People in schools

AOT

Adult other than Teacher.

APT

Assistant Principal Teacher (Scotland).

AST

Advanced Skills Teacher.

BTA

Bilingual teaching assistant.

Computer technicians

Some primary schools may employ the services of a computer technician to manage the school computer network.

Deputy headteacher

A teacher who has been specifically appointed to deputise for the headteacher and who is likely to have been delegated a range of important management functions by the headteacher, as well as maintaining responsibility for a class of children. A similar position to that of Vice Principal and Assistant Head.

Designated Teachers

Advocates who liaise with other services on behalf of young people in care.

DOL

Director of learning.

DOSP

Director Of Student Progress.

Generalist class teacher

A teacher who teaches all subjects of the National Curriculum to his or her class of children.  Allows great flexibility and is often associated with the statement that ‘I teach children not subjects’.  Reflects the assertion of an important quality in the commitment of primary school teachers to the social and emotional development of children.  Particularly common in work with young children, where the balance of advantage is seen to lie with generalism and knowing the personalities of the children very well. See Specialist subject teacher

Governors

A school or college governor is a voluntary position that involves overseeing the running of the institution. Duties include playing a part in appointing staff (including the headteacher); setting the strategic direction, policies and objectives; approving the budget and reviewing progress against the budget and objectives. Below are definitions of some aspects of school governance:

Instrument of Government

The legal document which specifies the composition of governing bodies and defines the rules and procedures through which they function.

Chair of governors

A governor who is elected annually to chair meetings and represent the governing body between meetings.

Parent governor

A parent who has been elected by other parents of pupils at a school, to serve on the governing body.

Local Education Authority governor

A school governor who has been appointed, and can be removed, by the LEA.  Normally these appointments reflect the balance of political representation in the area.

Minor authority governor

A school governor who is a representative of a minor authority, such as a parish council.

Teacher governor

A governor who is a teacher at the school and has been elected by his or her colleagues.

Staff governor

A governor who is a non-teaching member of staff (although there is a proposal to remove this category of governor).

Headteacher governor

A headteacher has a right to attend all meetings of the governing body and is a governor unless he or she opts not to be.

Co-opted governor

A governor of a county or controlled school who are added to the governing body by other governors for a particular reason, such as having relevant expertise, representing an underrepresented part of the community, etc.

Foundation governor

A governor who has been appointed, and can be removed, by the church or other organisation which provides the school.

Clerk of governors

The secretary to the governing body who issues agendas and compiles minutes.

Governors’ sub-committees

Groups of governors who meet between meetings of the full governing body to work on particular aspects of a school’s affairs, such as staffing, curriculum, finance, sites and buildings.  They report back to the governing body.

Governing body

The group of parents, LEA, community representatives and teachers set up under the terms of School’s Articles of Government to direct school policy and oversee school management (see Education Act, 1986).

Quorum

The minimum number of governors who must be present for most decisions to be taken as a governing body - usually one third of all governors, rounded up.

Headteachers

The senior teacher and leader of school staff who is responsible for the implementation of National Curriculum and assessment requirements, school policies as set by governors, school staff, external liaison and effective use of financial and other resources.

HLTA

Higher level teaching assistant.  A relatively recent designation, introduced to afford higher status to more experienced TAs.

HoD

Head of Department.

LSA

Learning Support Assistant.

MDS

Midday supervisor.

MDA

Mid-day Assistant.

Parents

Parental rights

Legal rights under the 'Parents Charter' (1991) include the right to information about schools and pupil performance and the right to 'choose' a school to which to send their child.

Parental responsibilities

Enshrined in homework policies and Home-School contracts. Parental responsibility has been highlighted by the recent case of a mother imprisoned due to her truanting daughters.

Parent-teacher partnership

A form of cooperative liaison, commonly promoted in primary schools, particularly to support the early stages of literacy but beneficial in enhancing all forms of pupil learning.

Parent-teacher Associations (PTAs)

A voluntary organisation normally set up to support a school with fund-raising activities and through encouraging parent-teacher cooperation.

Pupils

Child culture

The perceptions, values and social practices of children, for instance, developing in the playground or community which can affect friendship and social adjustment to school.

Child perspectives on curriculum

Young primary aged children like to express themselves through play, artistic media and activity.

Child perspectives on teachers

Children often think of whether teachers are 'strict' or 'soft', whether they are 'fair' and whether they are 'kind'. Children also watch carefully for teacher mood so that they can predict what the teacher might do next.

Child perspectives on assessment

Children who are confident often welcome assessment, particularly if a teacher offers praise. Children who feel more vulnerable tend to feel uneasy about it, particularly in public situations.

Children's rights in school

Some primary schools include Pupils' Councils to allow children the opportunity to voice their opinions about school rules and regulations.

School caretakers

Staff who have responsibility for daily maintenance and security of a school.

School cleaners

Cleaners, normally employed by a company who have won a contract to clean a school.

School secretaries

Staff who support the work of the headteacher and deal with many facets of routine school administration, from greeting parents, simple first aid, typing letters and maintaining budget records.

SMSAs

School meal supervisory assistants. Staff employed to supervise children at dinner times.

SMT

Senior Management Team. A small group of senior staff in a school, normally receiving additional pay allowances, who support the headteacher in implementing school policies by acting as ‘middle-managers’.

TA

Teaching Assistant.  Staff who support teachers in their classroom work but who do not have formal teaching qualifications. There are also STAs, Special teaching assistants, who work with particular children who have been identified as having Special Educational Needs.See also HLTA. Can also stand for Teaching Agency and Teacher Assessment.

Teachers

Initial teacher training (ITT)

The basic training to become a teacher. The established HEI routes are via a BA (Hons) of three or four years or via a PGCE of one year following a degree. Courses are run in `partnership' with schools and have large school-based elements. There are also numerous 'school-based' routes, including the Graduate Teacher Programme, and flexible/modular courses.

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

The professional qualification awarded following a course of teacher training which has been recognised by the Teacher Training Agency.

Induction period

The early years of a newly qualified teacher's professional work during which time particular training and support may be available, perhaps through a mentor.

Teachers' conditions of service

Contractual requirements made of teachers, set by the Secretary of State on the advice of the School Teachers' Review Body.

Teacher associations

The trade unions which represent teachers' interests as employees; the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Headteachers are two of these.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCO)

A teacher who has responsibility for managing provision for children with Special Educational Needs within the School.

Induction Tutor

A teacher who has responsibility for managing the professional development and assessment of newly qualified teachers in school.

Advanced Skills Teacher

A teacher who is recognised as an excellent classroom practitioner who works for part of the week in other schools to spread good practice.

Advanced Skills Teacher (ITT)

A teacher who is recognised for their work in school-based initial teacher training and who works in other schools or Higher Education Institutions for part of the week.

Peripatetic teachers

Specialist teachers who visit schools in their area to offer particular forms of expertise. The most common group are teachers of musical instruments.

In-service education for teachers

The training and professional development activities of teachers working in schools, often in the form of short courses on in-school activities.

Specialist subject teacher

A teacher who specialises in the teaching of a limited number of National Curriculum subjects and teaches them to several classes across the school.  The specialist teacher is the norm in secondary schools and is becoming more common in work with older children in the primary phase, where the balance of advantage is seen to lie with specialism and knowing the subject to be studied very well. See Generalist class teacher. A semi-specialist teacher is a hybrid of generalist and specialist in which the roles are enacted selectively for particular purposes.  For instance, four teachers in a junior school may teach English, maths and some topics which integrate history, geography, technology and art as a generalist to their own class.  However, music, science, physical education and information & communication technology may be taught by these same four teachers, working in each other’s classrooms so that each can share a particular expertise which he or she has.

Semi-specialist teacher

A hybrid of generalist and specialist in which the roles are enacted selectively for particular purposes. For instance, four teachers in a junior school may teach English, maths and some topics which integrate history, geography, technology and art as a generalist to their own class. However, music, science, physical education and information & communication technology may be taught by these same four teachers, working in each other’s classrooms so that each can share a particular expertise which he or she has.

Supply teachers

Qualified teachers who are not in full-time teaching posts who make themselves available for occasional work to cover for absent school staff.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

On-going, provision of progressive activities to ensure appropriate staff development throughout a teacher's career.

Early Professional Development (EPD)

EPD is a government initiative that focuses on professional development for teachers in their second and third years of teaching. A main purpose is to secure the retention of new teachers through good quality professional development.