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SEND can be a minefield to navigate...

Let us help you with our quick guide to the terminology that you might come across as a SEND student or parent


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a special educational need, affecting concentration and ability to focus.

Additional Resourced Provision​

Additional Resourced Provision or ARP cater for a specific special educational need or disability. Typically, ARPs can only be accessed by children with an EHCP but this is usually down to local authority policy. 

Adoption ​

Unfortunately, the trauma experienced by young people prior to being  placed into a new loving family do not always disappear, and the effects on young people in education can be significant.  We work with young people to ensure that they are coping with the transitions and changes; managing anxieties and other feelings; developing executive functioning skills; and managing they social skills in order to minimise the impact.  We have significant professional, and personal experiences working with adopted children. 


Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule  or ADOS is a form of assessment which is commonly used in Bolton.  It looks at communication, social interaction, and play (or imaginative use of materials) to consider whether a child or young person has autism or an autistic spectrum disorder.

Advice ​

As parents and students with SEND, you need to know where you can access the most appropriate advice.  A good place to start is our Local Offe.  If you would like to speak to our SENDCo, or anyone within the SEND Support Team please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Annual Review​

An Annual Review or AR is a meeting to consider the support a child or young person receives through their EHCP. The review should take place once a year, although reviews can be called early if significant changes occur.  The review should consider whether the provision, placement and objectives (or outcomes) are still appropriate.  

Applied Behavioural Analysis ​

Applied behavioural analysis is a form of teaching for children with autism. The phrase ABA is occasionally used to refer to a technique of designing desensitisation techniques which are focused on particular triggers for behaviour. ABA is not recognised by all agencies as an effective tool for teaching or treatment.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder/Condition​

Autistic spectrum disorder or ASD is also referred to as Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). This special educational need can affect a person's social communication, social interaction and flexibility of thought.

Auditory Processing Disorder​

Auditory Processing Disorder is a condition which affects how the brain interprets sounds. 

CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)​

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service or CAMHS is a specialist part of the NHS which provides assessment and treatment when children and young people have emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. GPs often refer children to CAMHS for assessment of special educational needs and disabilities. 

Cerebral Palsy (CP)​

Cerebral palsy is a disability which commonly results in special educational needs. There are several forms of cerebral palsy which can have a variety of effects on mobility, cognitive ability, communication and self-care.

Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS)​

This is an assessment tool used to assess autistic traits and diagnose autism. The assessment gives us rating on a scale from one to four in 15 different skills, ranging from body language to social communication and interaction.

Children and Families Act (CFA), 2014​

Children and Families Act is a law introduced to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Conners CBRS​

Conners Comprehensive Behaviour Rating Scales is an assessment tool used to assess and diagnose behaviour related needs, particularly ADHD.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF)​

Cystic fibrosis is a disability which primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. 


Disability Discrimination Act (DD)​

Disability Discrimination is an act, failure to act or mistreatment of a person with a disability which causes them a detriment or loss of opportunity. This is covered by the Equality Act 2010.


Dyslexia ​

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty  that affects how a person reads, writes or spells.  It is classified as a specific learning difficulty.   Signs that someone might be dyslexic include:

  • a person might read and/or write very slowly 

  • they can often confuse the order of letters in words 

  • letter shapes can be the wrong way around (i.e. 'b' instead of 'd')

  • a person's may have poor or inconsistent spelling 

  • their understanding of  verbal information is significantly better than when it is written down 

  • they may struggle with planning and organisation

Dyspraxia ​

This is a common condition that affects physical coordination.  It is thought to be 3-4 times more common in boys than in girls, and it can run in families.  Early development milestones (i.e. walking, crawling, dressing, self-feeding) can be delayed, with drawing and more physical sporting developments also affected.   


Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)​

An Education, Health and Care Plan or EHCP is a legally binding document which sets out a child or young person’s special educational needs and disabilities and the support they require. Only those children with the most complex special educational needs will qualify for an EHCP. It is estimated that around 20% of children with special educational needs will qualify for an EHCP. 


Educational Psychologist (EP)​

An educational psychologist or EP is a medical professional trained to assess and diagnose learning difficulties, social and emotional problems and developmental disorders.  Our EP is a vital part of the EHCP application process, and in providing strategies and recommendations for young people with SEND. 


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)​

The early years foundation stage is a pre-school stage of learning.  It starts at the age of three and runs until the end of reception, covering both nursery and school settings.  EYFS is designed to prepare pupils to enter the National Curriculum at Level 1 in Year 1.  


Further Education (FE)​

Further education is the period of education above school age, but below degree level. Commonly this is referred to as school years 12 and 13. Students in our area often refer to this as 'college'.  Young people with special educational needs in FE can be supported by an Education, Health and Care Plan.

First Tier Tribunal (FTT)​

The First Tier Tribunal is part of the Court and Tribunal Service. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) is part of the FTT. It deals with disagreements between parents and local authorities about how children with special educational needs should be supported and what school they should go to.

Hearing Impairment (HI)​

A hearing impairment is a physical difficulty with the way sound is carried through the ear into the brain. It is not a difficulty with the way in which the brain interprets the sound that it receives from the ear; that is an auditory processing disorder. 


Local Authority (LA)​

The local authority is the body responsible for public services such as libraries, schools, parks and child protection.  Local authorities are required to ensure that all children receive a suitable education.  This means that all children with special educational needs must be identified and supported appropriately.

Local Offer​

A Local Offer  is a publication prepared, updated and reviewed by the local authority. The LO must detail the support it expects to be available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in its area. 

Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)​

Moderate learning difficulties or MLD are difficulties accessing education learning and are a form of special educational needs.  Students with MLD have a general development delay, meaning that they have difficulties with learning across all areas of the school curriculum. 

Occupational Therapist (OT)​

An occupational therapist is a medical professional who practices occupational therapy.  Occupational therapy is the assessment and treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions using activities to limit the impact of the disability and promote independence.  Occupational Therapists play a significant role in supporting our SEND learners at ESSA with strategies and interventions. 

Profound and Multiple Disability (PMLD)​

Profound and multiple learning disability is a collection of disabilities resulting in complex special educational needs. Typically children and young people with PMLD will require the additional support of an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Speech and Language Therapist (SALT)​

Speech and Language Therapist, SALT or SLT assess and treat speech, language and communication problems in people of all ages to help them better communicate. They also work with people who have eating and swallowing problems. 

Visual Impairment (VI)​

A visual impairment (VI) is a physical difficulty with the way visual information is carried through the eye into the brain.  Visual impairments can vary significantly. 

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