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Key words about SEND and education and what they mean

EPIC Glossary

This glossary explains some policy words and terms that you might come across.


Act: A law that has been passed by Parliament.
Advocate: An independent person or organisation who will give children and young people information or support to make a decision.
Alternative providers: Organisations that provide services to people but are not funded by the government, for example private care organisations.
Appeal: To argue against something or question a decision you don’t agree with using the law.
Apprenticeship: Paid jobs that include training to gain practical skills while you work, for example veterinary nursing or plumbing.
Assessments: Looking at what you can and can’t do, and looking at the support available to help you do those things. Autonomy: Being able to make your own decisions about things.
Additional Learning Support this is what further education describe special education needs as.
Additional SEN Support: the replacement for school action and school action plus for young people with special educational needs who are not covered by education health and care plans 


Bill: A Bill is something the government wants to become law, but is waiting for Parliament to agree to.


Call for evidence: When an organisation asking experts to tell them what they think about something.
Care and Support Bill: A Bill that will make changes to the law about how adult social care and health services work.
Case studies: Stories about someone’s experience to show how services work in real life.
Children and Families Bill: A new set of laws that the government want to introduce. This will include changes that affect how disabled children, young people and families get the services and support they need.
Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum: A group of children’s health experts who wrote a report for the Government on children’s health issues.
Code of Practice: A guide to tell local authorities what they need to do to work within the law and provide support for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.


Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS): A government department that deals with businesses, training and universities.
Direct payments: Allow people to receive money directly from their local authority, so they can pay for their own services and live more independently.
Draft 0-25 special educational needs (SEN) Code of Practice: A guide to tell local authorities what they need to do to work within the law and provide support for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Draft clauses: Ideas the government is thinking about putting into a Bill. Duty: Something the law says an organisation must do. 


Early Support: A way of working with disabled children to help them do better in school. Early education practitioners Education Funding Agency (EFA): Decides how schools and colleges get their money.
Education, Health and Care Assessment: A new assessment for disabled children and young people to help decide what services and support they need.
Education, Health and Care Plan: A new document that will set out what support disabled children and young people should get in school. This will replace a ‘statement’.
Education Select Committee: A group of MP’s from different parties in government that look at issues to do with Education.


Framework: A set of rules that show how something should happen.
Further education: Any education that a young person does once they’ve left school. This includes college, university, apprenticeships and supported internships. 


Guidance: Tells organisations what they should be doing to work within the law.


Healthwatch: A group that helps patients and the public speak to health services in their area.
Health and Well Being Boards: They bring together local health services, doctors and local authorities to decide what health issues are important to concentrate on in the local area.


Implementation: Making something that is set out in law happen.
Indicative draft: a draft document setting out a structure and ideas but it is published knowing it will change
Impartial: information from a person, organisation that tells you all the facts and options available to you to help you make your own decision.


Joined-up: When services work together to plan what services people in the local area need.
Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA): This finds out what a local area is like, who lives there and what services they need.


Key workers: Someone who works with children and families to help them get the best education and social care services and make sure services work together.


Legal documents: A document that includes information and instructions that you must do to follow the law. Learning Disability Assessments: An assessment to find out if a person has learning disabilities and what support they will need to help them in school or education.
LINKs: Organisations that found out what local people thought about the health services in their area. LlNKs will be replaced by Healthwatch.
Local authority: The local government responsible for managing services in your area – i.e. your local council.
Local offer: A document to say what services and support are available in local areas for disabled children, young people and families.


Mainstream: Services that all children and young people use, for example youth clubs, leisure facilities and public transport. This can also include mainstream education, so schools and colleges that all children and young people can go to.
Mediation: A way of trying to come to an agreement when people disagree. In education this is often when parents disagree with a council or school.
Munro report: A report about how professionals can be better at keep children safe.


Ofsted: The organisation that makes sure schools and social care services are doing a good job.
Oral evidence sessions: When a government committee asks specific people to answer detailed questions on a particular topic.
Outcomes: What children and young people achieve and how their lives improve, for example going to college, learning new skills, living on their own or getting a job. 


Parent/ Carer forums: Local groups where parents of disabled children and young people can come together to discuss issues in their local area and how they would like to improve them.
Parent Partnership Services: A service in your local area where parents can get advice on education issues for children and young people with Special Educational Needs.
Pathfinders: Local areas that are testing out the different government SEND proposals. They do this by working with families and young people to find out what works best for them and sharing what they find with the government and other pathfinder areas.
Pathfinder areas: Bromley & Bexley; Calderdale; Cornwall and Isles of Scilly; Devon; Gateshead; Greenwich; Hartlepool & Darlington; Hertfordshire; Lewisham; Manchester; North Yorkshire; Northamptonshire & Leicester City; Nottinghamshire; Oldham & Rochdale; SE7 = Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Medway, Surrey, West Sussex; Solihull; Southampton; Trafford; Wigan; Wiltshire.
Pathfinder Advisory Group (PAG): A group of experts who help the government work with the local area pathfinders. Person Centred Planning: A way of planning services based on what the person using them wants and cares about.
Personal budgets: Money that people can use and decide themselves how to spend to pay for support.
Personal health budgets: Money that people can use to spend on things to help them improve their health condition. Pre-legislative scrutiny: When a group of MP’s look at a draft Bill and tell the government what they should change before they publish the final version.
Provisions: Something that is provided for somebody, sometimes the law tells organisations what they must provide.
Public health: Trying to make everyone get healthier by helping them make good decisions about their health. Pupil Premium: Extra money for that a school gets for every pupil who is from a poor family to help them get a better education.


Redress: What someone should get if something goes wrong and it is the fault of an organisation.
Regulations: Guidance that tells professionals and organisations what to do to make sure they carry out what the law says.
Ring fencing: when the government decides that some money can only be spent on a specific thing. 


Secondary legislation: Changes the Government makes to an existing law without having to pass a new law.
Select Committee: A group of MP’s from all political parties that look at a specific issue. They listen to experts, write reports and tell the government what they think they should pay attention to.
Short breaks: Opportunities for disabled children and young people to spend time away from their family and do something fun. For example a day, evening, overnight or weekend activity.
Special Educational Needs (SEN): Children and young people have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which means they need extra support to help them learn or take part in activities in school or college.
Specialist support: Services specifically designed to support disabled children and young people, for example speech and language, short breaks or special education.
Statement of SEN Support: A legal document written by the local authority that tells schools what support they have to give you.
Statutory: In law.
Statutory services: Services that the government provide, for example education, health or social care services from a local authority.
Supported Internships: These are unpaid roles for young disabled people to study or train with an employer. They will gain skills to help them move into paid employment. 


Therapies: Medical treatments that help a disabled person to manage the symptoms of their condition, for example physiotherapy, speech therapy.
Transition: When a young person moves from children’s to adult services.
Tribunal: A place where you can go to talk about decisions that you don’t agree with. A group of people who are not involved will listen to all the people involved in the argument and make a decision. 


Vulnerable Children’s Task Group: Part of the National Advisory group, the members are experts in how to look after vulnerable children.