Parent Partnership Service

Terminology Guide


‘Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder’ - ADHD is a developmental impairment that affects the brain’s self-management system. Children and adults with ADHD can experience difficulties with attention span, including restlessness and hyperactivity.


‘Additional Learning Needs’ - A person has additional learning needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability (whether the learning difficulty or disability arises from a medical condition or otherwise) which calls for additional learning provision.


‘Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator’ - All schools have a teacher who is responsible for co-ordinating the additional provision allocated to the children in the school who have ALN. This teacher is called the ALNCo. The ALNCo will be able to explain to parents how the school is using their allocated resources to meet the needs of children with ALN (for further details see separate leaflet).

ALN Code

‘Additional Learning Needs Code’ 2021 sets out how the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 and

Regulations will work in practice.


The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (The Act) makes provision for a new statutory framework for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs (ALN). This replaces existing legislation surrounding special educational needs (SEN) and the assessment of children and young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) in post-16 education and training.


‘Additional Learning Provision’ for a person aged three or over means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age.

Additional learning provision (ALP) for a child aged under three means educational provision of any kind.


Attainment Target (National Curriculum)

“The Act”

Refers to the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018.

Advisory Teacher

Someone who has specialist knowledge about a particular type of additional learning need and/or condition, for example hearing, sight or motor impairment.

Annual Review

A yearly meeting (the first being 12 months after the issue of a Statement) which an education authority must undertake where the needs of the child are reviewed and the Statement amended if necessary.

Annual Review Report

A written progress report completed by the school for an Annual Transition Review meeting.

Annual Review Summary

A written report completed by the school recording all information and recommendations from the Annual Review meeting and sent to the Local Authority for consideration by the Case Advisory Panel.


A detailed examination of a child’s additional learning needs. This should lead to a report or Observation being written and shared to parents.


An appeal is when you tell a tribunal (SENTW) that you do not agree with the choices your Local Authority have made about your child’s education. This could be about the help a child has at school or the school you go to.


Autism is a developmental difference that affects how people communicate and interact with the world. It is a spectrum condition and impacts people in different ways.


‘Behavioural, Emotional and/or Social Difficulties’. Children identified as having BESD, can present with a wide variety of behaviour differences that impact on their or other's ability to learn. Examples of BESD include school phobia, depressive behaviours as well as disruptive and anti-social behaviours.

Behaviour Support Service

This service works with schools to support pupils with serious behaviour difficulties.


‘Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service’ – a health service to provide help, support and care for children and young people suffering from mental health problems.

Careers Service

A service for all 13-19 year olds to help them prepare for the transition to work and adult life.

Case Officer

A named officer of the Local Authority who co-ordinates the Statutory Assessment process and the maintenance of Statements. The Case Officer is the first point of contact in the Local Authority to answer the questions and concerns parents may have about progress with a Statutory Assessment or their child’s Statement.

Children’s Centres

Children’s Centres are places where children under 5 years old and their families can receive seamless holistic integrated services and where they can access help from multi-disciplinary teams of professionals offering: full day care, early years education, child and family health services, including ante-natal services, parental outreach, family support services, child-minding support for children and parents with special needs, effective links to Job Centre Plus.

Compulsory School Age

The age at which children must be in full time education – age 5-16.

Core Assessment

If needed this is carried out by Social Work staff from Children’s Social Care following an Initial Assessment. It is a detailed assessment to look at child/family needs – significant health needs, physical disability or behavioural problems requiring a number of different services. It must be completed within 35 working days.

Code of Practice for SEN

A Guide for parents, schools and Local Authorities about the help they can give to children with Additional Learning Needs. Schools, Local Authorities and Children’s Social Services must have regard to the Code (i.e. they must not ignore it) when they work with a child with Additional Learning Needs.


All the learning activities that take place in the school/setting.

All teachers are required to plan and deliver learning activities that are differentiated to meet a range of ability levels.

Curriculum for Wales

The Curriculum for Wales guidance was published in January 2020. It aims to help each school develop its own curriculum, enabling their learners to develop towards the four purposes of the curriculum – the starting point and aspiration for every child and young person in Wales.


“Designated education clinical lead officer” - an officer designated by the Local Health Board to have responsibility for co-ordinating the Board’s functions in relation to children and young people with ALN.

Delegated Funding

All schools receive their funding from Central Government through the Local Authority according to a range of formulae, which are calculated according to the number and age range of each school’s pupils. This includes funding to meet the needs of children with ALN.

Disability Rights Code of Practice for Schools / Disability Rights Code of Practice for Post 16 Provision

Both of these Codes explain the duties to avoid disability discrimination in education.

Disagreement Resolution

Arrangements to help prevent or resolve disagreements between parents, whose children have additional learning needs, and a local authority or a school.

EHC Plan

Education, Health and Care Plan


‘Emotional Literacy Support Assistant’ – an assistant with special knowledge and skills to support children with social and emotional development.


‘Education Other Than at School’.

Early Years Action

When an Early Years setting identifies that a child has Additional Learning Needs, action is taken by giving help that is additional to, or different from, the help most children receive.

Early Years Action Plus

When the Early Years setting identifies that a child has additional learning needs that require advice and/or support from other agencies. Eg. speech and language services.

Early Years Additional Needs Lead Officer(EYALNLO)

An officer designated by a local authority to have responsibility for co-ordinating the local authority’s functions in relation to children under compulsory school age who are not attending maintained schools.

Early Years Settings

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

Educational Psychologist (Ed Psych) or (EP)

Have a first degree in Psychology and a post graduate qualification in Educational Psychology. They are trained teachers with several years of experience. They offer specialist advice and support to pupils, schools, parents and other agencies. The service plays a major role in the Statutory Assessment process and may contribute to the transition Planning process and some Annual Reviews.

Education Welfare Officer (EWO)

Offers specialist support to parents and schools on pupil welfare and attendance. They work with other agencies to promote attendance and welfare. They have responsibility for ensuring attendance in school of children of statutory school age. (Formerly called ‘Pupil Support Officer’ – PSO).

Equalities Act 2010

The Equality Act became law in October 2010. It replaces previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995). It means that discrimination or unfair treatment on the basis of certain personal characteristics, such as age, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion is now against the law in almost all cases.

Equalities and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is a non-departmental public body in Great Britain that was established by the Equality Act 2006 and came into being on 1 October 2007. The Commission has responsibility for the promotion and enforcement of equality and non-discrimination laws in England, Scotland and Wales. It took over the responsibilities of three former commissions: the Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission (which dealt with gender equality) and the Disability Rights Commission. It also has responsibility for other aspects of equality: age, sexual orientation and religion or belief. As a national human rights institution, it seeks to promote and protect human rights in Great Britain.


The education and training inspectorate for Wales.


Exclusion is the most extreme option that is available to a head teacher when responding to unacceptable pupil behaviour. It involves a pupil being kept away from the school for either a fixed period or permanently.

Extended Schools

These schools provide a wide range of activities and services in partnership with a wide variety of organisations. These extended services will be shaped by the needs and demands of pupils, parents and wider community.


‘Further Education Institution’ or ‘Further Education’ - Post age 16 educational institutions (Eg. Colleges)

Families First (FF)

Families First is a Welsh Government programme which provides multi-agency systems and support for families.

Flying Start

A Welsh Government programme for families with children who are 0 -3 years of age.

Foundation Stage

This begins when children are born and lasts until the end of their Reception year.

Health Visitor

A qualified nurse employed by the Health Service who gives advice on general child health, particular health problems and has specific responsibility for monitoring a child’s progress and advising parents when needed.


‘Hearing Impairment’ - pupils with a hearing impairment range from hearing loss to those who are profoundly deaf.


‘Individual Development Plan’ - a single plan which will be developed for learners 0-25 years, through using a person centred planning approach. The IDP will replace or integrate all other individual plans such as Statements or IEPs.


‘Individual Education Plan’ - A plan which sets out short-term learning targets for a child with additional learning needs. This is usually put together by the ALNCo and teachers, but parents (and pupils, where appropriate) should always be involved. An IEP should be reviewed at least twice a year, but a more frequent review is often appropriate.


‘Individual Health Plan’


‘Information Technology’ (sometimes called ‘Information and Communication Technology’) .


Educating children with special educational needs in mainstream (local) schools wherever possible.

Inclusion Support Coordinator

A teacher with specialist knowledge and experience of an area of ALN. They support primary and secondary schools to develop inclusive practices and their ability to meet the needs of pupils with ALN. They provide specific advice for pupils with low incidence and complex needs.

Inclusion Support Service

Works in schools to build capacity for including children with a range of additional learning needs. Coordinators also give advice to schools about the inclusion of individual pupils with Statements of ALN.

Key Stages

Foundation Phase (end of the Reception Year) Birth - 5 years

Key Stage 1 Years 1-2 Ages 5-7

Key Stage 2 Years 3-6 Ages 7-11

Key Stage 3 Years 7-9 Ages 11-14

Key Stage 4 Years 10-11 Ages 14-16


Local Authority


‘Looked After Child’ - A child who is looked after by a local authority (Eg. Foster Care).


‘Learning Resource Centre’ is a classroom based within a mainstream school providing education for pupils with complex needs.

Lead Professional

One person who is responsible for helping the child and family through the education system and to make sure they get the right services at the right time.

Learning Difficulties

A child has learning difficulties if he or she finds it much harder to learn than most children of the same age.

Learning Support Assistant (LSA)

An assistant providing in-school support for pupils with additional learning needs. An LSA works under the direction of a class teacher as considered appropriate.

Local Authority (LA)

Local government body responsible for providing education and for making statutory assessments and maintaining statements.


Stands for ‘Moderate Learning Difficulties.’

Mainstream School

An ordinary school.

Maintained School

A state school including community, foundation and voluntary schools as well as community special and foundation special schools.

Mentor or Learning Mentor

An adult or older pupil who is linked with a child to provide support across a number of areas such as learning or behaviour.


The ongoing assessment of work, progress, expenditure or achievement.

Multi-Agency Team

Professionals from different specialisms (health/education/ social work/voluntary organisations) working together in the best interest of a child.


Involving professionals from a range of disciplines (usually Education, Social Care and Health).

Multi-Sensory Environment

A place (usually a classroom or therapy room) where children have the opportunity to learn/receive information using all of their senses.

Named LA Officer

An officer of the local authority who will deal with your child’s case and who will talk to you if you have any enquiry or concern.

National Curriculum

What the Government has decided that all children in mainstream schools will learn.

Occupational Therapist (OT)

A professional employed by the Health Trust to work with the child, parents and teachers. Occupational Therapists use therapeutic techniques (advising on equipment and environmental adaptations where appropriate) to improve a child’s ability to access the physical and learning curriculum.

Outreach Services

Support services provided to schools or pupils by a visiting teacher or teaching assistant: for example providing support for communication or behaviour difficulties.


‘Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties’ – in addition to very severe learning difficulties, pupils have other significant difficulties, such as physical disabilities, sensory impairment or a severe medical condition. Pupils require a high level of adult support, both for their learning needs and also for their personal care.


‘Personal Social Health Education’ – also called ‘Personal Social Education.’

Panel ‘Placement Panel’ or Panel Meeting

The Local Authority has a group of professionals who meet together to look at how children’s needs are being met and to be sure that resources are used fairly. They make decisions surrounding placements in special schools or Learning Resources Centres.

Parent Partnership Service (PPS)

Provides support and information to parents/carers whose children have special educational needs.

Person Centred Planning (PCP)

A child-focus arrangement for planning for the needs of the child/young person.


A specialist who works with children who have movement difficulties. They can advise parents on suitable exercises for their children.

Portage Worker

An experienced Early Years worker, employed by the Local Authority to work with children 0-3 years with significant additional needs and their parents. They work in the home and provide programmes to improve the development of young children, keeping in touch with other professionals.

‘Proposed’ Statement

This is a draft Statement, offering parents 15 working days to comment or request adjustments before the Final Statement is issued.

Provision Map

A map of support showing what the school/Local Authority is providing for their ALN pupils, so parents can better understand what support is on offer, when and where from.


A doctor who helps people who have difficulties with the way they feel and behave. Child Psychiatrists specialise in helping children.

Pupil Referral Unit

Provides education for excluded pupils or others who may be out of school for a variety of reasons.

Pupil Support Officer (PSO)

See ‘Education Welfare Officer’ (EWO).

School Action

When a class or subject teacher, working with the ALNCo, identifies that a child has additional learning needs that requires them to take action by giving help that is additional to or different from the help most other children have.

School Action Plus

When a school identifies that a child has special educational needs that require advice and/or support from other agencies (Eg. Speech and Language Therapy).

SEN Code of Practice

A Guide for parents, schools and LAs about the help they can give to children with Special Educational Needs. Schools, Local Authorities and Children’s Social Services must have regard to the Code (i.e. they must not ignore it) when they work with a child with Special Educational Needs.

ALN Provision

The additional or different help/support given to children with additional learning needs.


Sensory Impairment


Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties’ – pupils may have difficulties with expressive, language or receptive language and or processing difficulties.


‘Severe Learning Difficulties’ – pupils with severe learning difficulties have significant intellectual or cognitive impairments. They may also have difficulties in mobility and co-ordination, communication and perception and learning self-help skills. Pupils with severe learning difficulties will need support in all areas of the curriculum.


‘Speech and Language Therapy’ – a programme for speech, language and communication difficulties (sometimes carried out in schools) and overseen by a Speech and Language Therapist.


‘Special Educational Needs’ - Now commonly referred to as ALN - Additional Learning Needs. A child has special educational needs if he or she has learning difficulties that need special educational provision, (for further details see separate leaflet).


‘Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator’ - See ALNCo.


‘Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales’ - An independent body that hears appeals against decisions made by the Local Authority on Statutory Assessments and Statements.


‘Speech and Language Therapist’ – A specialist who works with parents and school staff as well as with individual children to help them overcome speech, language and communication difficulties.


‘Specific Learning Differences’ can include Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and/or Dyscalculia.


The term usually used for pre-schools, nursery schools or schools.

Special Educational Provision

The special help given to children with special educational needs.

Special Needs / Additional Learning Needs Register

All the children in the school who are given extra help have their names on an ALN/SEN register. It is a record of how many children the school is helping.

Special School

A school that is organised to make special educational provision for pupils with ALN and available for children with Statements of Special Educational Needs.


‘Statement of Special Educational Needs’ - A legal document that sets out a child’s needs and the specific help he or she must receive (for further details see separate leaflet).

Statutory Assessment

The process used by the Local Authority to gather information about a child’s additional learning needs. From this, a decision is made to either issue or not issue a Statement.


‘Team Around the Family’ - is a way of working which brings a wide range of professional together to work with a family in order to help them address the breadth of challenges they are facing.

Transition Plan

A plan drawn up after the Year 9 Annual Review of a Statement to draw together information from a range of individuals within and beyond the school to plan for the young person’s transition to adult life.


The Education Tribunal for Wales


ID: 7874, revised 12/02/2024