Schools

Accountability

Various processes by which teachers, schools or governors are required to justify their practices, policies and performance to others, and in particular parents, including reports on pupil progress, convening of an annual meeting for parents and publishing OFSTED inspection reports.

Beacon School

A government programme which ran from1998-2005; it aimed to identify high achieving schools which could disseminate good practice.  See also Hub school

CA

City Academy.

CC

Community College.

CLS

Curriculum and Learning Support (usually a department in a school).

CMT

College Management Team - Senior Management within a college (see SMT).

Community school

State schools in England and Wales which are wholly owned and maintained by the local education authority. The local education authority is the admissions authority - it has the main responsibility for deciding arrangements for admitting pupils.

Comprehensive school

This refers to a state secondary school which admits pupils of all abilities, and therefore without any selection procedure. In England most (nearly 90%) of all pupils attend a comprehensive school; they were introduced into England during the late 1960s.

Controlled Schools

Schools in Northern Ireland which come under the control of Education and Library Boards.

County Schools

State schools in England and Wales which are wholly owned and maintained by local education authorities.

CTC

City Technical College; an independent all ability non-fee-paying school for students aged 11-18. CTCs teach the national curriculum to pre-16-year-olds with a focus on Science, Mathematics and Technology.

CY

A government abbreviation for community school maintained by the local education authority.

Day Nurseries

These take children under five for the whole working day. Children can attend on a part-time or full-time basis according to their parents' needs. They may be run by local authorities, voluntary organisations, private companies, individuals or employers. There must be at least one adult for every eight children and at least half of the staff must have a qualification recognised by the local authority.

Directed time

Time when a teacher must be available to carry out duties, under the direction of the head.  A full-time teacher's directed time is usually reckoned to be 1,265 hours in any school year.

Extended school

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.

EY

Early Years.

EYDCP

Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership.

EYDP

Early Years Development Plan.

EYFS

Early Years Foundation Stage.

EYSP

The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. A statutory assessment for children at the end of the Foundation Stage and is a way of summing up each child's development and learning at the end of the Reception year.

EYU

Early Years Unit.

FD

Foundation school (see below).

First school

A school for children aged 5 - 8, or 5 - 9 in which appropriate parts of the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 National Curriculum are taught and assessed. It may include a reception class (children aged 4-5, Foundation Stage).

Foundation School

A type of state school which is run by the local authority but which has more freedom than community schools to manage their school and decide on their own admissions.   They are maintained by the LEA but some may have a foundation (generally religious) which appoints some of the governing body (which acts as the admissions authority).

Free School

Free Schools are state-funded schools set up in response to what some local people say they want for children in their community. The first ‘Free School’ opened in September 2011.

GM

In the context of education, GM stands for Grant Maintained and refers to schools that are maintained by central government rather than the LEA.

GMSAC

Grant Maintained Schools Advisory Committee.

GMSF

Grant Maintained Schools Foundation.

Grammar Schools

A type of selective school associated with the tripartite system established by the 1944 Education Act. Most schools since 1976 in the UK are comprehensive schools, which are non-selective. However there are still about 160 grammar schools throughout England.  These schools usually select pupils on the basis of their performance on a one-off test.  It should be noted that there are some comprehensive schools which retain the name 'Grammar' in their title.

Grant Maintained Schools

State schools in England and Wales which are funded by central government through the Funding Agency for Schools.

Heterogeneous grouping

Grouping together pupils of varying abilities, interests, or ages.

Home schooling

One does not need to be a qualified teacher to educate a child at home, nor is the child obliged to follow the National Curriculum or take national tests. Parents are required by law to ensure that their children receive full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude.

Home-school agreements

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 are invited to sign a parental declaration, indicating that they understand and accept the contents of the agreement.

Hub School

A school which acts as a 'hub' to disseminate good practice to other schools in a defined partnership role, for example as part of an initial teacher training consortium.

Independent Schools

These are schools which are not funded by the state and 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.

IND

The official acronym for a registered independent school.

IND(SS)

Independent school approved under the Education Act 1996 to take pupils who have statements of special educational needs.

Infant school

A school for children aged 5 - 7 in which Key Stage 1 of the National Curriculum is taught and assessed. It may include a reception class (children aged 4-5, Foundation Stage).

Junior school

A school for children aged 7 - 11 in which Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum is taught and assessed.

LSAC

Language Sports and Arts College(s).

LSU

Learning Support Unit.

Maintained School

Maintained schools are funded by central government via the LEA, and do not charge fees to students. The categories of maintained school are: community, community special, foundation (including trust), foundation special (including trust), voluntary aided and voluntary controlled. There are also maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units

Middle school

A school for children aged 8 - 12 or 9 - 13 in which appropriate parts of the Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 National Curriculum are taught and assessed.

Mixed ability

A teaching group in which children of all abilities are taught together rather than being streamed or set.

Nursery Classes

Operating within State Primary Schools, nursery classes take children from the age of three or four and are open during school term time. They usually offer five half-day sessions a week. There must be one adult for every 13 children.

Nursery nurses

Specialists who have qualified in the education and development of pre-school aged children (NNEB), and who sometimes work in primary schools under the direction of a teacher.

Nursery school (Foundation Stage)

A school offering suitable, but non-statutory, educational provision for children aged 2 - 4, including play, activity and language development.  The recommended child/adult ratio is 13:1.

Nursery unit (Foundation Stage)

A unit, offering suitable educational provision for children aged 3 and 4, which is attached to a school for older children.

PRC

Pupil Referral Centre.

Preparatory school

An independent school often catering for children from 5 - 13 years old in preparation for secondary education in ‘public schools’ (also independent).

Pre-school

Usually refers to children aged between 3 and 5, attending one of the following: playgroups (see below), governmental day nurseries (usually for children from disadvantaged backgrounds), private day nurseries, nursery schools run by the local authority, and nursery classes in primary schools.  See also Nursery.

Primary school

A school for children aged 5 - 11 in which Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum is taught and assessed. It may include a reception class (children aged 4-5, Foundation Stage).

Private nursery schools

These take children between the ages of two and five and offer half or full-day sessions and some stay open in the school holidays. There must be at least one adult for every 13 children and at least half of the staff must be qualified teachers.

Prospectus

A brochure containing information about the school, giving facts and figures, which the governing body must publish each year for parents and prospective parents.  Copies must be available at the school for reference or free of charge to parents on request.

Public school

In the UK, a 'public' school is in fact private and is not to be confused with State school.  Public schools are often referred to as Independent schools.  Public schools do not have a statutory obligation to deliver a national curriculum.  It is not necessary to have gained QTS in order to teach in a public school.

Reception Classes

In state primary schools children are received at ages four and five, some schools starting children off with half-day sessions. There must be at least one adult for every 13 children.

Secondary Modern School

Pupils who were unsuccessful in the 11+ examination usually went to a secondary modern school where the emphasis tended to be on vocational and practical subjects. These schools became redundant in 1976 with the widespread introduction of comprehensive (non-selective) education. See also Grammar Schools.

Self-governing schools

The Scottish equivalent to grant-maintained schools in England.

School effectiveness

A judgement or measure of the efficiency of the school overall in producing educational outcomes given the characteristics of its pupil intake and the resources which are deployed.

School ethos

The taken-for-granted pattern of values, interpersonal relationships and expectations about the education being provided which gives each school a particular subjective ‘feel’.  Often very influenced by the headteacher.

School funding

This usually refers to the amount of money that is allocated to state schools. There are several terms associated with school funding and its implications:

The local government settlement

The finance which is made available annually by national government from general taxation to support local government expenditure.  Education usually accounts for a high proportion of such funding.

The community charge

The means by which local governments raise funds from their electorate to contribute to their expenditure on local services, such as education.

The aggregated schools budget

The total funds made available for expenditure by schools by an LEA.  This must be at least 85% of its overall funding for education and is allocated using an approved funding formula.

Formula Funding

The method by which funds for school budgets are calculated, with a particular emphasis on numbers of pupils on roll as reflected in age weighted pupil units.

Age weighted pupil units (AWPUs)

The number of ‘units’ allocated to children of particular ages which is reflected in levels of school funding.  In 1995 a 16 year old counted for nine units and a 7 year old for one unit.

Teacher salaries

A School Teachers’ Review Body makes recommendation to the Secretary of State for Education each year on teachers’ pay.

Pupil-teacher ratios

The proportion of pupils to all teachers in a school or within an education system - a figure which includes teachers in administrative or other posts.

Class size

The number of children in a class who are taught by one teacher.  Often aggregated for a school, LEA on the national system to produce an average figure.

School policies

Guidelines for action and practice within a school.  Some policies are legally required and must be set by governors.

SDP

School development plan. An annual form of whole-school evaluation and planning, promoted by government and LEAs and expected to be produced by headteacher, teachers and governors together.

Specialist Schools

This type of school includes technology, languages, sports and art colleges operating in England.

SST

Specialist Schools Trust (formerly known as the Technology Colleges Trust).

State Nursery Schools

These take children from the age of three or four and are open during school term time and normally offer five half-day sessions a week. There must be at least one adult for every thirteen children. Staff are qualified teachers and assistants.

State Schools

Otherwise known as publicly funded schools; parents do not pay any fees.  They are attended by most (over 90 per cent) of pupils. Scottish state schools are maintained and controlled by the local education authority.

TC

Technology College.

Underachieving school

This is an outcome of the inspection process. The Registered Inspector will have concluded that the school's performance is below that of schools in similar circumstances.

Voluntary aided schools

Schools in England and Wales which are maintained by the Local Education Authority, with a foundation (generally religious) which appoints most of the governing body. The governing body is the admissions authority.

Voluntary controlled schools

Schools in England and Wales which are maintained by the Local Education Authority, with a foundation (generally religious) which appoints some, but not most, of the governing body. The LEA is the admissions authority.

Voluntary grammar schools

Grant-maintained, integrated schools in Northern Ireland which take both Protestant and Roman Catholic pupils.

Voluntary Maintained Schools

Schools in Northern Ireland which are mainly managed by the Catholic Church.