Annual Review:

The process of ensuring that an EHCP continues to describe the child’s needs and how they should be met through a meeting held once each year.


Finding out what a child can and cannot do by observing them at early years setting or school and sometimes at home and by talking with people who know the child well

Behaviour Support Plan:

A plan coordinated by schools for the development of long lasting help to those who have difficulty in learning and working alongside others.


A person who is looking after a child but isn't their birth parent

Code of Practice (SEN):

A government document that schools, early years settings and local authorities follow when identifying children with SEN and meeting their needs Communication and Interaction (CI): Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives. Children and young people with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.

Cognition and Learning (CL):

Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment. Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.

CAMHS - Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services:

Your GP can make a referral to CAMHS. This is an area where the Department of Health & Department for Education work on joint initiatives.

Department for Education (DfE):

A national government department Differentiation: The way in which the early years setting/school’s curriculum and teaching methods are adapted to meet the needs of a child

Disagreement resolution (mediation):

Arrangements which all local authorities must provide to help prevent or resolve disagreements between parents/carers whose children have SEN and the local authority or school. These must include an independent service with trained mediators, designed to bring the different parties together in an informal way to try to resolve the disagreement through discussion.

Early Years:

Birth to five years old

Early Years settings:

All pre-school education provision, such as nursery classes , day nurseries, childminders, Specialist Resource Centres including Pre-school Special Needs and Resource Team.

Early Years Foundation Stage: The framework used by all early years settings which sets out standards and provides a flexible approach which supports learning and development until the end of the reception year at school.

Education Caseworker: A person who is employed and directed by the Local Authority to support families with children who have a special educational need.

Education Health Care Plan (EHC plan): A legal document that sets out a child’s needs and the extra help he/she should receive. The plan runs from 0 – 25 years if the child or young adult remains in education.

Educational Psychologist (EP): A professional employed by the local authority or commissioned by the school / setting to assess a child’s Special Educational Needs and to give advice to the Local Authority, schools and settings as to how the child’s needs can be met.

Graduated approach: A model which recognises that children may need different levels of support at different stages in their early years or school lives.

Key Stages:

The different stages of education that a child passes through:

Early Years Foundation Stage – age 0-5 (Early years setting, Nursery and Reception);

Key Stage one – age 5-7 (Years 1 and 2);

Key Stage two – age 7-11(Years 3,4, 5 and 6);

Key Stage three – age 11-14 (Years 7, 8 and 9);

Key Stage four – age 14-16 (Years 10 and 11);

Key Stage five – age 16-18 (Sixth form)

Learning difficulties:

Problems or conditions which make learning harder for the individual than it is for most people,

Local authority (LA):

A local government body that is responsible for providing education. For children with special educational needs the LA is responsible for carrying out Statutory Assessments and maintaining ECH plans

Mainstream school:

An ordinary school which is for all children, not just those with special educational needs

Maintained school:

A state school. This includes community, foundation and voluntary aided schools

Support Officer:

The person from the local authority who will deal with a child’s case. This is the person that parents/carers and schools contact with specific queries about a child’s Statutory Assessment or Education Health Care Plan.

Occupational Therapist (OT):

A professional trained to give advice on equipment, adaptations and activities to support the learning/ social development of people with physical, emotional or behavioural difficulties.

One Page Profile:

This straightforward person-centred thinking tool captures what is important to the individual, together with specific detailed information about how to support them, both inside and outside the classroom. It can be reviewed annually as part of transition or when necessary.

Paediatrician (Community Paediatrician):

A doctor who specialises in children’s diseases and may be responsible for the continuing care of children with special educational needs both before school entry and in special and mainstream schools.

Parent Partnership Service (Also known as Parent Support Service ):

A service which provides information and support to parents/carers whose children have special educational needs.

PIVATS Levels:

Performance levels used to assess a child who is not yet working within the National Curriculum levels of attainment

Pupil Overview of Provision (POP):

A plan written by an early years practitioner/teacher/SENCO, outlining the way the child’s needs are being met, and setting SMART targets and shared with parents. The POP document is no longer a standard, compulsory document and schools can record this information as however they see fit.


The extra or different help given to children with special educational needs.

Provision mapping:

A way of identifying the range of provision available to all pupils in a school, which is additional to and different from the school’s differentiated curriculum. It can be used as part of the planning process for a child with additional needs, home-based educational support for pre-school children with special educational needs. This is shown in the POP.

Sensory and/or Physical Needs (SPN):

Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI),hearing impairment (HI) or a multisensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties. Information on how to provide services for deafblind children and young people is available through the Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults guidance published by the Department of Health (see the References section under Chapter 6 for a link). Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH):

Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder. Schools and colleges should have clear processes to support children and young people, including how they will manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils. The Department for Education publishes guidance on managing pupils’ mental health and behaviour difficulties in schools.

Special Educational Needs (SEN):

The needs of children who have a learning difficulty, which means that they require special educational provision to be made for them. Children who have a learning difficulty find it harder to learn than the majority of children of the same age, or they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from accessing the education provided for other children.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO):

The person responsible for the co-ordination of special educational needs support within school or early years settings.

(SENDIST) Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal:

An independent body that hears appeals against decisions made by the local authority on Statutory Assessments and Education Health Care Plan.

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD):

Learning difficulties in specific areas, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia

Speech & Language Therapist / SALT:

a professional trained to give specialist assessments, advice and treatment for Children with communication difficulties


A Teaching Assistant supports children with their learning activities in the classroom. They work closely with teachers to make sure pupils enjoy learning and make progress.

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