up by more than one child choosing less than their minimum entitlement e.g. one child attending 30 sessions in a term and another 25 sessions will count as one minimum entitlement or part-time equivalent place. For this reason, the number of children taking up free part-time early years places can exceed the number of free part-time early years education places taken up by children.
All four year olds and, from April 2004, all three year olds in the term following their third birthday, are eligible for a free part-time early years education place for three terms per year before they reach statutory school age. Free places can be provided in a variety of settings in the maintained and non-maintained sectors. Local Authorities (LAs) make funding available to settings to enable them to provide free places.
The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a weekly payment of up to £30, paid directly to young people who stay on in further education after they reach statutory leaving age. Young people may also receive bonuses of £100 if they remain on their course and make good progress with their learning. Bonuses will be payable in January and July in the first year of study, and in September, January and July in subsequent years of study.
Entitlement to EMA depends on an assessment of household income. Any young person who is thinking of staying in further education and who lives in a household in England with an annual income below the threshold (currently £30,000 per annum) will be able to apply for EMA.
In the first year of the national scheme all young people aged 16 planning to continue their education in school or college from September 2004 can apply. In existing EMA pilot areas young people currently in a school or college and who plan to continue their education into Years 13 or 14 from September 2004 can also apply for an EMA.
Most young people will get their EMA for two years (as long as their household income does not rise above the threshold). The EMA will be available for three years for those young people who may need additional time in further education to achieve their full potential.
General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs) were established in 1988 as a replacement for the GCE O' Level and CSE examinations. They are the main type of academic examination taken by students in their final year of compulsory education.
General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQs) were established in 1992 as an alternative to GCSE/GCE qualifications and job specific National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), and are mainly taken by 16-19 year-old students in full time education. They are a key component of the National Qualifications Framework that incorporates levels which read across from occupational standards on the one hand to general education qualifications on the other.
Government Offices for the Regions were established across England in 1994 and in 1996 the regions covered, known as Government Office Regions, became the primary classification for the presentation of regional statistics.
In 1994 there were ten GORs but in 1998 Merseyside was merged with the rest of the North West to leave the current position of nine GORs as follows :
The GORs are built up of complete counties/unitary authorities so although they are subject to change they always reflect administrative boundaries as at the end of the previous year.(Office for National Statistics "Beginners Guide to UK Geography")
All institutions funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) i.e. universities (including the former polytechnics) and Higher Education colleges.
Pupils who will reach the age of 5, 6 or 7 during the academic year and who are engaged in relevant education.
Pupils must take national tests at the end of each Key Stage. These show a pupil's performance in selected parts of a subject on a particular day. For example at the end of Key Stage 3, pupils are tested in English, Mathematics and Science. These tests give an independent measure of how pupils and schools are doing compared with national standards in these subjects.
A pupil's progress through the National Curriculum is divided into four parts or Key Stages.
Key Stage 1 is designed to cover children's education from the ages of 5 to 7;
Key Stage 2 covers 8 to 11 year-olds;
Key stage 3 covers 12 to 14 year-old pupils.
The schools administer national tests at the end of each Key Stage. The Key Stage 2 tests are set in English, Mathematics and Science.
They are usually sat by 11 year-olds at the end of their primary school education, although as pupils progress through the National Curriculum at different rates, some pupils may sit the tests earlier or later.
A pupil's progress through the National Curriculum is measured on a ten point scale of levels. A standard, expected level of attainment has been set for each of the Key Stages. Level 4 is the level expected for pupils taking their Key Stage 2 test.
The Government set a target that, by 2002, 80% of 11 year-olds should have achieved level 4 or above in literacy, and 75% level 4 or above in numeracy.
The Leading Edge Partnership programme has been established to identify, extend and spread innovation and excellence in the secondary sector so that standards of teaching and learning continue to improve in schools across the country.
Schools in the programme are at the forefront of the drive to reform secondary education. Schools working within the programme will lead the way, helping to transform the face of education in their local areas. Schools at the cutting edge of innovation and collaboration will be working in partnership to transform secondary education and engineer the growth of collaborative learning communities and federations, promoting innovation, research and development to push the boundaries of current teaching practice.
The Leading Edge Partnership programme will build on the successes of the Beacon Schools programme. The Beacon Schools programme will be phased out by August 2005.
The programme was launched in July 2003 with 103 partnerships in the first round. The selection process for the second round opened in November 2003 and the closing date for expressions of interest was January 2004.
The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), established under the Learning and Skills Act 2000. It was formally launched on 28 March 2001.
It is a single, unitary organisation with a national office in Coventry. It operates through 47 local arms (local Learning and Skills Councils).
The LSC is governed by a National Council made up of 14 council members and the National Chair.
The National Council is advised by two statutory committees (one for Adult Learning and one for Young People's Learning).
The local Learning and Skills Councils are also governed by a council with a local Chair and a Local Executive Director.
The LSC has taken on the training functions of the former Training and Enterprise Council (TEC) network and the funding responsabilities of the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC). The LSCs remit, ranging from basic skills to higher level skills, will enable it to bring a much sharper strategic perspective to the arrangements for lifelong learning.
The LSC is responsible for funding, planning and quality assurance of:
In 1974 a new two-tier system of counties and districts was established across England and Wales, with a structure of (shire) counties, non-metropolitan districts and six metropolitan counties.
Council functions were divided according to the level at which they could be practised most efficiently. In consequence, counties took on functions including education, transport, strategic planning, fire services, consumer protection, refuse disposal, smallholdings, social services and libraries, whereas the districts had responsibility for local planning, housing, local highways, building, environmental health, refuse collection and cemeteries. Responsibility for recreation and cultural matters was divided between the two tiers.
Six of the upper-tier units, all in England and representing heavily built-up areas (other than Greater London), were designated 'metropolitan counties' and were subdivided into 'metropolitan districts'. As with non-metropolitan areas the respective authorities covered all areas of local government, but the distribution of responsibilities was different to that of the county/district structure.
In 1986 however the metropolitan county councils were abolished and the 36 metropolitan district councils were left as single-tier authorities.(Office for National Statistics "Beginners Guide to UK Geography")
Local Authorities (LAs) are the bodies responsible for the local administration of state sector education services in England.
Each LA coincides with either a county*, unitary authority, metropolitan district or London borough, and LA boundaries are adjusted annually to correspond with any changes to the boundaries of these areas.
*The only exception to this is that the Isles of Scilly has its own LA separate to that of Cornwall.(Office for National Statistics "Beginners Guide to UK Geography")
There is a public service agreement target to improve the life chances for children in care by narrowing the gap between the educational attainment and participation of children in care and that of their peers by 2006.
The Government revised the target, which took effect from 1 April 2003, in the light of the Social Exclusion Unit's work in this area and their subsequent report, A better Education for Children in Care. The target to narrow the gap will have been achieved, if by 2006 :
Apprenticeships provide work-based learning for young people to achieve qualifications at Level 2 and Level 3 (Advanced). They are a key rung in the vocational ladder that enables young people to progress from GCSEs towards their chosen profession.
Young Apprenticeships - this is a new opportunity for 14-16-year-olds to combine the practical application of skills and knowledge in a vocational context with studying for qualifications that relate to particular occupational sectors. Young Apprenticeships will be a long-term development and the DCSF intends them to become a permanent feature of the secondary sector.
The first cohort will start in September 2004. In the first year the programme will be on a small scale, covering about 1,000 students in the fields of engineering, business administration, and arts and creative industries.In the first year it will be a small scale programme covering about 1,000 students in total. Starting with a small first cohort now will allow the Department to monitor progress and, if necessary, adjust the design of the programme for subsequent years.
The government expect that around 50 per cent will want to continue post 16 and progress to level 2 Apprenticeships.
Pre-Apprenticeships. Entry to Employment (E2E) was launched nationally in August 2003 following pathfinders in 11 areas. E2E is an entry to Level 1 programme for those young people not yet ready or able to enter an Apprenticeship or other formal level 2 provisions. It is intended to support young people into positive progression outcomes, specifically Apprenticeships, further vocational learning opportunities at level 2 or sustained employment. It has proven very popular and 50,000 young people are expected to access E2E by July 2004. E2E is now formally being introduced into the Apprenticeship family. A 'Pre-Apprenticeships' offer will be based around this very popular programme.
Apprenticeships. These will be at NVQ Level 2 and will cover the NVQ, Key Skills and Technical Certificate.
Advanced Apprenticeships. These will be at NVQ Level 3, covering NVQs, Key Skills and Technical Certificates.
Apprenticeships for Adults. Under the skills strategy the DCSF is committed to developing Apprenticeship programmes for adults. The DCSF are working with SSCs that are either already licenced and up and running, or are expected to be so in the near future to develop appropriate provision for learners over the age of 25.
Pupils aged 5 to 16 in state schools must be taught the National Curriculum. This is divided into four `Key Stages' that depend on pupil's ages.
|Age of pupils at end of year||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16|
|Key Stage||Key Stage 1||Key Stage 2||Key Stage 3||Key Stage 4|
The National Curriculum sets standards of achievement in each subject for pupils aged 5 to 14. For most subjects, these standards range from Levels 1 to 8. Pupils progress up the levels as they get older and learn more:
The new national indicator set for local authorities and local authority partnerships was announced as part of the Chancellor's Comprehensive Spending Review announcement in October 2007.
The new national indicators will be the only means of measuring national priorities that have been agreed by Government. The Local Government White Paper Strong and Prosperous Communities committed to a smaller more focused set of priorities as well as radically reduce the number of national indicators.
The number of national indicators has been radically reduced to 198. The new indicators will strengthen the incentives for closer partnership working to deliver joined-up outcomes because they will apply (where relevant) to other local partners - such as Primary Care Trusts and police.
The headline definitions for the 198 are contained in the document The New Performance Framework for Local Authorities and Local Authority Partnerships: Single Set of National Indicators.
Copies of this document are available on the Department for Communities and Local Government website: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/nationalindicator
Parliamentary constituencies are the areas used to elect Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons.
At the June 2001 election there were 659 constituencies, each electing one MP using the first-past-the-post system. The number of MPs in each part of the UK is as follows:
|Country||Number of constituencies/MPs|
(Office for national Statistics "Beginners Guide to UK Geography")
A child has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty which calls for special provision to be made for him or her. A child has a learning difficulty if he or she:
The Specialist Schools Programme helps schools, in partnership with private sector sponsors and supported by additional Government funding, to establish distinctive identities through their chosen specialisms and achieve their targets to raise standards. Specialist schools have a special focus on their chosen subject area but must meet the National Curriculum requirements and deliver a broad and balanced education to all pupils.
Any maintained secondary school in England can apply to be designated as a specialist school in one of ten specialist areas: arts, business & enterprise, engineering, humanities, language, mathematics & computing, music, science, sports and technology. Schools can also combine any two specialisms.
The data are compiled by combining information from registrations of births and notifications of legal abortions. Conception data include pregnancies that result in:
They do not include miscarriages or illegal abortions.
Conception data are provided in a number of age bands, of which under 16 and under 18 are the most relevant to teenage pregnancy.
The Under 18 data include conceptions to all females aged under 18 (i.e. including all under 16s). Teenage conception rates are expressed as follows:
Under 16: "per thousand females aged between 13-15"
Under 18: "per thousand females aged between 15-17"
Note that only three-year age groups (between 13-15 and 15-17 years) are used as the denominator for under 16 and 18 conception rates. The reason for this is that for each rate the vast majority of conceptions occur in these age groups. For example, only about 5% of under 18 conceptions are to girls aged 14 or under, therefore to include younger age groups in the base population would produce misleading results.
The denominators (e.g. total female population aged 15-17 in an area) are obtained from Office for National Statistics (ONS) mid-year population estimates, derived from the 2001 Census population estimate.
Because conception data are compiled partly from birth registrations (which legally can be undertaken up to six weeks after birth), the raw data are not available until up to eleven months after the event. (Abortion data is, of course, available sooner). Time is also needed to collate, input, validate and compile the data, so that the statistics are published about fourteen months after the end of the period to which they relate.
Following the Local Government Reorganisation in the 1990s major changes were implemented to create administrations most appropriate to the needs of the area concerned. The key feature of this change was the introduction of unitary authorities, single-tier administrations with responsibility for all areas of local government. Between 1995 and 1998 these were established in a number of areas across the country, especially in medium-sized urban areas, whilst other areas retained a two-tier structure.
There are currently 46 unitary authorities in England, and 34 shire counties split into 239 (non-metropolitan) districts. London and the metropolitan counties retain their own structure.
In 2003 a new policy was introduced across National Statistics to minimise the statistical impact of frequent electoral ward boundary changes, particularly in England. Under this policy any changes to English or Welsh ward boundaries promulgated (laid down in statute) by the end of a calendar year will be implemented for statistical purposes on 1 April of following year, irrespective of the year the actual change comes into operation. The wards resulting from this policy are known as 'statistical wards'.
2003 statistical wards are accordingly those that were promulgated by 31 December 2002. In general they reflect actual electoral wards as at May 2003, but for 28 local authorities they also include boundary changes that were not operational until June 2004.
Census Area Statistics (CAS) wards are used for 2001 Census outputs.
In England and Wales the CAS wards are indentical to the 2003 statistical wards except that 18 of the smallest wards (all in England) have been merged into other wards to avoid the confidentiality risks of releasing data for very small areas.
This has occured with those wards with fewer than 100 residents of 40 households (as at the 2001 Census).
Scotland and Northern Ireland also have CAS wards. Scottish CAS wards have a minimum size of 50 residents and 20 households. In Northern Ireland 2001 Census outputs use the electoral wards that were in existence at Census Day and there was no requirement to introduce specific CAS wards as all electoral wards exceeded the 100 residents / 40 households threshold.
Currently the UK has 10,654 CAS wards broken down as follows :
|Country||Number of wards|
(Office for National Statistics "Beginners Guide to UK Geography")
Work-Based Learning for Young People (WBLYP) is a major programme of government-supported training, comprising Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (AMA), Foundation Modern Apprenticeships (FMA), NVQ Learning, Life Skills, Preparatory Training and Entry to Employment (E2E) Pathfinders.
Until the end of March 2001, Government supported training was delivered through the network of Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs). Since April 2001, WBLYP in England has been delivered through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).