Kirk Balk Academy

A great place to learn

Jargon Buster

As parents and careers of youngsters, you will no doubt encounter a multitude of educational acronyms and abbreviations. Please find below our glossary of the most common education terms.


  • Achievement - Describes both attainment i.e. the level achieved and the progress you have made from a starting point.
  • AfL - Assessment for Learning - Assessment for Learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there
  • Attainment - The actual level attained and/or results.
  • Attainment Targets - A general defined level of ability that a pupil is expected to achieve in every subject at each key stage in the National Curriculum
  • Blending - To draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. f-l-a-p, blended together, reads flap
  • Core Subjects - English, maths and science: all pupils must study these subjects up to Key Stage 4
  • CPD - Continuing Professional Development
  • CSS - Children's Support Service, this is the new name for Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)
  • DBS - Disclosure & Barring Service - DBS refers to the new agency created out of a merger between the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), its full title is The Disclosure and Barring Service. The checks and information provided will remain the same but will be branded DBS Checks.
  • DfE - Department for Education
  • Differentiation - a wide variety of teaching techniques and lesson adaptations that teachers use to pupils of differing abilities in the same class.
  • EAL - English as an additional language
  • EBacc - English Baccalaureate
  • EBD - Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
  • EHC Plan - Educational Health Care Plan - An education, health and care plan is a document that says what support a child or young person who has special educational needs should have.
  • EWO - Education Welfare Officer
  • EYFS - Early Years Foundation Stage. A framework of care and Education for children from borth to fiver years of age. This stage typically means Nursery and Reception Classes.
  • ? FFT - Fischer Family Trust
  • ? FSM - Free School Meals
  • ? FTE - Full Time Equivalent
  • ? GCSE - General Certificate of Secondary Education
  • ? HLTA - Higher Level Teaching Assistant
  • HMI - Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools
  • ICT - Information and Communication Technology
  • IEP - Individual Education Plan for SEN pupils
  • Inclusion - Removing barriers in learning so all pupils can participate at their own level.
  • INSET - In-Service Education and Training - Training for staff which takes place during the school year.
  • ITT - Initial Teacher Training
  • IWB - Interactive Whiteboard
  • Key Stage five - age 16-18 (Sixth form)
  • Key Stage four - age 14-16 (Years 10 and 11);
  • Key Stage three - age 11-14 (Years 7, 8 and 9);
  • Key Stage two - age 7-11(Years 3,4, 5 and 6);
  • Key Stage one - age 5-7 (Years 1 and 2);
  • LA - Local Authority
  • LAC - Looked After Children
  • LSA - Learning Support Assistant
  • MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulties
  • NC - National Curriculum
  • NEET - Not in Education, Employment or Training
  • NOR - Number on Roll
  • NQT - Newly Qualified Teacher
  • NVQ - National Vocational Qualifications
  • Ofqual - Office of Qualifications & Examinations Regulation
  • Ofsted - Office for Standards in Education
  • PE - Physical Education
  • Performance Table - Published by the DfE to compare schools' results.
  • Phonics - Phonics refers to a method for teaching speakers of English to read and write their language. It involves connecting the sounds of spoken English with letters or groups of letters (e.g that the sound /k/ can be represented by c, k, ck or ch spellings) and teaching them to blend the sounds of letters together to produce approximate pronunciations of unknown words. In this way, phonics enables people to use individual sounds to construct words. For example, when taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, one can build up the words "tap", "pat", "pats", "taps" and "sat."
  • PPA - Planning, Preparation and Assessment time to which teachers are entitled. Progression - pupils develop academically and personally from year to year and from one key stage to the next in a way which builds on what has already been achieved."
  • PRU - Pupil Referral Unit
  • PSHE - Personal Social Health and Economic education
  • PTA - Parent Teacher Association
  • QTS - Qualified Teacher Status
  • RAISE - Reporting and Analysis for Improvement through School Self-Evaluation
  • RE - Religious Education
  • SCITT School - Centred Initial Teacher Training
  • SCR - Single Central Record - Schools must hold a single central record of all adults working with pupils. The records hold security and ID checks among other specific information.
  • SEAL - Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning
  • SEN - Special Educational Needs
  • SENCO - Special Educational Needs Coordinator
  • Setting - Putting pupils of similar ability together just for certain lessons. So, for example, it would be possible to be in a top set for French and a lower set for mathematics.
  • SIP - School Improvement Plan
  • SLT - Senior Leadership Team
  • SMSC - Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (development)
  • Streaming - Splitting pupils into several different hierarchical groups which would stay together for all lessons.
  • TA - Teaching Assistant
  • Transition - The movement of pupils from Key Stage to Key Stage or school to school and the procedures associated with it."
  • VLE - Virtual Learning Environment