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Education Glossary and Abbreviations

A Level Advanced Level the exams usually taken at age 18 and often required for university entrance.

Academies White paper has enabled schools to become academies, giving them more autonomy from local authorities.

Aided schools see Faith schools.

Assembly the name often used in schools for the collective act of worship, required by the 1988 Education 'Reform' Act to be 'mainly Christian'.

ATL Association of Teachers and Lecturers

BEd Bachelor of Education – teaching degree qualification. Also see PGCE

CE Church of England (as in 'St Jude's CE Primary School')

Child-centred a style of education which focuses on children's abilities, aptitudes and interests.

Church schools schools run by the churches - mostly CE, some RC. See Faith schools. .

Comprehensive school non-selective school, usually for 11-18 year olds.

DHT Deputy Headteacher

Eleven plus the exam(s) used to select eleven year olds for grammar schools in LEAs which still operate selection at 11.

ECaW Every Child a Writer, literacy strategy based around individual book or theme.

EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage

Faith schools schools run by a religious group. May be independent or funded by the state. Those funded by the state are either Voluntary Aided (more faith group control, especially over religious education) or Voluntary Controlled (less faith group control).

FE Further education

Further education generally refers to non-university education for school-leavers (often vocational). See also Higher education.

GCSE General Certificate of Secondary Education

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) the exam normally taken at age 16. Introduced in 1986 when it combined and replaced the previous GCE O Level (Ordinary Level) and the CSE.

HMI Her Majesty's Inspectorate (OFSTED inspector)

HT Headteacher

ICT Information and Communication Technology

INSET In-service training

KS Key stage (KS1 – 5 to 7 years, KS2 7 to 11 years)

LA Local Authority .

Mixed ability see Pupil grouping.

NAHT National Association of Head Teachers

NASUWT National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers

NAHT National Association of Head Teachers union for (mainly primary) head teachers.

NASUWT National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers the second largest teacher union, representing mainly teachers in secondary schools.

NC National Curriculum statutory curriculum in all state schools, introduced in the 1988 Education 'Reform' Act and modified several times since.

NCSL National College for School Leadership

NUT National Union of Teachers the largest teacher union.

Ofsted Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

Peer Assessment when children, with guidance, mark and comment on the work of their fellow students 

PFI Private Finance Initiative

PGCE Postgraduate Certificate in Education a year of professional training for graduates wanting QTS

PRU Pupil Referral Unit for children with needs that are supported outside the mainstream system.

PSHE Personal, social and health education

PSHCE Personal, social, health and citizenship education.

Primary school for children aged 5 to 11.

Public school confusingly, this term usually refers to private schools - schools not funded by the state but for which parents pay fees. Sometimes referred to as independent schools.

Pupil grouping four main types:

  • streaming, where a class consists of pupils selected on the basis of overall ability;
  • setting, where a class consists of pupils selected on the basis of ability in a particular subject;
  • mixed ability, where a class consists of pupils representing the full range of abilities;
  • banding (usually in large secondary schools), where pupils are organised into groups of classes on the basis of overall ability.

QCA Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

QTS Qualified Teacher Status

RE Religious Education required by the 1988 Education 'Reform' Act to be 'mainly Christian' but to include the study of other world faiths.

SATs Standard Assessment Tests (children are tested in year 2 and year 6)

School Action / School Action Plus – level of intervention and support for a child with special educational needs

Secondary school for children aged 11 to 18. At Darell, our secondary schools are Greycourt, Christ’s and Richmond Park Academy

SEN Special educational needs

SENCO Special educational needs coordinator

SRE Sex and Relationships Education

Sixth form the traditional name (still used) for students aged 16-18 years who have taken their GCSE exams and are (usually) studying for A Levels.

Statementing the process, required by law, of creating a statement of the special educational needs of a pupil and the ways in which those needs will be met.

TDA Training and Development Agency for Schools

TES The Times Educational Supplement

White Paper sets out proposals for inclusion in a government Bill.