Acronyms and School Jargon Buster

We are aware that schools carry a unique set up words, phases and acronyms that can become confusing to new families (and new staff!)

We have created this page to support your decoding! Please also just let us know if anything we say or write is confusing, or needs to be explained further.


ACS – Average class size

Afl – Assessment for learning

ALIS – Advanced Level Indicator System (a personalised monitoring system for older students)

ALPS – Advanced Level Performance System (a programme, based on a national database, that provides reports for schools to help them benchmark and analyse post- 16 performance)

AOT – Adult other than teacher

APDR – Assess, Plan, Do, Review

ASD – Autistic spectrum disorder

AT – Attainment target


BTEC – Business and Technology Education Council qualification


CAMHS – Child and Adult Mental Health Services (an NHS service that assesses and treats young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties)

CCT – Chartered College of Teaching

CEIAG - Careers Education, Information Advice and Guidance

CIF – Common inspection framework (sets out how Ofsted will inspect schools)

CiN – Child in Need

CoP – Code of practice

CP – Child protection

CPDL – Continuous professional development and learning


DSL – Designated Safeguarding Lead

DfE – Department for Education


EAL – English as an additional language

Ebacc – English Baccalaureate

ECP – End of Course Prediction

EHCP – Education Health and Care Plan

EIP – Early intervention programme

EWO – Education Welfare Officer (usually employed by councils, they work with schools and families to encourage regular attendance)

EY – Early years

EYFS – Early years foundation stage


FAP – Fair Access Protocol

FOI – Freedom of Information Acti

FFT – Fischer Family Trust (a charity that supports education research in the UK.

FSM – Free school meals


GCSE – General Certificate of Secondary Education


HLTA – Higher level teaching assistant

HMCI – His Majesty's Chief Inspector

HMI – His Majesty's Inspector (an Ofsted Inspector)

HOD – Head of department

HOF – Head of faculty

HOH – Head of House


IAG - Information, Advice and Guidance sessions

IB – International Baccalaureate

INSET – In-service education and training

ITT – Initial teacher training

IWB – Interactive whiteboard


KS – Key stage (groups of years)

1 – Years 1+2

2 – Years 3,4,5,6

3 – Years 7+8

4 – Years 9, 10, 11

5 – Years 12 + 13


LA – Local authority

LAC – Looked after children (any child cared for by the local authority, for example, in foster care or at home but monitored by social services)


MAT – Multi-academy trust

MFL – Modern foreign languages

MTG – Minimum Target Grade



Ofsted – Office for Standards in Education

Ofqual – Office for Qualifications and Examinations Regulator


PAN – Pupil Admission Number

PCGE – Postgraduate Certificate of Education

PEX – Permanent Exclusion from school

PP – Pupil premium

PPA – Planning, preparation and assessment

PR – Progress Report

PSHE – Personal, social and health education (if you see a C near the end, it also includes citizenship) – includes Sex and Relationships Education as well

PTR – Pupil teacher ratio


QTS – Qualified teacher status


RAP – Raising Attainment and Progress

RSC – Regional schools commissioner (these support and manage academies and free schools in their areas)


SATs – Statutory Assessment Tasks

Scitt – School-centred initial teacher training

SCR – Single central record

SDP – School development plan

SEF – Self evaluation form

SENCo – Special educational needs coordinator

SEND – Special educational needs and disability

SENDIAS - Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service.

SLT – Senior leadership team

SoW – Scheme of work

SPaG – Spelling punctuation and grammar

SSP – Student Support Plan


TA – Teaching assistant


UCAS – University and College Admissions Service

ULN – Unique Learner Number

UPN – Unique Pupil Number


VLE – virtual learning environment (online platforms where teachers can deliver learning, share materials and communicate with students)


YIST - Youth Inclusion and Support Team

YOT – Youth Offending Team

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