Home Page


Glossary of Commonly used SEND Terms


Annual Review

A yearly review of SEND provision and progress.



For the purpose of the CoP, a carer is a person named by a local authority to care for a child for whom the social services department has parental responsibility.


Categories of Need

Terms used by professionals to refer to different types of Special Educational Needs.  These are often abbreviated, as follows:


SEN Category (Area of Need)


Description of Need


Cognition and Learning Difficulties


Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)



Moderate Learning Difficulties; which includes children who have difficulty with some of the work in school, and with keeping up with other children their age.



Severe Learning Difficulties; includes children who have difficulty developing basic skills.



Profound & Multiple Learning Difficulties


Behaviour & Emotional Needs


Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs



Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Communication and Interaction Needs (CI)


Speech, Language and Communication Needs; including expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying.



Autistic Spectrum Disorder, difficulties with social communication, making friends or relating to adults.


Sensory and/or Physical Needs


Visual Impairment



Hearing Impairment



Multi-Sensory Impairment



Physical Disability




Complex Medical


Code of Practice (CoP)

A guide to LEAs and schools about the help which can be given to children with Special Educational Needs.  LEAs and schools must have regard to the CoP when dealing with a child with Special Educational Needs.


Connexions Service

A service to help all young people aged 13 to 19 prepare for the transition to adult life.


Educational Psychologist (EP)

An officer of the LA.  He or she will play an important role in assessing your child’s educational needs and gives advice to schools.


Foundation Stage

This begins when children reach the age of 3 and continues until the end of the reception year. 



This is when children with SEN are included in mainstream schools.


Pupil Profile

This is a plan for a child, examining what they can do now, what they need to do next and how this is going to be achieved.


Teaching Assistant (TA)

An assistant providing in-school support for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities.  A TA will normally work with a particular pupil or pupils, providing close support to those teaching him or her. 


Local Authority (LA)

A local government body, responsible for providing education, carrying out statutory assessments and maintaining statements.


Mainstream, or maintained school

An ordinary school, which is for all children, not just those with SEN.  This will normally be a state school.


Named Officer

The person at the LA who deals with your child’s case.


Parent Partnership Service (PPS)

A service provided by the LA, which encourages partnerships between parents, LEAs, schools, voluntary organisations and other agencies. 


Universal Offer

When a class or subject teacher identify that a pupil has Special Educational Needs they provide interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum. 


Local Offer

When the class or subject teacher and the SENCo are provided with advice or support from outside specialist, so that alternative interventions additional or different strategies to those provided for the pupil through the Universal Offer can be put in place.  A Pupil Profile will be devised.


SEN Code of Practice (CoP)

A guide for early education settings, state school and LEAs on the help they can give to children with SEN.  Schools and LEAs must take account of the Code when they deal with a child with SEN.


SEN Coordinator (SENCo)

Every school has one of these.  They are members of staff who are responsible for managing the Special Educational Needs of the school.


SEN Tribunal (SENDIST)

An independent body that hears appeals against decisions made by LEAs on statutory assessments and statements


Special educational provision

The extra or different help given to children with Special Educational Needs.


Special school

A school that is just for children with SEN.


Statement of SEN or an EHCP

A document that sets out a child’s needs and includes:

  • the objectives, or targets to be achieved;
  • how those targets are going to be met – the educational provision required;
  • the monitoring arrangements;
  • the school or pre-school setting your child will attend;
  • any non-educational needs your child has and how those will be met.



Statutory assessment

A very detailed examination of a child’s Special Educational Needs, which may lead to a statement or EHC Plan.


Transition Plan

A plan drawn up to set out the steps needed to move from primary school to secondary school.