There are a number of words and phrases that are helpful to know about as you use this website and when you or your child or young person interact with professionals. Take a look at Coventry's SEND Jargon Buster to find out more about these words and phrases and their definitions.

Words and phrases and their definitions


Commonly used abbreviation



No abbreviation

Academies are a category of schools that are not part of the local authority. The number of academies has expanded significantly since the first ones were set up. Local authorities have no statutory jurisdiction over academies.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.


No abbreviation

Each school has its own admissions policy. It is the responsibility of every Local Authority to co-ordinate admissions across its area.

Each primary and secondary school has a certain number of places available for its first year of intake (e.g. Reception for primary schools and Year 7 for secondary schools). This is known as the School’s Admission Number or its Published Admissions Number (PAN).

Parents have to apply by set dates for entry year admissions and to nominate their preferences. These preferences are considered according to supply (how many places available), demand (how many people are applying for particular schools) and criteria. Parents are informed of the allocated place. Parents can appeal against this decision if they feel that it is not in line with admissions policies.


No abbreviation

Support for people that helps make sure that their views and opinions are heard.


No abbreviation

Someone who helps another person (e.g. a child or their carer) to make decisions and have a voice.

All Age Disability Service

No abbreviation

The All Age Disability Service works alongside people with disabilities of all ages and their carers to support their personal, social care and health outcomes.

Alternative Provision

No abbreviation

The Department for Education describes Alternative Provision as: “Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs – Statutory guidance for local authorities. (January 2013)”. The guidance states that LAs must follow this guidance when carrying out their duty to arrange suitable full-time education (or part-time when appropriate for the child’s needs) for children who are unable to attend a mainstream or special school because of their health.

Coventry Alternative Provision comprises the following:

  1. Coventry Extended Learning Centre (CELC) – consists of 3 sites and some school based provision.
  2. Hospital Education Service
  3. Work Related Learning Team - This is based within the LA and consists of a small team of 4 staff who work on behalf of schools to manage work-related learning provision off site for 13-19 year-old learners, particularly those who are most at risk of becoming disengaged from learning and of becoming NEET.

Annual Review

No abbreviation

A review of a statement of Special Educational Needs (now being replaced by an Education Health Care (EHC) plan), which an education authority must undertake at least every 12 months.

Apprenticeship Levy

No abbreviation

The apprenticeship levy is a charge placed on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships.


No abbreviation

Apprenticeships build job-specific knowledge, skills and experience through practical training within a job role alongside a programme of study. Apprenticeships offer the chance to work with experienced staff, earn a wage (national minimum wage applies)/holiday pay and provide time out of the workplace to study. Courses can take between 1-5 years to complete depending on their level which ranges from intermediate (equivalent to GCSE level) to degree (equivalent to a bachelor or master’s degree).

Autism Spectrum Disorder


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a range of similar conditions, including Asperger syndrome, that affect a person's social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour.


no abbreviation

Every school has a responsibility for attendance and inclusion. Where a child is permanently excluded from a school, the local authority has a responsibility for this child to receive education no later than the sixth school day of the exclusion.



RISE is an emotional well-being and mental health service for children and young people. RISE was previously known as CAMHS.

The key aims of Rise are:

  • Have increased emphasis on prevention and early intervention
  • Focus on building resilience
  • Be integrated in our working, especially with schools
  • Systemically work with families and the child’s network
  • Support in partnership with the system complex and vulnerable children.
  • Help Children and our Young People bounce back when things get tough
  • Make getting help really easy- our vision of ‘No door being the wrong door’
  • Support children and young people aged 0-25 in a way that matters to them
  • Support the whole family – not just the child
  • Go the extra mile to reach out to those who need us most

Care Plan

No abbreviation

A record of the health and/or social care services that are being provided to a child or young person to help them manage a disability or health condition.

Children Missing Education


The Department for Education statutory guidance states all children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. Children missing education are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school.


No abbreviation

The CHYP Shop has been developed by SENDIASS and students from Hereward College, and is a website for Children and Young People with SEND needs to interact with peers about SEND issues and voice their needs and opinions about the SEND offer in Coventry and the Local Area.

Compulsory school age

No abbreviation

Broadly speaking, a child from 5-16 years old, a child must be in education during this time. A child is of compulsory school age from the beginning of the term following their 5th birthday until the last Friday of June in the year in which they become 16, provided that their 16th birthday falls before the start of the next school year.

Coventry Music Hub

No abbreviation

Coventry Music Hub is the major provider of music activity across Coventry and will deliver this in partnership with schools, Hub partners and regional arts organisations. Coventry Music strives to support schools, raise standards and to provide an inclusive, rich and balanced programme along with opportunities for training and development.

Designated Clinical Officer


The Designated Clinical Officer helps clinical commissioning groups undertake their responsibilities to provide services. This role is undertaken by people with an appropriate level of knowledge and expertise of the health needs and systems of a local area.

Key responsibilities of these roles in Coventry are;

  1. To provide a contact for local authorities, schools and colleges seeking health advice on children and young people who have or may have SEN and/or disabilities.
  2. To support providers in their duty of notifying Coventry City Council of children under statutory school age who have or may have SEN and/or disability.
  3. To support commissioners in meeting their statutory duties in commissioning services to meet the SEND agenda.

Department for Education


The Department for Education is responsible for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England.

Disabled Students Allowance


Financial support for undergraduate or post-graduate students who have a disability or long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty which affects their ability to study. It can be used to pay for things such as special equipment, a note-taker or transport costs.

Disagreement Resolution

No abbreviation

This is a statutory service commissioned by local authorities to provide a quick and non-adversarial way of resolving disagreements between parents or young people and bodies responsible for providing education, whether the child or young person has an EHC plan or not, or health and social care in relation to EHC assessments and plans.

Disability Living Allowance


Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for disabled people.

You can only apply for DLA if you’re under 16. You can apply for:

If you already get DLA, your claim might end. You’ll get a letter telling you when this will happen and how you can apply for PIP.

Designated Medical Officer


A Designated Medical Officer helps clinical commissioning groups undertake their responsibilities to provide services. These roles are undertaken by people with an appropriate level of knowledge and expertise of the health needs and systems of a local area.

Key responsibilities of these roles in Coventry are;

  1. To provide a contact for local authorities, schools and colleges seeking health advice on children and young people who have or may have SEN and/or disabilities.
  2. To support providers in their duty of notifying Coventry City Council of children under statutory school age who have or may have SEN and/or disability.
  3. To support commissioners in meeting their statutory duties in commissioning services to meet the SEND agenda.

Early Years


0-5 years old

Early Years Settings

No abbreviation

All pre-school education provision such as nursery classes and schools, day nurseries and play groups.

Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans


The Department for Education research report regarding a survey of parents and young people states an EHC plan is a statutory document which details the education, health and care support that is to be provided to a child or young person who has a Special Educational Need or a disability (SEND). It is drawn up by the local authority after an EHC needs assessment of the child or young person has determined that an EHC plan is necessary, and after consultation with relevant partner agencies.

Education Psychology


Educational Psychology provides:

  1. The Local Authority’s statutory assessment function for Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)
  2. Professional advice in the statutory decision making processes
  3. Representation of the Local Authority at Tribunals

It also offers a comprehensive service directly to schools.

Education Health and Care Plan Assessment

EHCP Assessment

Most children and young people’s needs will be met by the help available through their school/ early years setting/ college. Coventry is working closely with schools to support children with additional needs through My Support Plan.

My Support Plan allows professionals to work together effectively to identify a child’s needs and in time to consider whether an EHC Needs Assessment is appropriate for them. It allows professionals to evidence the support that is in place and have regular review periods to see if the support is working. Schools will involve parents closely in this process and invite you to regular review meetings of the support being implemented.

However for a very small number of children and young people who need a lot of extra help at school, the Statutory Assessment and Review Service may decide that an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment is required to find out exactly what extra help is needed.

Elective Home Education

No abbreviation

Guidelines from the Department for Education states elective home education is the term used to describe parents' decisions to provide education for their children at home instead of sending them to school. This is different to home tuition provided by a local authority or education provided by a local authority other than at a school. These guidelines are intended for use in relation to elective home education only.


No abbreviation

Exclusion can occur when a child has misbehaved either in or outside of school or similar educational establishment. The Head-teacher has the authority to exclude a pupil on disciplinary grounds within the parameters of their legal duty of care. It is unlawful to exclude for a non-disciplinary reason such as lack of provision for an additional need the child may have or their level of academic ability.

There are two types of exclusion – fixed-term (often known as suspension) and permanent (expelled). Fixed term exclusions involve temporary removal of the child from the school; however, this cannot be for more than forty five school days in one academic year. It can include removal of the child from the school at certain times of day. Permanent exclusion is where the child is removed from the school and is not permitted to return. By law a fixed-term exclusion cannot translate into a permanent exclusion.

The local authority has a duty to arrange suitable full-time education for the child no later than the sixth day of the permanent exclusion.

The Coventry Information Directory


The Coventry Information Directory is a website where you can find information about services, events, money and more.

There are two parts:

  1. the Adult Social Care and Communities Directory (focused on services for those over 18)
  2. the Family Directory (focused more on children and young people up to age 18 and their families).

Further Education


Further education (FE) includes any study after secondary education that’s not part of higher education (that is, not taken as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree).

Courses range from basic English and maths to Higher National Diplomas (HNDs).

FE also includes 3 types of technical and applied qualifications for 16 to 19-year-olds:

  • Level 3 tech levels to specialise in a specific technical job
  • Level 2 technical certificates help get employment or progress to another tech level
  • Applied general qualifications to continue general education at advanced level through applied learning


No abbreviation

Coventry Homefinder is the system used to allocate social housing in the city. The policy sets out how properties are advertised and who is given priority for social housing.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapy


IAPT services are for people with mild, moderate and moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety or depression living in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire.

Independent school

No abbreviation

A school that is not maintained by a local authority and is registered under the Education Act 1996. Independent schools will be approved by the Secretary of State as being suitable for the admission of children with EHC plans.

Local Authority


The Local Authority is another name for the Council.

Local Offer

No abbreviation

Local Authorities in England are required to have a Local Offer, a place to find information about services and activities related to Special Education Needs and Disabilities. The Local Offer includes information about the 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.

Maintained school

No abbreviation

Schools in England that are maintained by a local authority.


No abbreviation

Mediation is a less formal way of trying to settle the dispute between you and the LA. It involves a meeting between you, the LA and an independent mediator, who will try to help you reach agreement on the points of dispute.

My Support Plan


The My Support Plan is available to use with children and young people who have identified special educational needs and receive SEN Support in school. It can be used for anyone who has a number of professionals supporting them that would benefit from coordinated support. The MSP is a non-statutory document and can be used flexibly to support the needs of the child, young person, their family and all who work with them.

National curriculum:

No abbreviation

This sets out clear, full and statutory entitlement to learning for all pupils, determining what should be taught and setting attainment targets for learning.

Continuing Care

No abbreviation

Support provided for children and young people under 18 who need a tailored package of care because of their disability, an accident or illness.

NHS Continuing Healthcare

No abbreviation

A package of care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals aged 18 and over who are not in hospital but have complex ongoing healthcare needs.

Non-maintained special school

No abbreviation

Schools in England approved by the Secretary of State as special schools which are not maintained by the state but charge fees on a non-profit-making basis. Most non-maintained special schools are run by major charities or charitable trusts.

Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy aims to enable children and young people (CYP) to become as independent as possible and maximise their potential in their daily lives. The main occupations of a CYP include play/ leisure, learning to take care of themselves and participating in school. OTs use therapeutic techniques and sometimes specialist equipment to help children/young people become as independent as possible with everyday activities such as self-care, school work and play.

Parent Carer Forum


The way parent carers work with professionals is by forming groups called parent carer forums. A parent carer forum is a group of parents and carers of disabled children. Their aim is to make sure the services in their area meet the needs of disabled children and their families. They do this by gathering the views of local families and then working in partnership with local authorities, education settings, health providers and other providers to highlight where local services, processes and commissioners are working well, or challenge when changes or improvements need to be made.

Personal Budget

No abbreviation

An amount of money identified by the local authority to deliver provision set out in an EHC plan where the parent or young person is involved in securing that provision. The funds can be held directly by the parent or young person, or may be held and managed on their behalf by the local authority.

Personal Independence Payment


Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help you with some of the extra costs if you have a long term ill-health or disability and you’re aged 16 or over and have not reached State Pension age. The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself. You can apply for PIP through JobCentre Plus.

Profound Multiple Learning Disability


A profound and multiple learning disability diagnosis is used when a child has more than one disability, with the most significant being a learning disability. Many children diagnosed with PMLD will also have a sensory or physical disability, complex health needs, or mental health difficulties.


No abbreviation

Planned, home-based educational support for pre-school children with special educational needs. Local authorities usually provide Portage Services. The Portage service is named after the town of Portage, Wisconsin, USA. There is an active and extensive network of Portage Services in the UK.

Pupil Referral Unit


A specially organised school which provides education for pupils who would otherwise not receive suitable education because of illness, exclusion or any other reason.

Respite Care/Short Breaks

No abbreviation

Identified package of support to give parent/carers a break from caring. Short breaks can be overnight care for the child/young person with disabilities, activities or a carer.

Special Education Needs Code of Practice

SEN Code of Practice

The Special Education Needs Code of Practice is a government document that provides practical advice to those carrying out their statutory duties to identify, assess and make provision for children's special educational needs.

Special Education Needs Provision

SEN Provision

The additional or different help/support given to children with special educational needs, designed to help them access the National Curriculum.

SEN: Special Educational Needs and Disability


A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service


The abbreviation for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service: Provides information, support and advice children and young people with special education need and disabilities and to their parents and carers.

Social Care

No abbreviation

Social care in England is defined as the provision of social work, personal care, protection or social support services to children or adults in need or at risk

Special School

No abbreviation

A school that is organised to make special educational provision for pupils with SEN and available for children with Statements of Educational Needs/EHC plans.

Specialist Learning Disability Team

No abbreviation

The team provides specialist, multi-disciplinary provision for children with a learning disability whose health needs cannot be fully met by general health services.

Specialist Services

No abbreviation

Specialist services are very specific services that a child or young person may need to manage their health issues. Specialist Services most often require the child or young person to have an Education Health and Care Plan.

Speech and Language Therapy


Speech and language therapy is a health care profession. Their role is to enable children, young people and adults with speech, language and communications difficulties to communicate as best as they can.

Statutory Assessment

No abbreviation

A detailed assessment of a child's special educational needs, which informs the EHC plan.


No abbreviation

Something that is required. Many times it is used to mean that something is available for everyone.

Transition Plan

No abbreviation

A plan drawn up after the Year 9 Annual Review of a statement/EHC plan that draws together information from a range of individuals to plan for the young person's transition to adult life.

Travel Assistance

No abbreviation

Travel assistance is help getting to and from a child or young person’s place of education. The Council will provide travel assistance to pupils who meet the criteria set out in our policy. This will normally be in the form of a bus pass.

Travel Training

No abbreviation

Training to help a qualifying child or young person with SEND use public transport


No abbreviation

The SEND Tribunal as an independent national tribunal which hears parents’ and young people’s appeals against LA decisions about the special educational needs of children and young people. It also hears claims of disability discrimination against schools. (Definition from IPSEA Independent Parental Special Education Advice website)

Universal Services

No abbreviation

Universal Services are services that all children and young people will qualify for, regardless of whether or not they have a diagnosed Special Education Need or Disability.

Young Person


A person over compulsory school age (the end of the academic year in which they turn 16). When a young person reaches age 16 they can start to make decisions connected with their EHCP

Universal Interventions

No abbreviation

Health, Education, Social Care and other kinds of services that are offered to everyone regardless of the level of need they are experiencing

Targeted Interventions

No abbreviation

Health, Education, Social Care and other kinds of services that are offered to people who have a specific area of vulnerability in an area

Specialist Interventions

No abbreviation

Health, Education, Social Care and other kinds of services that are offered to people who are eligible for targeted interventions for those who require a highly specific set of services to respond to their needs.