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Glossary

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a

Term Definition
A Level Search for term A Level

GCE A Levels are two-year study courses normally taken by students in schools and colleges of further education after they have completed their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations.

A2 Search for term A2

A2 units represent the harder elements of the traditional A level. A2 modules do not make up a qualification in their own right but when taken together with the AS units they comprise a full GCE A level.

AALA Search for term AALA

The Adventure Activities Licensing Authority is an independent watchdog set up to ensure the safety of outdoor adventure activities for young people.

AAT Search for term AAT

Achievement and Attainment Tables provide information on the achievement and attainment of students in secondary schools, as well comparisons with other schools in the area and in England as a whole.

ABA Search for term ABA

The Anti-Bullying Alliance was founded by the NSPCC and National Children's Bureau in 2002. It aims to reduce bullying and help create safer environments in which young people can live, grow, play and learn.

ABC Search for term ABC

Antecedents, Behaviour and Consequences charts are used to help analyse a child's behaviour.

Absence code Search for term Absence code

Guidance on the use of codes to record absence

Academy Search for term Academy

Academies are all-ability schools established by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups working in partnerships with central Government and local education partners.

ACAS Search for term ACAS

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service is a public body dealing with employment relations.

ACCAC Search for term ACCAC

Awdurdod Cymwysterau Cwricwlwm, ac Asesu Cymru (Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales). On 1 April 2006, ACCAC merged with the Welsh Assembly Government's new Department for Education Lifelong Learning and Skills (DELLS).

Accelerated learning Search for term Accelerated learning

An approach to learning based on research into learning styles and how the brain works. It draws particularly on ideas from multiple intelligences and brain-based learning.

Acceleration Search for term Acceleration

Helping Gifted and Talented (G and T) pupils to reach their potential by moving them out of their peer group to work with older pupils, either for all lessons or in one or two subjects.

Access agreement Search for term Access agreement

An agreement submitted to the Office of Fair Access by a higher education provider outlining how it intends to ensure fair access to its courses.

Access programme Search for term Access programme

The main aim of access programmes is to prepare adult learners from non-traditional backgrounds and under-represented groups, often without A level qualifications, for admission to undergraduate education.

Accreditation Search for term Accreditation

The recognition of prior learning experience by an awarding body.

Accredited programme Search for term Accredited programme

Formal qualifications usually awarded by a university for networked learning and professional development activities, such as MA, MEd, and diplomas.

ACE Search for term ACE

The Advisory Centre for Education is an independent registered charity that offers information about state education in England and Wales for parents of school-age children.

ACEO Search for term ACEO

Association of Chief Education Officers. Subsequently know as ADECS, before being merged into the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) in 2007.

Achievement Search for term Achievement

Pupils knowledge, skills and understanding gained through the subjects of the national curriculum and the attitudes, values and other aspects of personal development fostered by their school or college.

Achievement and attainment table Search for term Achievement and attainment table

A table which provide information on the achievement and attainment of students in local secondary schools and how they compare with other schools in the area and in England as a whole.

ACLF Search for term ACLF

The Adult and Community Learning Fund ceased in its present form on 31 March 2004, after which the available money was transferred to the Learning and Skills Council.

ACPC Search for term ACPC

Area Child Protection Committees have now been superseded by Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs).

Act Search for term Act

If both Houses of Parliament vote for the proposals for new laws in a Bill, it is ready to become an Act. It can only be described as an Act when it has received Royal Assent.

Action plan Search for term Action plan

This is a school's response to the report of its inspection by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), which must be produced within 40 days.

Action research Search for term Action research

Systematic enquiry designed to yield practical results capable of improving a specific aspect of practice and made public to enable scrutiny and testing.

Activemark Search for term Activemark

An annual award for schools which rewards delivery of the national PE, School Sport and Club Links strategy. Schools will be automatically assessed for Activemark, Sportsmark or the Sports Partnership mark through the national school sport survey.

Activity-led funding Search for term Activity-led funding

Funding based on costing the number of staff and resources needed to run particular activities in schools.

AD(H)D Search for term AD(H)D

Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder is a term used to describe the condition of children who have long-term difficulties in attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour.

ADCS Search for term ADCS

The Association of Directors of Children's Services is the national leadership association in England for statutory directors of children's services and other children's services professionals in leadership roles.

ADD Search for term ADD

See AD(H)D.

Additional Educational Needs Search for term Additional Educational Needs

AEN is taken to include all children and young people for whom additional or exceptional educational provision is required. Those with SEN are included in this wider group.

Additional literacy support Search for term Additional literacy support

Additional Literacy Support (ALS) is a 'catch-up' programme suitable for children in Years 3 and 4. It is aimed at children who scored 2c in the end of Key Stage 1 assessments. The aim of the programme is to support the children to attain age related expectations by the end of the programme.

ADECS Search for term ADECS

The Association of Directors of Education and Children's Services was formerly part of ConfEd, which was merged into the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) in 2007.

Admission forum Search for term Admission forum

All LAs must establish admission forums to enable all admission authorities to discuss existing and proposed admission arrangements, and to promote agreement on difficult admission issues in the area.

Admissions appeal Search for term Admissions appeal

All LAs use admission criteria when admitting pupils to schools. Parents can, however, lodge an appeal against pupil admission decisions. If upheld, numbers in some schools may exceed those planned.

Admissions authority Search for term Admissions authority

Schools which handle their own pupil applications are admissions authorities. LAs are responsible for admissions to community and voluntary-controlled schools.

Admissions framework Search for term Admissions framework

The new admissions framework, introduced in 1998, was tightened in the Education and Inspections Bill 2006 in order to ensure fair access for all.

Admissions register Search for term Admissions register

A document which contains the details in alphabetical order of all of the pupils who attend a school.

Adult Learning Grant Search for term Adult Learning Grant

Adult Learning Grant is a means tested allowance of up to £30 per week to adults over 19 resident in England studying full-time for a first full level 2 or first full level 3 qualification.

Adult Learning Inspectorate Search for term Adult Learning Inspectorate

As of April 2007, the roles and responsibilities of the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) have been taken on by Ofsted.

Adults other than teachers Search for term Adults other than teachers

AOTTs cover many roles in schools, both inside and outside of the classroom. These include dinnertime supervisors, classroom assistants, peripatetic teachers and education welfare officers.

Advanced Extension Award Search for term Advanced Extension Award

The AEA is designed to stretch the brightest students through a separate paper at A level. It was introduced in June 2002 as part of the Government's response to the Excellence in Cities report.

Advanced GNVQ Search for term Advanced GNVQ

In September 2000 the advanced GNVQ was replaced by the vocational A level in a series of different sizes of award to promote flexibility in the post-16 curriculum.

Advanced Skills Teacher Search for term Advanced Skills Teacher

The role of AST was devised to reward excellent teachers who wished to remain in the classroom and spend the equivalent of one day a week supporting other teachers in developing their skills.

Advanced Supplementary Search for term Advanced Supplementary

The AS qualification equates to the first year of study of a traditional A level. The majority of students now take 4 subjects in the first year of post-16 study.

Adventure Activities Licensing Authority Search for term Adventure Activities Licensing Authority

An independent watchdog set up to ensure the safety of outdoor adventure activities for young people.

Advisory service Search for term Advisory service

In the context of section 63 and 64 of the Education Act 2002; the provision of consultative services of an advisory nature to LAs and school governing bodies to advise on school improvement.

AEA Search for term AEA

The Advanced Extension Award is designed to stretch the brightest students through a separate paper at A level. Introduced in June 2002, it is part of the Government's response to the Excellence in Cities report.

AEN Search for term AEN

Additional Educational Needs / Architecture Education Network

AEP Search for term AEP

Alternative Education Provision. Out-of-school education should be based on the needs of the child and may be provided through a variety of routes, including pupil referral units (PRUs).

Affective domain Search for term Affective domain

Part of Bloom's taxonomy of thinking skills that covers areas such as receptiveness to information, responding and seeing the value of ideas, and information.

AfL Search for term AfL

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 to get there.

afPE Search for term afPE

The association for PE is the physical education subject association for the UK, providing a national standard for school teachers and lecturers of physical education.

AGCAS Search for term AGCAS

The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services is the professional association of careers professionals in higher education.

Age-weighted pupil unit Search for term Age-weighted pupil unit

The AWPU is the sum of money allocated to the school for each pupil according to age. This is the basic unit of funding for the school.

Agenda 21 Search for term Agenda 21

A commitment made by world leaders to developing sustainable policies relating to social, economic and environmental issues which are designed with the future in mind.

AGOG Search for term AGOG

The DCSF's Advisory Group on Governance. Members include the local government association, governor organisations, national coordinators of governor services, headteacher organisations and church education bodies.

Agreed syllabus Search for term Agreed syllabus

A syllabus of religious education that is not specific to one religion adopted by an LA for teaching in community and controlled schools. It is determined by an agreed syllabus conference and recommended by a SACRE.

AHRB Search for term AHRB

Arts and Humanities Research Board. Now superseded by AHRC.

AHRC Search for term AHRC

The Arts and Humanities Research Council supports research within a subject domain ranging from humanities subjects such as history, modern languages and English literature, to the creative and performing arts.

AHT Search for term AHT

Assistant headteacher. AHTs have roles similar to deputy headteachers but have more restricted areas of whole-school responsibility.

Aimhigher Search for term Aimhigher

Aimhigher is a programme designed to increase the numbers of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who apply for and enter higher education courses.

ALAOME Search for term ALAOME

The Association of Local Authority Advisory Officers for Multicultural Education was previously part of ConfEd, which was merged into the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) in 2007.

ALG Search for term ALG

Adult Learning Grant is a means tested allowance of up to 30 per week to adults over 19 resident in England studying full-time for a first full level 2 or first full level 3 qualification.

Algorithm Search for term Algorithm

A step-by-step procedure that, if followed exactly, will always yield a correct solution to a particular type of problem.

ALI Search for term ALI

Adult Learning Inspectorate. As of April 2007, the roles and responsibilities of the ALI have been taken on by Ofsted.

Alis Search for term Alis

The Advanced Level Information System provides performance indicators for post-16 students across all sectors of education.

ALL Search for term ALL

The Association for Language Learning is the UK's major subject association for teachers of foreign languages.

ALS Search for term ALS

Additional Literacy Support (ALS) is a 'catch-up' programme suitable for children in Years 3 and 4. It is aimed at children who scored 2c in the end of Key Stage 1 assessments. The aim of the programme is to support the children to attain age-related expectations by the end of the programme.

Alternative Education Provision Search for term Alternative Education Provision

Education received by pupils of compulsory school age in an institution other than a mainstream school. This should be based on the needs of the child and may be provided through a variety of routes, including pupil referral units (PRUs).

Amalgamation Search for term Amalgamation

The merging of two schools into one.

AMP Search for term AMP

Asset Management Plans set out the information needed, and the criteria used, to make decisions about spending on school premises as efficiently and effectively as possible in order to raise educational standards.

Analytic phonics Search for term Analytic phonics

A method for teaching reading which involves sounding out words letter by letter. Children learn by building up a bank of known words and creating new ones with common phonic components.

Annual admission number Search for term Annual admission number

The agreed number of admissions to a year group in a given year.

Annual parents' meeting Search for term Annual parents' meeting

Along with the governors' annual report, annual parents' meetings have been replaced with the school profile.

Anti-bullying charter Search for term Anti-bullying charter

A document circulated to schools in 2005 designed to increase awareness of good practice in the prevention of bullying.

AoC Search for term AoC

The Association of Colleges represents general further education (FE) colleges, sixth-form colleges and specialist colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

AOTT Search for term AOTT

Adults Other Than Teachers cover many roles in schools, both inside and outside of the classroom. These include dinnertime supervisors, classroom assistants, peripatetic teachers and education welfare officers.

APL Search for term APL

Accreditation of Prior Learning. When assessing evidence of the occupational competence of teaching assistants, relevant prior learning and experience can be taken into account.

APM Search for term APM

Annual Parents' Meeting. Along with the governors' annual report, annual parents' meetings have been replaced with the school profile.

Applied GCSE Search for term Applied GCSE

In September 2002, eight GCSEs in vocational subjects were introduced. Available as double awards, they provide young people with the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of a particular vocational area.

Appointed governor Search for term Appointed governor

A governor, of which there are usually two or three, appointed to review the headteacher's performance and to set annual performance objectives.

Appraisal Search for term Appraisal

A review of a teacher's or a headteacher's performance.

Apprenticeship Search for term Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships offer individuals aged over 16 years old paid employment, combined with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level.

Approved educational activity Search for term Approved educational activity

An activity that takes place outside the school premises and that has been approved by a person authorised by the proprietor of the school.

APS Search for term APS

Average Point Score achieved at Key Stage 4.

AQA Search for term AQA

The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance is the largest of the unitary awarding bodies for examinations in the UK. The AQA was formed by the merger of the AEB and the NEAB in April 2000.

Architecture Education Network Search for term Architecture Education Network

The AEN intends to encourage, enable and facilitate the teaching of the subject of architecture and the built environment as part of the national curriculum and out-of-school activities.

Area Child Protection Committee Search for term Area Child Protection Committee

Area Child Protection Committees have now been superseded by Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs).

AS level Search for term AS level

The Advanced Supplementary qualification equates to the first year of study of a traditional A level. The majority of students now take 4 subjects in the first year of post-16 study.

ASCL Search for term ASCL

The Association of School and College Leaders is a professional association for leaders of secondary schools and colleges.

ASD Search for term ASD

Autistic Spectrum Disorders is a term covering several sub-groups within the autism spectrum. Pupils with ASDs share a triad of impairments around understanding social behaviour, communication and flexible thought.

ASDAN Search for term ASDAN

ASDAN qualifications and awards are used by schools and colleges from 14 to 19 to provide opportunities for students to develop personal, social and active citizenship skills, work-related skills and key skills.

ASE Search for term ASE

The Association for Science Education is the professional association for teachers of science. It was formed in 1963 by the merger of the Science Masters' Association and the Association of Women Science Teachers.

ASK event Search for term ASK event

Online ASK events are regular live events in which a minister or Government expert will be online for a period of time, usually one hour, in order to answer questions sent in by the public.

Aspect Search for term Aspect

The Association of Professionals in Education and Children's Trusts is a professional association and trade union exclusively representing senior professionals and managers in education and children's services.

Asperger syndrome Search for term Asperger syndrome

Part of the autistic spectrum, at the higher end. Individuals with Asperger syndrome are of average or higher than average intelligence.

Assessing Pupils' Progress Search for term Assessing Pupils' Progress

APP is a systematic approach to periodic assessment that provides diagnostic information about individual pupils’ progress and management information about the attainment and progress of groups.

Assessment Search for term Assessment

The process of measuring a pupil's achievement within a specific period against a set of criteria. Assessment can be day to day, periodic or transitional.

Assessment for Learning Search for term Assessment for Learning

The practice of using classroom assessment to improve, rather than simply record, learning. AfL involves 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 to get there.

Asset management plan Search for term Asset management plan

The AMP is intended to set out the information needed, and the criteria used, to make decisions about spending on school premises as efficiently and effectively as possible in order to raise educational standards.

Assisted places scheme Search for term Assisted places scheme

A scheme through which the government assisted parents with the cost of fees at independent schools on a means-tested basis.

Associate member Search for term Associate member

A person who is appointed by the governing body as a member of a committee established by it, but who is not a governor.

Association for Language Learning Search for term Association for Language Learning

ALL is the UK's major subject association for teachers of foreign languages.

Association of Teachers of Mathematics Search for term Association of Teachers of Mathematics

The ATM was established in 1950 to encourage the development of mathematics education such that it is more closely related to the needs of the learner.

AST Search for term AST

The role of Advanced Skills Teacher was devised to reward excellent teachers who wished to remain in the classroom and spend the equivalent of one day a week supporting other teachers in developing their skills.

AT Search for term AT

An Attainment Target sets out the knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils of different abilities and levels of maturity are expected to have by the end of each key stage (ages 7, 11, 14 and 16).

ATL Search for term ATL

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers is a professional organisation and trade union for higher education teachers and lecturers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

ATM Search for term ATM

The Association of Teachers of Mathematics was established in 1950 to encourage the development of mathematics education such that it is more closely related to the needs of the learner.

Attainment Search for term Attainment

Standards achieved against objectively defined levels of performance.

Attainment target Search for term Attainment target

An AT sets out the knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils of different abilities and levels of maturity are expected to have by the end of each key stage (ages 7, 11, 14 and 16).

Attendance lead Search for term Attendance lead

Professional who leads strategically on attendance in a school or children's services.

Attendance panel Search for term Attendance panel

Formal meeting at school with pupil and parents as part of a fast track to attendance.

Attendance policy Search for term Attendance policy

Guidance on producing a whole-school policy for improving attendance.

Attendance profile Search for term Attendance profile

Guidance for LAs on the collection and analysis of attendance.

Attendance strategy Search for term Attendance strategy

Guidance on producing an LA CS-wide strategy for improving attendance.

Audit commission Search for term Audit commission

An independent body set up by the Government to monitor the use of funds by LAs and certain other bodies.

Authorised absence Search for term Authorised absence

Absence with permission from a teacher or other authorised representative of the school. This includes instances of absence for which a satisfactory explanation has been provided, such as illness.

Authorised drugs Search for term Authorised drugs

Principally, authorised drugs refers to medicines and any other drugs sanctioned for legitimate use (such as alcohol stored for a raffle, safe storage and use of hazardous chemicals).

Autism Search for term Autism

Autism is a condition at the higher end of the autistic spectrum, which affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them.

Autistic spectrum disorder Search for term Autistic spectrum disorder

Autistic spectrum disorders is a term covering several subgroups within the autism spectrum. Pupils with ASDs share a triad of impairments around understanding social behaviour, communication and flexible thought.

Autumn Package Search for term Autumn Package

Now known as key stage national data, which contains information and statistics on national pupil performance, and is published annually by the DCSF

AVCE Search for term AVCE

The Advanced Vocational Certificate in Education enables students to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in their area of study that prepare them for both the world of work and higher education.

Awarding body Search for term Awarding body

An independent institution which develops and distributes materials for assessment as part of the National Qualifications Framework.

AWPU Search for term AWPU

The Age-Weighted Pupil Unit is the sum of money allocated to the school for each pupil according to age. This is the basic unit of funding for the school.

Accent Search for term Accent

Features of pronunciation that signal regional or social identity.

Activating prior knowledge Search for term Activating prior knowledge

Activation of prior knowledge can develop pupils' understanding by helping them see links between what they already know and new information they are encountering and thus making teaching more effective. There are many ways of encouraging pupils to bring to the forefront of their minds, knowledge that relates to the text or subject they are about to consider: Word association chain around key word in title or in the text; Ask for memories around key word in title or an artefact (This reminds me of ... It makes me think of); Filling in a mind-mapping, concept mapping or other grids/proforma (e.g. the first column of a KWL grid). The use of such strategies is based on insights from schema theory, which explores how we build and access knowledge.

Additionality Search for term Additionality

An important principle in intervention is that the targeted pupils receive something additional that is funded by additional funds to the school. Additionality can take the form of extra tuition or extra support, for example through the employment of a teaching assistant.

Assessment focuses Search for term Assessment focuses

Assessment focuses, developed by QCA, are the basis of the mark scheme for the Key Stage 3 tests. They identify particular aspects of reading and writing.

Assessment objectives Search for term Assessment objectives

Assessment objectives, issued by QCA, are the basis for assessment in all GCSE specifications. They identify the aspects of speaking and listening, and reading and writing which need to be taught because they are assessed through coursework and/or examination.