SEND Glossary


This page has information on a range of terms that you might come across.

A to C

A state-funded school in England that is directly funded by DfE, through the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Academies are self-governing and independent of local authority control.

Additional Needs Team 14-25

Information, advice and guidance on education, training and employment is provided by our Additional Needs Pathway Advisers. Additional Needs Pathway Advisers (ANPAs) work with young people who go to a special school have a Statement of Special Educational Needs / Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan (from September 2014). They can work with young people through to their 25th birthday. Your son or daughter’s school can put you in touch with their ANPA.

Alternative Provision

Education arranged by local authorities for pupils who, because of exclusion, illness or other reasons, would not otherwise receive suitable education; education and support arranged by schools, including for pupils receiving targeted support in their mainstream school; pupils being directed by schools to off-site provision to improve their behaviour; and provision for pupils on a fixed period exclusion.

The Adult and Autism team (AAT)

Covers the whole of Cambridgeshire supporting individuals from the ages of 18 years up to 75 years as well as their linked informal carers. We support those with Autism without a related learning disability, and others with eligible needs under the Care Act 2014 who do not sit with another statutory social care service. We also work with young people entering adult services to consider their support once they reach 18: Autism and adult support - Cambridgeshire County Council

Adult Early Help team

Provide advice and support to anyone over the age of 18 who is seeking support or social care.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS): These services assess and treat children and young people with emotional, behavioural, or mental health difficulties. They range from basic pastoral care, such as identifying mental health problems, to specialist ‘Tier 4’ CAMHS, which provide in-patient care for those with more complex needs: Service detail | CPFT NHS Trust

Child in Care

If your child is taken into care because of a care order, your council will share responsibility for making decisions about the child’s upbringing, including: who looks after them; where they live; how they are educated. If the parent agrees to your child becoming ‘looked after’ and there is no care order, you’ll continue to have parental responsibility for your child: Care Leavers Local Offer - Cambridgeshire County Council

Children in need

A child in need is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health or development will be significantly impaired without the provision of children's social care services, or the child is disabled.

Compulsory school age

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.

D to F
Day Opportunities

Cambridgeshire County Council's In House Services support adults with learning disabilities and older people. We have a range of service offers from day opportunities and employment support to 24/7 support services: Our teams - Adults - Cambridgeshire County Council

Dedicated schools grant (DSG)

This grant is allocated on a financial year (April to March) basis to local authorities and consists of four funding blocks: mainstream schools funding (often referred to as the schools block), funding for services the local authority provides to all schools (the central schools services block), high needs funding for children and young people with more complex needs (the high needs block), and the early years funding block.

Disagreement resolution

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 84 providing education, whether the child or young person has an EHCP or not, or health and social care in relation to EHC assessments and plans. Disagreement resolution services can also be used in cases of disagreement between local authorities and health commissioning bodies during EHC needs assessments, the drawing up of EHCPs or the reviewing of those plans.

District Early Help Teams

Targeted Support (Early Help) may be provided from universal services by providing advice and information or support to a family. Early Help may also be provided by targeted services and be delivered through a more structured and planned approach in response to the family’s needs – for Cambridgeshire County Council this is through our District Early Help Teams working with children and families from 0-19 (25 if there are special educational needs). District teams - Cambridgeshire County Council

Early Help (Targeted Support)

Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The EYFS covers children from birth to age five. Many children attend an early education setting soon after their third birthday. The foundation stage continues until the end of the reception year and requires settings to deliver a broad early years curriculum across seven statutory areas of learning and development. It prepares children for learning in Year 1, when programmes of study for key stage 1 are taught. Early years provider: A provider of early education places for children under five years of age. This includes schools, pre-schools, private nurseries and childminders.

Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

An arm of DfE that manages the funding for learners between the ages of 3 and 19 years and for those with SEN or disabilities between the ages of 3 and 25. The ESFA allocates funding to 152 local authorities for maintained schools and voluntary aided schools. It is also responsible for funding and monitoring academies, University Technical Colleges, studio schools and free schools, as well as building maintenance programmes for schools and sixth-form colleges: Education and Skills Funding Agency - GOV.UK (

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP): An EHCP details the education, health and social care support that is to be provided to a child or young person who has SEN or a disability. It is drawn up by the local authority, with relevant partner agencies, after an EHC needs assessment of the child or young person has determined that an EHCP is necessary: Annual Reviews (EHCP) - Cambridgeshire County Council

Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

A small proportion of C/YP with SEN may require an Education Health Care Needs Assessment in order to determine whether it may be necessary to make provision in accordance with an Education Health Care Plan: Cambridgeshire EHCNA Guidance 2019v2

First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability)

An independent body which has jurisdiction under Section 51 of the Children and Families Act 2014 for determining appeals by parents and young people against local authority decisions on EHC needs assessments and EHCPs. The tribunal’s decision is binding on both parties to the appeal. The tribunal also hears claims of disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010: Mediation - Cambridgeshire County Council

Free school

A free school is a type of academy, which is free to attend, but is not controlled by the local authority. Free schools receive state funding via the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Parents, teachers, businesses or charities can submit an application to DfE to set up a free school.

Further education (FE) college

We define provision for all young people with SEND who are post 16 as FE. This includes colleges offering continuing education to young people over the age of 16.

G to J
Healthy Child Programme

Healthy Child Programme runs from 28 weeks 85 pregnancy to 19/24 years of age. It provides universal, targeted and specialist interventions including screening, immunisation, health and development reviews, supplemented by advice around health, wellbeing and parenting for younger children and health advice for older children and young people. Healthy child programme 0 to 19: health visitor and school nurse commissioning - GOV.UK (

High needs funding/budget

This funding is for children and young people aged 0 to 25 with complex needs, currently defined as those with SEND needing additional support costing more than £6,000 per annum, including the costs of special school and specialist college provision, and those requiring alternative provision. The majority of this funding is allocated to local authorities through their DSG (see above). We refer both to the national high needs budget, which DfE allocates, and to local authorities’ high needs budgets.

Integrated Care System (ICS)

New partnerships between the organisations that meet health and care needs across an area, to coordinate services and to plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups. 

Integrated Care Board (ICB)

Bringing the NHS together locally to improve population health and care. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have been abolished.

Independent school

A school that is not maintained by a local authority and is registered under part 4 of the Education and Skills Act 2008. Section 347 of the Act sets out the conditions under which an independent school may be approved by the Secretary of State for Education as being suitable for the admission of children with EHCPs.

K to O
Learning Disability Partnership

The Learning Disability Partnership (LDP) is a model which is nationally recognised by NHSE as a fully integrated health and social care service that delivers seamless and innovative community support to adults across Cambridgeshire.

Maintained school

Schools in England that are maintained by a local authority – any community, foundation or voluntary school, community special or foundation special school.


This is a statutory service commissioned by local authorities which is designed to help settle disagreements between parents or young people and local authorities over EHC needs assessments and plans and which parents and young people can use before deciding whether to appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal about decisions on assessment or the special educational element of a plan. Mediation can cover any one or all three elements of an EHCP and must be offered to the parent or young person when the final plan is issued.

NHS England (NHSE)

NHS England is an independent body, at arm’s length to the government and held to account through the NHS Mandate. Its main role is to improve health outcomes for people in England by providing national leadership for improving outcomes and driving up the quality of care; overseeing the operation of clinical commissioning groups; allocating resources to clinical 86 commissioning groups, and commissioning primary care and specialist services.

NEET: Not in Education, Employment or Training: Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) - Office for National Statistics (

Non-maintained special school

Schools in England approved by the Secretary of State for Education under Section 342 of the Education Act 1996 as special schools which are not maintained by the state but charge fees on a non-profitmaking basis. Most non-maintained special schools are run by major charities or charitable trusts.


Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills is a non-Ministerial government department established under the Education & Inspections Act 2006. It has responsibility for the inspection of schools, children’s services, and local SEND provision in England.

P to R

Under Section 576 of the Education Act 1996, the term ‘parent’ includes any person who is not a parent of the child but has parental responsibility (see below) or who cares for him or her.

Parent Carer Forum

A Parent Carer Forum is a group of parents and carers of disabled children who work with local authorities, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families.

Parental responsibility

Parental responsibility is defined under Section 3 (1) of the Children Act 1989 as meaning all the duties, rights, powers, responsibilities, and authority which parents have with respect to their children and their children’s property.

Preparing for Adulthood

Preparing for Adulthood is ensuring that young people achieve the best possible learning outcomes in order to successfully progress into adult life. They will be supported to do this through person centred planning,local provision which has been planned and developed according to the young person’s aspirations and individual support needs: Local offer - Preparing for adulthood (14-25) - Cambridgeshire County Council

Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

Any school established and maintained by a local authority under Section 19 (2) of the Education Act 1996 which is specially organised to provide education for pupils who would otherwise not receive suitable education because of illness, exclusion or any other reason.


The team provide short term support to people in their own homes. Individually tailored care plans enable people to maximise their independence in daily living. The team is made up of social workers, occupational therapists, care coordinators, support workers and adult support co-ordinators.

S to T
Short Breaks

If your child or young person doesn't receive services from social care and has high rate Disability Living Allowance (Care Component) or the enhanced rate Personal Independence Payment (PIP), they have an automatic entitlement to our local short breaks offer. You will receive a personalised budget that can be used for agreed activities and support as identified in your child’s short break plan. To apply please complete the form below: Short breaks offer - Cambridgeshire County Council

Statutory Assessment Team

The Statutory Assessment Team is responsible for initiating and managing the Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment process ensuring that appropriate assessments are carried out and that information is gathered from parents, carers, children, young people, education settings and all relevant professionals. The teams are also responsible for the issuing, monitoring, and reviewing of Education, Health and Care Plans and arranging education provision and school placements for children and young people with Statements of Special Educational Needs/EHC Plans: Cambridgeshire Statutory Assessment Team (SAT) - Learn Together (

SEND Local Offer

Local authorities in England are required to set out in their Local Offer information about 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, including those who do not have EHCPs. Local authorities must consult locally on what provision the Local Offer should contain: Local Offer - Cambridgeshire County Council

SEND District Team

The SEND District Team works with children, families, schools and settings to support children with SEND. The team comprises of five multi-disciplinary areas and comprises of: Manager; Senior Specialist Teacher; Specialist Practitioner, Senior Education Psychologist; Ed psychologists; Access and Inclusion Co-ordinator: Cambridgeshire SEND District Teams - Learn Together (

Special Educational Needs (SEN), Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions. ‘Special educational needs’ and ‘disability’ have different definitions in law and guidance. In England, the Equality Act 2010 defines a person as having a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. As such, some pupils have disabilities that meet the Equality Act’s criteria because of the effect on their day-to-day activities, but which do not call for special educational provision; and some pupils have special educational needs because of learning difficulties that do not meet the Equality Act’s disability criteria. However, there is a significant overlap between children with disabilities and children with special educational needs, hence the common use of terms such as “SEND” and “SEND system”.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo)

A qualified teacher (or headteacher or deputy) in a school or maintained nursery school who has responsibility for co-ordinating SEN provision. Other early years settings in group provision arrangements are expected to identify an individual to perform the role of SENCo and childminders are encouraged to do so, possibly sharing the role between them where they are registered with an agency.

Special educational provision

Special educational provision is educational or training provision that is different from, or additional to that normally made for others the same age in mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, mainstream post-16 institutions or places at which relevant early years education is provided.

Special school

A school which is specifically organised to make special educational provision for pupils with SEN. Special schools maintained by the local 88 authority comprise community special schools and foundation special schools, and non-maintained special schools that are approved by the Secretary of State under Section 342 of the Education Act 1996. Special schools and specialist provision - Cambridgeshire County Council

Speech and language therapy

Speech and language therapy is a health care profession, the role and aim of which is to enable children, young people and adults with speech, language and communication difficulties (and associated difficulties with eating and swallowing) to reach their maximum communication potential and achieve independence in all aspects of life.

U to Z
Virtual School Head (VSH)

The Virtual School Head (VSH) is an officer of a local authority who leads a virtual school team that tracks the progress of children looked after by the authority as if they attended a single school. The Children Act 1989 requires every local authority to appoint an officer who is an employee of that or another authority to discharge this duty. Virtual School - Cambridgeshire County Council

Young Adult’s Team

The team work with young people aged 16-25 years, across the whole county of Cambridgeshire, who have a diagnosed learning disability and require ongoing care and support in adulthood. Disability Social Care 0 – 25 - Cambridgeshire County Council

Young person

A person over compulsory school age but under 25. From this point the right to make decisions about matters covered by Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 applies to the young person directly, rather than to their parents. An individual becomes an adult at the age of 18.


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