What We Mean When We Say...
A lot of the terms that you’ll find here aren’t used in everyday English and can be confusing
You can find out what the specialist words and phrases mean here.
If you spot something that you haven’t come across before and we haven’t given an explanation let us know and we’ll add it to this page.
This list is in alphabetical order. We’ve also included terms that commonly get shortened to abbreviations.
ASIO – Assistant special educational needs inclusion officer
DfE – Department for Education
BESD – Behavioural, emotional and social difficulties
EHCP – Education, health and care plan
EP – Educational psychologist
ESW – Educational social worker
IS – Independent support/supporter
LA – Local authority (your council)
SALT – Speech and language therapy/therapist
SEN – Special educational needs
SEND – Special educational needs and/or disabilities
SENDCO – Special educational needs and disability coordinator
SENCO –Special educational needs coordinator
SIO – Special educational needs inclusion officer
TA – Teaching assistant
PMLD – Profound and multiple learning difficulties
SEMHD – Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
SLCN – Speech, language and communication
SPLD – Specific learning difficulties
Words and phrases
Code of Practice – These are guidelines set out by the government that explain our duties and those of schools, colleges, health services and anyone else who supports children and young people with SEND.
Disability – This can be a mental or physical condition that strongly effects how someone carries out normal activities.
Education, health & care needs assessment – This is when we (or any local authority) look at information and evidence about your child to find out how much extra support they need.
Education, health & care plan – This is a legal document that we (or any local authority) create that describes the education (nursery, school or college), health and social care needs and support that is needed by anyone aged between 0-25. It replaces the Statement of Special Educational Needs.
Health provision -This is the type of health care that is set out in someone’s EHCP. For example: medicine, nursing care and special equipment.
Outcomes – The difference that a certain bit of help has made to someone’s life. For example, the result of using a new transport service has the outcome of making travel easier.
Local Offer – Information that we make available about education, health and social care support that’s available for anyone ages 0-25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Phase transfer – When a child moves from one phase of their education to another, for example if they go up a school year or move from nursery to school or from school to college.
Portage – This is extra help for young children, given to them in their own home.
School/early years action & action plus – These were the stages of help available for children that was provided before September 2014. This has been replaced by SEN Support.
SEN support – This is the first level of extra help that’s available in schools for children with special educational needs.
Setting – This means anywhere a child or young person gets their education, for example nursery, school or college.
Social care provision – This is the help that people get to live at home, or to get about in the community.
Special educational needs – When someone has a learning difficulty or a disability that makes it harder for them to learn than for people the same age.
Special education provision – This is any extra help that’s related to your child’s education. It’s usually provided by the school.
Transfer review – This is when we change a ‘Statement of Special Educational Needs’ in to an Education Health and Care plan.
Young person – When we say young person we mean anyone who has reached the end of their school age. Usually this is when a child turns 16 and up to the age of 25. After this they are considered an adult.