A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Absence and Attendance Codes
A list of national codes used by the Department for Education (DfE), which enable schools to record and monitor attendance and absence in a consistent way, used in collecting data for the School Census.

Publicly funded independent schools to which Academy arrangements under Section 1 of the Academies Act 2010 relate.

The standards of attainment reached by pupils and the progress they have made to reach those standards.

Admission authority
The Local Authority (LA) is the admission authority with responsibility for admissions to community and voluntary controlled schools. The governing body of a voluntary aided school or the board of directors in an academy is the admission authority for the school/academy.

Admissions register
The details, in alphabetical order, of all pupils that attend a school.

Agreed syllabus
A syllabus of religious education that is not specific to one religion adopted by an LA for teaching in community and controlled schools. The agreed syllabus is not used in Catholic schools.

The process of assessing how well a member of staff is carrying out his or her job.

Approved educational activity
An activity that takes place outside the school premises and which has been approved by a person authorised to do so by the proprietor of the school. The activity is of an educational nature, including work experience, and is supervised by a person authorised on that behalf by the proprietor of the school.

Associate member
A person who is appointed by the governing body as a member of a committee established by it, but who is not appointed as a governor.

The standard of academic attainment, typically shown by test and examination results.

Attainment targets
The knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils of differing ability and maturity are expected to attain by the end of each key stage of the national curriculum, i.e. assessed at ages 7, 11, 14 and 16.

Attendance register
A register is called at the beginning of the morning session and once during the afternoon. It must contain the names of all the pupils that attend a school.

Authorised absence
Where the absence of a pupil has been agreed by the person authorised on their behalf by the governing body.


A method of voting, normally secret.

Comparing progress against other successful schools.

Best value
The concept of best value focuses on the balance between cost and quality in striving continuously to improve provision and standards. The best value framework covers 4 principles: compare, challenge, consult and compete. Fundamentally, best value is about what the school should do in its deployment of resources to improve standards further.


Capability procedures
Procedures governing bodies are required to establish for dealing with a lack of capability on the part of staff at the school.

Capital expenditure
Spending on building projects and large items of equipment.

Casting Vote
An additional vote to be used by the Chair of Governors if an equal number of votes is cast for and against a motion.

Catchment area
A defined geographical area from which a school takes its pupils.

Children’s Centres
The aims of children’s centres are to provide good quality integrated services that have a broad and lasting impact on children, their parents and the wider community, e.g. education, care, family support and health.

Clerk to the governing body
A person appointed to carry out administrative duties for the governing body such as preparing an agenda, minuting meetings and dealing with correspondence. The clerk advises the governing body on legal and procedural matters, therefore proper training is needed to be a good clerk.

Collaboration is where two or more governing bodies work together by forming a joint strategic committee, but without delegated powers. Collaborative governance is where the governing bodies delegate powers to a joint strategic committee and are bound by decisions it makes.

Community Schools
A state school in England and Wales that is owned and maintained by a Local Authority, that are also referred to as LA maintained schools.

Competitive tendering
Obtaining quotes from the LA and private sector companies before awarding contracts.

Contingency fund
Money set aside for unexpected costs.

Core subjects
English, mathematics and science are the subjects that must be studied by all pupils at every key stage. Religious Education is classed as a core subject in a Catholic school.

Continuing Professional Development.


Delegated budget
The part of the LA education budget which governors manage under Local Management of Schools (LMS).

Delegated powers
Permission for an individual or a committee to take action on behalf of the governing body without further reference to it, agreed by the full governing body.

Department of Education

The organisation of teaching programmes and methods specifically to suit the age, ability and aptitudes of individual children.

The area over which a bishop has canonical authority and jurisdiction.

Directed time
Time when a teacher must be available to carry out duties, including attending staff and parent meetings, under the direction of the head. Maximum of 1265 hours in a school year.

A term used where parts or all of the National Curriculum requirements are lifted or modified in relation to a pupil in special circumstances.


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The new regulatory and quality framework for the provision of learning, development and care for children between birth and the academic year in which they turn five (0“5).

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)
Each child’s level of development is recorded against the assessment scales in the EYFSP at the end of the term when the child reaches five years old. The EYFSP is designed to ensure that every child leaves the EYFS with their strengths acknowledged and celebrated, their learning and development needs identified, and plans made for the next steps in their learning.

Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (Special Needs).


Education Funding Agency which is responsible for:funding education for learners between the ages of 3 and 19, and those with learning difficulties and disabilities between the ages of 3 and 25; funding and monitoring academies, university technical colleges, studio schools, and free schools; building maintenance programmes for schools and sixth-form colleges
allocating funds to local authorities for maintained schools, and voluntary-aided schools.

Education Welfare Officers (EWO)
Also known as education social workers or attendance advisers, these officers are employed by LAs to resolve problems of children and young people regularly missing school.

Education Psychologist.

Banning a pupil officially from school by the headteacher, either temporarily or permanently, on disciplinary grounds.

Ex officio governor
Someone who is automatically a governor or able to attend meetings of a governing body by virtue of the office they hold, for example a headteacher, parish priest or vicar, i.e. the position of governor comes with the job.

Extended activities

A school that provides a range of services and activities, often beyond the school day, to help meet the needs of its pupils, their families and the wider community.


Fair Funding
The framework for delegating money to schools.

Federation of governing bodies
The arrangement whereby several schools join together under a single governing body. The schools remain separate schools but are governed by one body.

Form of Entry
The number of classes of children that a school admits each year.

Formula funding
A Local Authority formula for allocating money to schools; the method by which funds for school budgets are calculated. The most important factor affecting the calculation is the number of pupils.

Foundation governor
A person appointed to be a member of a school’s governing body, by the foundation body of a voluntary school to ensure that the school preserves its particular religious character, or that it is conducted in accordance with the terms of a trust deed.

Free School
A state-funded school which is to be set up by (for example) a charity, business, community, group of teachers or parents, and which has the same legal structure as an academy.


Gifted and Talented pupils with a gift or talent to achieve higher than expected national curriculum levels.

General Certificate of Secondary Education.

A professional helpline offering confidential email and telephone support across all aspects of school life to school governors, clerks and individuals involved directly in school governance in England. (The website address is and the telephone number is Freephone: 08000 722 181).


Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI)
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is the head of Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills).

Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs)
These are appointed by the Chief Inspector to support him or her in his or her statutory duties.

Higher Level Teaching Assistant.

Home“school agreement
All state schools are required to have written home“school agreements, drawn up in consultation with parents. They are non-binding statements explaining the school’s aims and values, the responsibilities of both school and parents, and what the school expects of its pupils. Parents will be invited to sign a parental declaration indicating that they understand and accept the contents of the agreement.


Information and Communications Technology.

Interim Executive Board.

Investors in People. A quality standard awarded to organisations – including schools – demonstrating a commitment to developing employees.

Educating all pupils, whatever their needs, within mainstream schools.

Independent school
Any school that provides full-time education for five or more pupils of compulsory school age, which is not maintained by an LA and is not a non-maintained special school. As these are schools that are not funded by the state, they obtain most of their finances from fees paid by parents and income from investments. Some of the larger independent schools are known as public schools, while most boarding schools are independent. Further information is available from the Independent Schools Council information Service (ISCiS).

In-service Education and Training (INSET)
The professional training and development of teachers working in schools, generally taken as short courses or day conferences.

Inset Day
Teacher Training Day – each year five days during term-time are set aside for staff training. Pupils do not attend school on these days.

Instrument of government
A legal document detailing the character and composition of a governing body of a school.

Initial Teacher Training.



Key stages
The four stages of pupils’ progress in acquiring knowledge and skills as set out in the national curriculum. Pupils are tested at the end of each stage: Key Stage 1, where the majority of pupils are aged 5 to 7; Key Stage 2, where the majority of pupils are aged 7 to 11; Key Stage 3, where the majority of children are aged 11 to 14; and Key Stage 4, where the majority of pupils are aged 14 to 16. There are statutory assessment arrangements at the end of Key Stages 1, 2, and 3.


Local Authority (formerly Local Education Authority – LEA).

Lay member
A member appointed to a panel hearing appeals against non-admission or exclusion, being a person without personal experience in managing or providing education in any school (other than as a governor or on a voluntary basis). He or she must not have, or have had, any connection with the school, or any person who is a member of, or employed by, the governing body, if that might raise doubts about his or her ability to act fairly.

Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities.

Local Management of Schools – a system whereby schools are responsible for their delegated budgets and managing their own affairs.

Looked after child (LAC)
Looked-after child “ A child who, as defined in Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989, is cared for by the LA or is provided with accommodation by an LA for more than 24 hours under a voluntary agreement with his or her parents, or who is the subject of a care order.


Maintained school
A school for which an LA has financial and administrative responsibility.

The formal written record of a meeting.

Mixed ability
A teaching group in which children of all abilities are taught together.

Moderate Learning Difficulties (Special Needs).


The National Association of Head Teachers.

The National Association of School Business Managers.

The National Association of Schoolmasters / Union of Women Teachers.

National curriculum
This was established by the 1988 Education Reform Act to ensure that all pupils receive a broad and balanced education which is relevant to their needs. The national curriculum provides a broad and balanced education for all children, covering 12 subjects overall, and is divided into four key stages according to age. It includes statutory assessments, consisting of tests and teacher assessments, at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 and teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 3.

National College for School Leadership.

National Governors Association.

Non-teaching staff
Members of school staff employed by the governors to provide services in a school other than teaching, such as classroom assistants, cleaners and school secretaries.

National Professional Qualification for Headship – a non-mandatory qualification of choice for aspiring Headteachers.

The National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) is a qualification that provides national recognition of leadership development and professional achievement as a middle leader.

The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) is a qualification that provides national recognition of leadership development and professional achievement as a senior leader.

A newly qualified teacher.

Nursery classes
A class in any school comprising children aged three and those who have their fourth birthday during the school year, and any other children whom it is appropriate to educate within that age group. This is usually the year before children attend reception class.

The National Union of Teachers.


Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator, the organisation responsible for regulating qualifications, examinations and national curriculum tests in England.

Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It brings together the regulation and inspection of day care and children’s social care and the inspection of LA children’s services, schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning, adult education and more.

Open enrolment
All schools must admit pupils up to their Published Admission Number (see Published Admission Number, below), which is calculated according to the physical capacity of the school to accommodate pupils.

A statement prepared annually by an LA showing its incurred expenditure, and the schools that it maintains, during the financial year. The statement is in a form prescribed by Regulations and must be published and sent to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.


Published Admission Number. The fixed number of children which a school must admit if sufficient applications are received, as published by the admission authority for the school. The PAN may be less than the indicated admission number, but the admission authority would need to publish a notice to enable parents to object to the Schools Adjudicator.

The Professional Association of Teachers.

Parental responsibility
This means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that a parent of a child has by law. More than one person may have parental responsibility for the same child at the same time, and a person does not cease to have such responsibility solely because some other person subsequently also acquires it. Both parents have parental responsibility if they were married to each other at the time of the child’s birth, although they may have since separated or divorced. If the child’s parents were not married at the time of the birth, the mother has parental responsibility for the child, and the father is able to acquire parental responsibility for the child if he: marries the mother of the child; enters into a parental responsibility agreement with the mother; registers the child’s birth jointly with the mother (effective from 1 December 2003, but not retrospective); or applies to the court for a parental responsibility order. A residence order confers parental responsibility on the holder for the duration of the order. Parental responsibility passes to the adopter when an adoption order is made. Although a care order confers parental responsibility on an LA, the LA will not be treated as a parent for certain purposes under the Education Acts.

Performance tables
The DfE publishes tables that provide a reliable and easily accessible source of comparative information. The tables report achievements for primary school pupils at the end of Key Stage 2. The secondary (Key Stage 4) tables report the GCSE (and equivalent) achievements of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4. The post-16 tables report A/AS level (and equivalent) achievements at Level 3 for schools and colleges.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI). A procurement route established in 1995, and more widely adopted since 1997. PFI requires private sector consortia to raise private finance to fund the project, which must involve investment in assets, and the long-term delivery of services to the public sector.

Post-Graduate Certificate of Education – a teaching qualification which includes a period of practical teaching experience.

A method of teaching reading and spelling that trains pupils to associate sounds in the spoken language (phonemes) and their corresponding letters or letter combinations (graphemes).

A DCSF form submitted by every school each January to record the number of teachers employed, the number of children in each age group, the organisation of classes etc.

Planning, Preparation and Assessment time.

This is the extent to which pupils have progressed in their learning given their starting points and capabilities.

Performance Related Pay.

Parent Teachers Association.

Pupil/Teacher Ratio. This is calculated by dividing the number of pupils in a school by the number of full-time equivalent teachers.

Pupil Premium
Targeted funding (in addition to the Dedicated Schools Grant) paid mainly to schools, specifically aimed at the most deprived pupils to enable them to receive the support they need to reach their potential and to help schools reduce educational inequalities. Premium funding is also provided in respect of children in care who have been continuously looked after for at least six months and children of parents serving in the armed forces.

Pupil referral unit (PRU)
An establishment maintained by an LA which is specially organised to provide education for children who are excluded, sick or otherwise able to attend mainstream school, and is not a community or special school.

Pupils on roll
Pupils registered at a school.


Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
The professional status required to teach in state-maintained schools in England and Wales. QTS is normally awarded after successful completion of an Initial Teacher Training course.

The minimum number of governors who must be present to validate the proceedings of a governors’ meeting.


Reporting and Analysis for Improvement through School Self-Evaluation – an online analysis of a schools’ results.

Reading age
A measurement of a pupil’s reading ability based on standard national tests defining normal attainment at that age.

Reception classes
Defined by Section 142 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1988. An entry class to primary schools for children who have their fifth birthday during the school year and for children who are younger or older than five with whom it is appropriate to educate them.

Subordinate legislation deriving its authority from an Act of Parliament, legally binding on governing bodies and others (see also Statutory Instrument, below).

A formal decision which has been proposed, seconded and agreed not necessarily by a vote – at a meeting.

Rising fives
Children who start school in the term before their fifth birthday.


Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education – Local statutory body which advises on religious education and collective worship.

Standard Assessment Tasks – (now National Curriculum tests).

School company
A company set up by schools to provide goods and services for schools in the company and other schools.

School curriculum
All learning and other experiences that schools provide for pupils. For maintained schools this must include the national curriculum, religious education, collective worship, sex and relationship education and careers education.

Schools Forum
A body which must be established by each LA under Section 47A(1) SSFA, which represents the governing bodies and headteachers of schools maintained by the LA as well as the interests of other persons, whose purpose is to advise the LA on matters relating to the schools budget and carry out certain functions. The Schools Forums (England) Regulations 2002 prescribe various matters relating to the establishment and functions of schools forums and require LAs to consult the Schools Forum on certain matters relating to the schools budget. Note that schools members (i.e. representatives from schools and governing bodies) on the Schools Forum are elected by their peers

School Development/Improvement Plan – the school’s plan for improvement – or School Strategic Improvement Plan.

The release of staff on a temporary basis to another establishment.

Special Educational Needs – learning difficulties for which special educational provision has to be made. Many include children with physical disabilities or emotional and behavioural disorders and gifted children. Governors have a duty to help identify and provide for such pupils.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator – the member of school staff with responsibility for co-ordinating special needs.

Senior Designated Person
A senior member of the school’s management team who is designated to take lead responsibility for dealing with child protection issues, providing advice and support to staff and liaising with LA and other agencies involved in safeguarding children.

A system of organising pupils into ability groups for particular subjects.

Secondary Heads’ Association.

Service Level Agreement – A contract between a Governing body and the LA specifying work to be undertaken in a given area, with cost details.

Severe Learning Difficulties (Special Needs).

Senior Leadership Team.

Targets which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time related.

Senior Management Team.

Special School
A school for children whose special educational needs cannot be met within a mainstream school.

Specialist School
A secondary school which offers specialist curriculum provision in addition to the National Curriculum.

Staff governors
The headteacher and/or people working at the school who are elected as a governor by people who are paid to work at the school.

Standards and Testing Agency
Statutory assessment and testing are delivered by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA), an Executive Agency of the Department for Education.

The procedure by which a child is formally assessed under the 1993 Education Act as having significant special educational needs.

Statement of special educational needs
A written statement of a child’s special educational needs and all the extra help that he or she should receive. The arrangements are made by the LA.

Statutory Instrument (SI)
Subordinate legislation made under the authority of an Act of Parliament, usually authorised by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, or one of his or her ministerial team, and which is normally laid before Parliament. It has the same force in law as an Act of Parliament.

School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document.

School Teacher’s Review Body. Makes recommendations to the Secretary of State on teachers’ pay.

Supply Teacher
Temporary Substitute teacher for those away through illness etc.

Support Staff
Members of the school staff employed to provide services in a school but not to teach, such as classroom assistants, cleaners and school secretaries.

Sure Start Children’s Centre
Usually based at a school or within a Sure Start Local Programme, it provides integrated services to the families of children under five i the local area.

A process where a member of staff is told to stop working at the school temporarily, usually while a problem involving him or her is being investigated.


Teaching Assistant.

Teaching Agency
An executive agency of the Department for Education. The Agency is responsible for ensuring the supply of high quality teachers and their training, and for supporting the recruitment and development of early education and childcare workers and Education Psychologists. It also operates the arrangements for teacher regulation. The Agency began operating in April 2012 and took on key functions previously carried out by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), General Teaching Council for England (GTCE), Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) and the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA).

The Teachers (Compensation for Redundancy and Premature Retirement) Regulations 1997
These apply to teachers in LA-maintained schools with, or without, delegated budgets and to lecturers in the further education sector. They include provisions relating to the payment of mandatory and discretionary compensation for premature retirement and payments of compensation in respect of redundancy and the termination of employment.

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (England and Wales)
This is a statutory, contributory, defined benefit scheme. As the main occupational pension scheme for teachers and lecturers, it is the second largest public sector pension scheme in the country. Its operation is governed by the Teachers’ Pensions Regulations 2010 which apply to teachers in schools and other educational establishments in England and Wales maintained by local authorities, to teachers in many independent and voluntary-aided schools, and to teachers and lecturers in establishments of further and higher education. Membership is automatic for part-time and full-time teachers and lecturers, but they are able to opt out of the Scheme if they so wish. The Scheme is administered, on behalf of the Department for Education, by Teachers’ Pensions.

Teaching and Learning Responsibility payments.

Usually a named individual (although can be a corporate body) responsible for the day-to-day management of the Trust, which is likely to include identifying and appointing directors for the school(s) that the Trust supports.


Unauthorised absence
This occurs when the school has not given permission for the absence of a pupil. Where the reason for it cannot be established at registration, the absence shall be recorded as unauthorised. Any subsequent correction to the register recording absence as authorized shall be made in such a manner that the original entry and the correction are both clearly distinguishable.


Voluntary aided school
A school set up and owned by a voluntary body, usually a church body, largely financed by an LA. The governing body employs the staff and controls pupil admissions and religious education. The school’s land and buildings (apart from playing fields, which are normally vested in the LA) will normally be owned by a charitable foundation.

Voluntary controlled school
A school set up by a voluntary body, often a church body (generally Church of England). These schools are totally funded by an LA, which employs the staff. Normally the school’s land and buildings (apart from the playing fields, which are normally vested in the LA) will be owned by a charitable foundation.

Vertical Grouping
Classes formed (in primary schools) with children of different age groups.

The agreed transfer of money from the budget heading to which it has been allocated to another budget heading.


Warning notice
A notice by which an LA may notify the governing body of any of its concerns relating to school performance, a breakdown in leadership and management, or pupil or staff safety. This is sometimes referred to as a “formal warning”.


print page Print Friendly and PDF