SEND Glossary

Lots of specialist words and terms and abbreviations used in documents about SEND are unfamiliar to many parents and carers.

This glossary will hopefully help clarify some of these. If you feel something is missing from this list, please contact Assistant Head/SENDCo Danny Annaly or Diana Bell


Autistic Spectrum Condition or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (we prefer ASC)


Autistic Condition Support Service

Augmented and assisted communication

Methods of communication that can help people who are unable to use verbal speech to communicate – often using technology

CAMHS (Child and Adult Mental Health Service)

Supporting the emotional and mental health development of children

Cognition and Learning

Characterised by difficulties in thinking, attention and concentration skills – dyslexia, learning difficulties etc

DCD (dyspraxia)

Developmental Coordination Disorder

Communication and Interaction

Characterised by difficulties in being able to understand and/or express yourself. Can also be difficulties in interacting with other people – Autism, speech and language difficulties etc.


Adaptions and changes teachers make to learning for children based on differing levels of need and attainment

Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS)

The government check all people working with children must complete

Educational Psychologists (EPs)

A professional who supports the school to develop its SEN provision as well as assessing and identifying individual children’s needs

Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

The document that replaced Educational Statements

Eligibility criteria

The individual criteria a service states must be met before they can work with an individual/family.

English as an additional language (EAL)

Someone whose first language at home is not English.

Early Years and Foundation Stage – EYFS

Nursery and Reception classes

Health visitor/school nurse

Health Professional who monitors, supports and gives advice to families and schools on all aspects of children’s well-being and health needs.

Key stage 1 – KS1

Years 1 and 2

Key Stage 2 – KS2

Years 3 to Year 6

Local Offer

Local authorities are required to set out in their Local Offer information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. Local authorities must consult locally on what provision the Local Offer should contain.


This is a statutory service commissioned by local authorities which is designed to help settle disagreements between parents or young people and local authorities over EHC needs assessments and plans and which parents and young people can use before deciding whether to appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal about decisions on assessment or the special educational element of a plan. Mediation can cover any one or all three elements of an EHC plan and must be offered to the parent or young person when the final plan is issued, but they are not able to appeal to the Tribunal about the health and social care aspects of the plan.

Occupational Therapists

Professionals from the Health Service who identify, assess, support, monitor, offer advice to children, schools, families for children with functional, motor or sensory needs.

SENDCo (at St Luke’s, we use the term Inclusion Leaders)

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

SEN Register

Special Educational Needs List of children, so the school continually hold them in mind.

SEN Policy

The document that reflects the statutory requirements of special educational needs and how the actual practice of the school meets them.

Sensory Needs Service

Brighton & Hove service of specialists who give advice, support and monitor children with hearing impairments and visual impairments

Sensory and/or Physical Needs

Characterised by impairment in some aspect of physical functioning or difficulty in sensory processing compared to ‘normal’ sensory profile – hearing impaired, vision impaired, sensory impairment, cerebral palsy etc.

SEN Statement

A Statement of Special Educational Needs outlines what your child’s special educational needs are and the help that will be given by their education placement. These are now being replaced by EHCPs

Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Difficulties

Characterised by problems with regulation of emotion and/or social skills

Social Services

Services that support the child and the family accessing the correct services and safeguard children.

Specialist Interventions

Support programmes that requires specific training to deliver and targets a specific area of need

Speech and language therapists

Professionals from the Health Service who identify, assess, support, monitor, offer advice to children, schools, families for children with communication, social, language needs.

Teaching Assistant

Additional adults who support the learning process, social behaviour and other needs of children.

Visual Timetable

A timetable showing the days events/lessons in pictorial or photograph form for children who struggles with sequencing their day and/or have difficulties with communication and/or reading