Accessibility Links


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  • ACAC

    Qualifications, Curriculum & Assessment Authority for Wales

  • Access courses

    Courses designed to prepare those without A-levels for the challenges of higher education

  • ASCL

    Association of School and College Leaders
    Formerly the Secondary Heads Association

  • AST

    Advanced skills teacher
    A school leadership role which is mainly classroom-based, allowing experienced, excellent teachers to continue developing their careers without having to take on management responsibilities

  • ATL

    Association of Teachers and Lecturers

  • ATP

    Approved Training Provider

  • AVCE

    Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education

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  • BA with QTS

    Bachelor of arts with qualified teacher status
    A degree in an arts or humanities-based subject which also leads to qualified teacher status. Find out more about BA with QTS courses.

  • Becta

    British Educational Communications and Technology Agency
    The lead government body for ICT in education

  • BEd with QTS

    Bachelor of education with qualified teacher status
    A degree in education which also leads to qualified teacher status. Find out more about BEd courses.

  • BSc with QTS

    Bachelor of science with qualified teacher status
    A degree in a science-based subject which also leads to qualified teacher status. Find out more about BSc with QTS courses.

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  • CATE

    Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education

  • CCEA

    Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

  • CILT

    Centre for Information on Language Teaching

  • City Academies

    Publicly funded independent schools set up and run by sponsors, providing free education to secondary age pupils of all abilities, including provision for children with special educational needs. City Academies have state of the art facilities, through which they offer a broad and balanced curriculum, including a specialism.

  • CLEA

    Council of Local Education Authorities

  • Co-educational

    The teaching of pupils of both sexes in the same school or college

  • Community schools

    State schools in England and Wales which are wholly owned and maintained by the local education authority. The LEA has main responsibility for deciding arrangements for admitting pupils

  • Community Special Schools

    The special school equivalent of mainstream community schools which cater wholly or mainly for children with statutory statements of special educational needs

  • Comprehensive

    A secondary school for pupils of all abilities

  • Connexions

    A government support service for young people which aims to ensure success through learning and a smooth transition to adulthood and working life for every young person

  • CPD

    Continuing professional development

  • CTC

    City Technology College

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  • D&T

    Design and technology

  • DENI

    Department of Education (Northern Ireland)

  • Denominational school

    A school with its own particular beliefs, organisation and practices

  • DfE

    Department for Education
    The English government department that creates policy

  • DfES

    Department for Education and Skills
    The former English government department that created policy – as of June 2007, DfES was replaced by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS)

  • DfTE

    Department for Training and Education (Wales)
    The Welsh government department which creates policy

  • DHT

    Deputy headteacher

  • DIUS

    Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
    The English government department responsible for science and innovation, with further and higher education and skills

  • DRB

    Designated recommending body (see EBITT)

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  • EAL

    English as an additional language


    Employment based initial teacher training (formerly DRB)
    A partnership responsible for providing the Graduate Teacher Programme and Registered Teacher Programme in England, including planning and preparing training

  • EBR

    Employment-based routes into teaching (see EBTTS)

  • EBTT

    Employment-based teacher training


    Employment based teacher training scheme (formerly EBR)
    For example, the Graduate Teacher Programme and the Registered Teacher Programme

  • EEA

    European Economic Area

  • Extended school

    A school that provides a range of services and activities often beyond the school day to help meet the needs of its pupils, their families and the wider community

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  • FAQ

    Frequently asked question

  • FE

    Further education

  • FEI

    Further education institution
    A school or college offering pre-degree level education

  • Foundation school

    Type of state school which is run by the local authority but which has more freedom than community schools to manage the school and decide on its own admissions

  • Foundation special schools

    A foundation schools that caters wholly or mainly for children with statutory statements of special educational needs.

  • Foundation stage

    The earliest years of schooling for UK children (ages 3-5 years)

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  • GCSE

    General Certificate of Secondary Education
    Examination usually taken at the end of compulsory schooling in England and Wales

  • GMS

    Grant maintained school

  • GNVQ

    General National Vocational Qualification
    Examination in a subject which is not academic

  • Grammar schools

    Grammar schools select all or almost all of their pupils with reference to academic ability

  • GRTP

    Graduate and Registered Teacher Programmes
    An collective term for the GTP and the RTP

  • GSA

    Girls' Schools Association

  • GTCE

    General Teaching Council for England
    The professional body for teachers and teaching in England

  • GTCW

    General Teaching Council for Wales
    The professional body for teachers and teaching in Wales

  • GTP

    Graduate Teacher Programme
    An employment-based teacher training programme for graduates. Find out more about the GTP

  • GTTR

    Graduate Teacher Training Registry
    The central agency responsible for processing applications for most postgraduate initial teacher training courses (ie PGCEs)

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  • HEI

    Higher education institution
    A university, school or college offering degree-level and postgraduate education

  • HESA

    Higher Education Statistics Agency

  • HLTA

    Higher level teaching assistant

  • HMCI

    Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools

  • HND

    Higher National Diploma
    A two-year intermediate level qualification, equating to two years of a degree course

  • HOD

    Head of department

  • HOY

    Head of year

  • Humanities

    A collective term for a range of subjects including: history, geography, religious studies, sociology and others

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  • ICT

    Information and communication technology

  • Inset

    In-service education and training
    Training for qualified teachers

  • ISIS

    Independent Schools Information Service

  • ITT

    Initial teacher training
    Course of training that leads to qualified teacher status (QTS). Find out more about initial teacher training.

  • ITT provider

    A school, college or university that offers initial teacher training courses. Find out more about ITT providers.

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  • Key stages

    The different stages of compulsory schooling in the UK. The teacher training you receive will be provided according to the needs the key stages you intend to teach.

  • KS1

    Key stage 1
    First stage of compulsory schooling for UK children (ages 5-7 years)

  • KS2

    Key stage 2
    Second stage of compulsory schooling for UK children (ages 7-11 years)

  • KS3

    Key stage 3
    Third stage of compulsory schooling for UK children (ages 12-13 years)

  • KS4

    Key stage 4
    Fourth stage of compulsory schooling for UK children (ages 14-16 years)

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  • LA

    Local authority
    These organisations provide services for schools in their area

  • Leadership group

    Headteachers, deputy heads and assistant heads

  • Leading edge schools

    Schools selected from the country's best schools to act as a lever to transform secondary education, to engineer the growth of collaborative learning communities and federations, and to promote innovation, research and development to push the boundaries of current teaching practice.

  • LMS

    Local management of schools

  • LPSH

    Leadership Programme for Serving Headteachers

  • LSA

    Learning support assistant

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  • Mainstream schools

    Belonging or relating to the mainstream in accordance with what is 'normal' or 'standard,' as opposed to a 'special school'

  • Maintained school

    A school that is maintained by the state

  • MFL

    Modern foreign languages
    French, Spanish, German

  • Middle school

    A middle school has pupils from KS2 and KS3. Depending on the age balance of those pupils the school can be deemed primary or secondary.

  • MPS

    Main Pay Scale
    Determines classroom teachers' basic salaries. There are now two scales: one for England and Wales and one for inner London

  • MQ

    Mandatory qualification

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  • NAHT

    National Association of Headteachers


    National Union of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers


    National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education

  • NC

    National Curriculum
    Covers what pupils should be taught in state maintained schools. The National Curriculum embraces 12 subjects overall, and is divided into four Key Stages according to age

  • NCSL

    National College for School Leadership

  • NPQH

    National Professional Qualification for Headship

  • NQT

    Newly qualified teacher
    A teacher who has just been awarded qualified teacher status

  • NUT

    National Union of Teachers

  • NVQ

    National Vocational Qualification
    A vocational qualification completed in the workplace and available at levels 1-5

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  • Ofsted

    Office for Standards in Education

  • OTT

    Overseas trained teacher
    Individuals who have teaching qualifications gained outside the UK.

  • OTTP

    Overseas trained teacher programme
    An individually tailored programme of training and assessment enabling OTTs to achieve qualified teacher status in England. Find out more about the OTTP.

  • OU

    Open University

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  • Partially selective schools

    Partially selective schools select a proportion of their pupils according to ability or aptitude.

  • PAT

    Professional Association of Teachers

  • PE

    Physical education

  • PGCE

    Postgraduate Certificate of Education
    A postgraduate-level teacher training qualification. Find out more about PGCEs.

  • Priority subjects

    Mathematics, English (including drama), information and communication technology (ICT), design and technology (D&T), science, modern languages, Welsh – teachers teaching these subjects qualify for additional financial incentives.

  • PRP

    Performance related pay

  • PSHE

    Personal, social and health education

  • PTA

    Parent-teacher association

  • Pupil referral unit

    Schools established and maintained by LEAs to cater for children of compulsory school age who may otherwise not receive suitable education. Their focus is on getting pupils back into a mainstream school.

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  • QAF

    Quality assessment framework

  • QCDA

    Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority

  • QTS

    Qualified teacher status
    The status trainee teachers achieve by meeting all of the required Standards. You must have this qualification to teach in a state-maintained school.

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  • RB

    Recommending body
    A school, local education authority, higher education institution or any other body that can organise an appropriate teacher training plan.

  • RTP

    Registered Teacher Programme
    An employment-based teacher training programme. Find out more about the RTP.

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  • Schools in special measure

    Schools deemed by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools to be failing to provide an acceptable standard of education to its pupils.


    School-centred initial teacher training
    Teacher training provided by schools in partnership with higher education institutions and local education authorities. Find out more about SCITT.

  • SEN

    Special educational needs


    SEN coordinator
    The teacher in school with responsibility for the delivery of services for children with special educational needs

  • SHA

    Secondary Heads Association
    Now known as the Association of School and College Leaders, see ASCL above

  • Special schools

    State schools in England and Wales provided by local education authorities for certain children with special educational needs.

  • State schools

    Otherwise known as publicly funded schools and attended by over 90 per cent of pupils. Parents do not pay any fees.

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  • TA

    Teaching assistant

  • TDA

    Training and Development Agency for Schools
    Formerly the Teacher Training Agency. Find out more information about our organisation.

  • TEFL

    Teaching English as a Foreign Language

  • TES

    Times Educational Supplement
    A good source of information about teaching job vacancies

  • TIL

    Teaching Information Line
    Telephone helpline staffed by specialist consultants who provide advice and information for people interested in a career in teaching.

  • TILE

    Training to Teach in London Event

  • TTRS

    Teacher training recruitment scheme in Wales

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  • UCAS

    Universities & Colleges Admissions Service
    The agency responsible for processing applications for undergraduate courses in the UK

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  • Voluntary aided schools

    Schools in England and Wales, maintained by the local authority, for which a foundation (generally religious) appoints most of the governing body.

  • Voluntary controlled school

    Schools in England and Wales, maintained by the local authority, for which a foundation (generally religious) appoints some – but not most – of the governing body

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  • Year 1 to Year 13

    The way year groups are divided in English schools, from nursery through to sixth form:

    • Reception year: 4/5-year-olds
    • Year 1: 5/6-year-olds
    • Year 2: 6/7-year-olds
    • Year 3: 7/8-year-olds
    • Year 4: 8/9-year-olds
    • Year 5: 9/10-year-olds
    • Year 6: 10/11-year-olds
    • Year 7: 11/12-year-olds
    • Year 8: 12/13-year-olds
    • Year 9: 13/14-year-olds
    • Year 10: 14/15-year-olds
    • Year 11: 15/16-year-olds
    • Year 12: 16/17-year-olds
    • Year 13: 17/18-year-olds



Welcome to ‘My CPD’. Save time and access in one place, tools to develop your professional career, enhance your teaching quality and impact in the classroom.

CPD Database

Visit the CPD Database to search for relevant quality assured CPD opportunities, including those that are free or specific to your role.

CPD Zone
Teacher Development Hub

Visit the Teacher Development Hub to access evidence based research and resources to raise performance in the classroom.

TD Hub
CPD Guidance

Want to know how to get the best out of yourself and others? Access our resources to understand what good CPD looks like, how to evaluate its impact and how to write a CPD policy.