Annual Review

The yearly review of a Statement of Special Education Needs, carried out by the Local Authority.


Assessment is a process over time that identifies strengths, weaknesses and needs across all areas of a child’s or young person’s life and involves both parent carers and practitioners..

Autistic Spectrum Condition

The spectrum of autism covers a range of disabilities from classic autism to Asperger Syndrome. Autism is recognised from a variety and clear pattern of behaviours. These behaviours are common to the whole population and we could all be described as having features of autism. Some of us for example, may always follow a set routine in the morning while others may dislike large crowds of people. An Autistic Spectrum Condition diagnosis is given however when there is a pattern of behaviours showing significant and persistent impairments in the three areas of communication, social interaction and rigidity of behaviour and thinking. Individuals with ASC will vary significantly according to their personalities, general level of intelligence, the degree of the impairment in the three areas and any additional learning difficulties. The combination of these elements will affect how the pupil learns, how the environment needs to be organised and the pupils general functioning.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder, marked by multiple symptoms that include atypicalities in: -social interactions (ie people with autism would often find it difficult to understand others’ mental states and emotions, and respond accordingly) -verbal and non-verbal communication -repetitive behaviour (ie people with autism might repeat certain words or actions over and over, usually in a rigid rule-governed manner). There is a wide variability in the degree to which these symptoms manifest themselves, leading to the use of the term ‘autism spectrum disorders’ (ASD).


Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Behaviour Emotional and Social Difficulties

Where a child’s emotions or behaviour are barriers to their learning. This may result in them being: withdrawn and/or isolated; disruptive and/or disturbing others; hyperactive and/or having difficulties with concentration; having immature social skills; presenting challenging behaviour. These difficulties may arise from medical disorders and/or difficult home situations. 


Providing descriptions of what is expected or what has been achieved 


For the purpose of the SEN Code of Practice, a carer is a person named by a local authority to care for a child for whom the social services department has a parental responsibility.


Educational Psychologists and Speech & Language Therapists may refer to centiles. These describe how your child functions compared to 100 children. If they are on the 75th centile, 74 children out of a hundred would have more difficulties than them, and 25 children would have less difficulties than them. It is a benchmark from which progress can be measured.

Child Development Clinic

A clinic where medical assessments are made of children whose development is giving cause for concern.

Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist can offer advice on eating, toileting and behavioural difficulties. Parents may also find it helpful to talk to them about how their child’s difficulties impact on the daily life of the whole family.

CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Child and adolescent services which provide assessment, treatment and care when a child or young person experiences continued emotional or behavioural problems.


Clinical Commissioning Group.

CIN – Child In Need

Under the Children Act 1989, disabled children are described as being ‘in need’. Social Services have the lead responsibility for assessments and for ensuring the provision of services. Other services have a duty to cooperate in supporting disabled children.


Children and Young People.


Department For Education.


Department of Health.

Early Intervention

This is the process of intervening when a child or young person first shows signs of having difficulties. The aim is to ensure that help is received as soon as possible, to prevent any difficulties escalating.

ECM – Every Child Matters

Every Child Matters is a set of reforms supported by the Children Act 2004. The government has outlined five outcomes to well-being in childhood and later life:
• be healthy
• stay safe
• enjoy and achieve
• make a positive contribution
• achieve economic well-being

EHC Plan

A single Education, Health and Care Plan, to be used from birth to 25 years of age.

Green Paper on Special Educational Needs and Disability

‘Support and aspiration: a new approach to special educational needs and disability’

A consultation document which sets out the government’s views on the current special educational needs and disability system and aspirations for a new system in the future. The paper has lead to 20 SEND Pathfinder pilot projects being undertaken throughout the country and is the first step in a policy-making process which usually leads to legislation.


Inclusion is a term which ensures equal learning opportunities for all children and young people.

IEP – Individual Education Plan

An individual learning programme put together by a school for a child who has been identified as having special educational needs.


A national charity that works with disabled children, young people and their families across England.

KS – Key Stage

• Key Stage 1 (KS1) – Years 1 & 2 (ages 5 – 7)
• Key Stage 2 (KS2) – Years 3 to 6 (ages 7 – 11)
• Key Stage 3 (KS3) – Years 7 to 9 (ages 11 – 14)
• Key Stage 4 (KS4) – Years 10 & 11 (ages 14 – 16)

Key Worker

The key worker coordinates the assessment, planning and provision for the child or young person and their family. The key worker helps to maintain relationships between the family and practitioners and helps the family through the process. The key worker is a consistent presence for the child or young person and their family.

Local Authority.
LAC – Looked After Children

The term used to describe a child in local authority care or in social accommodation for more than 24 hours.


Leicester City Council.

Lead Professional

The lead professional is a practitioner who knows the child and family well and who supports the parent carers by ensuring that support is coordinated and delivered. He or she acts as a single point of contact ensuring people come together; organising meetings; ensuring communication; taking an

overview; has the ‘clout’ to get people to meetings; and monitors the plan.

Takes responsibility for the cohesive and coordinated delivery of a multi-agency plan.

Levels of Need

The levels of need relate to the child or young person’s need and the action which is likely to be required:

• Level 1 – No additional needs have been identified.
• Level 2 – Children, young people & their families will need additional support.
• Level 3 – Children, young people & their families will need intensive assistance.
• Level 4 – Children & young people are in crisis and need urgent intervention.

LDD – Learning Difficulties & Disabilities

A range of disorders affecting the acquisition, retention, understanding, organisation or use of verbal and/or nonverbal information.


Multi-agency working is a true partnership between workers from two or more (normally statutory) agencies based on common goals and strategic vision. Multi-agency working means that parent carers, children and young people are offered appropriate support in all areas of their life where this is needed.

Multi-Agency Team Around The Family Meeting

A meeting which brings together parents and professionals from a range of different services and agencies, to help and support an individual child or young person and their family.

Multi- disciplinary

Multi-disciplinary working is where practitioners from different professional backgrounds work together in an integrated way.


Northamptonshire County Council.


Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.


NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

NHS Operating Framework

A Framework which sets priorities for NHS bodies in England, including PCTs. The 2007 Framework includes disabled children as one of the four priority groups.

NPPS – Northamptonshire’s Parent Partnership Service

Northamptonshire’s Parent Partnership Service provides independent information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs.

Outcomes Focused

A single plan which is outcomes focused is one in which there is a clear, agreed priority for desired outcomes for the child or young person and their family. The focus will be on what will change for the child or young person. The single plan will set out how these outcomes are to be achieved.


Planning is a process where parent carers and practitioners come together to agree how their desired outcomes for the child or young person and the family can be achieved.

Personal Budget

A personal budget is the amount of funding available to meet the desired outcomes set out in the single plan for an individual child or young person. It will enable the child and their family to make choices to suit their particular circumstances about the way the outcomes are achieved. The personal budget can be held by the parent carers through a direct payment, held on their behalf by an agency or other organisation or a combination of these.

Parent Carer Participation

Parent carer participation is welcoming parent carers to the strategic decision making process as full partners from the start.


A practitioner is someone who is employed by an agency to work with children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families.

Personal Budget

A personal budget is the amount of funding available to meet the desired outcomes set out in the single plan for an individual child or young person. It will enable the child and their family to make choices to suit their particular circumstances about the way the outcomes are achieved. The personal budget can be held by the parent carers through a direct payment, held on

their behalf by an agency or other organisation or a combination of these.


Primary Care Trust.

PRU – Pupil Referral Unit

Pupil Referral Units are centres for children who are not able to attend mainstream or special schools.


Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Single Assessment

A single assessment process is one in which parent carers and practitioners pull together the range of assessment information and use this to identify their desired outcomes for the child or young person and their family. The single assessment process will be the basis for the development of the single support plan. The single assessment process will cover all areas of need and all relevant agencies will contribute to it.

Single Plan

A single plan is one in which the parent carers and practitioners build on the single assessment process to set out their desired outcomes for the child or young person and their family. The plan will identify the agreed the priority of each of these outcomes and set out how they will be achieved. The single plan will cover the contribution of the family and all relevant agencies and set out clear responsibilities and accountabilities with timescales.

Support Planner

The support planner works with the parent carers, the child or young person and the family to develop the support plan and to agree how the personal budget should be used. When all elements of support have been determined the support planner works with the family and providers to identify and agree the delivery plan.

SEN – Special Educational Need

A learning difficulty or disability which makes it more difficult for a child to learn or access education than for most children in the same age group.

SENCO – Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is responsible for coordinating special educational provision within mainstream schools.

Specialist CAMHS

Specialist CAMHS (Specialist Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services) are exclusively concerned with the mental health of children & young people.

Statutory Assessment

This is the formal process whereby the Local Authority assess a child’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) and may result in a Statement of SEN being drawn up.

Statement of Special Educational Needs

This is a legal document which details a pupil’s Special Educational Needs and the provision required to meet those needs.


Social Worker


Transparent decision-making is a process that is clear to all partners including parent carers. Parent carers understand how decisions are made and are able to actively participate in this. Information is provided in clear language and includes sufficient detail for parent carers and practitioners to understand what is being said


Transition is a change in a child’s or young person’s life where some or all of their support is undertaken by new services or other practitioners. This will include the transition between stages of education and the move from children’s to adult services.

Transition Plan

This is a plan for a young person who already has a Statement of SEN, which looks at their future education, training and support after the age of 16.


Voluntary Action LeicesterShire.

VCS – Voluntary and Community Sector

This sector consists of organisations and groups set up on a voluntary basis and funded through charity fundraising and grants.