The NGA has produced this guide to help governors and others navigate the specialist terms and abbreviations of the education world.
Academies are publicly funded independent schools. They are all ability schools established by sponsors from business faith or voluntary groups. Academies have different governance arrangements to other schools. An academy's Funding Agreement sets out the details of the governance arrangements for each school.
Admissions (Code of Practice)
All state schools are required to have admission procedures which meet the School Admissions Code. Where more pupils apply to be admitted to a school than the school has room for, its over- subscription criteria will be applied. In community and voluntary controlled schools the Local Authority is responsible for admissions. In foundation and voluntary aided schools the governing body is responsible.
Articles of Association
The Articles of Association set out regulations for Academies, including the composition of the governing body.
Association of School and College Leaders
Individuals appointed by the governing body of a LA maintained school. They are not part of the governing body, but are allowed to attend meetings and sit on committees and can be given voting powers. They are appointed for 1-4 years, with the opportunity for re-appointment. An associate member could be a pupil, member of staff, or someone with expertise in a particular area. Academies Articles of Association allow them to appoint non-governors to committees and give them voting rights.
Advanced Skills Teacher
Association of Teachers and Lecturers
These establish what children of differing ability should be expected to know and be able to do by the end of each Key Stage of the Curriculum- each target is graded into eight levels through which pupils advance as they learn more.
Age-Weighted Pupil Unit - the sum of money allocated to the school for each pupil according to age. This is the basic unit of funding for the school.
Assessment of pupils' attainment on entry to Year 1- it is not statutory, but many local authorities encourage schools to carry it out.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Created in 2009 its responsibilities encompass the development, funding and performance management of higher education (both teaching and research) and further education. While most information relevant to governors will come from the DfE there will be some crossover in relation to post-16 pupils.
Building Schools for the Future. A 1~ 15 year programme for the rebuilding or refurbishing of secondary schools. (This programme has now been abolished.)
A school's administration or business manager. The exact role of a bursar will vary from school to school but their duties will almost always include financial and administrative management and many are involved in strategic planning and risk management. There is specific training for Bursars co-ordinated by the NCSl
Spending on projects, improvements, and extensions to the school
Cognitive Ability Tests
The Chair is allowed to take decisions without asking the governing body if a delay will be detrimental to the school, a member of staff, a pupil or a parent.
There will be a Children's Trust in every local authority-these are local partnerships, which bring together those bodies (e.g. local authority, primary care trusts, police authorities and Connexions partnerships), which provide services to children, young people and families. Some bodies have a legal requirement to be part of the Children's Trust. The Government has announced significant changes to the requirements to create Children's Trusts.
Children and Young People's Plan. The Government has announced that it intends to abolish the requirement to develop CYPPs.
An agreement between two or more schools to work together on one particular issue. They keep their individual governing bodies, but may set up a joint committee to which they can delegate powers.
LA maintained schools at which the LA is the employer, owns the land and buildings and sets the admission criteria
Community special schools
LA maintained schools which make special educational provision for pupils with statements of special educational needs (SEN), whose needs cannot be fully met from within mainstream provision. The LA is the employer, owns the land and buildings and sets the admission criteria.
Obtaining quotes or tenders from alternative suppliers before awarding contracts
A governor representing community and local businesses chosen by members of a governing body who have themselves been elected or appointed
Continuous Professional Development for school staff
Department for Children, Schools and Families (renamed in May 2010 and now the Department for Education)
Disability Discrimination Act
Money provided to schools, which governors can manage at their discretion (see also Devolved funds)
Authority given to a committee, an individual governor or the headteacher/principal to take action on behalf of the governing body
Liaises with other services on behalf of young people in care and has a responsibility for promoting their educational achievement
Department for Education -.the government department responsible for schools and children (formerly DCSF)
Time when a teacher must be available to carry out duties, including attending staff and parent meetings, under the direction of the headteacher/principal- a maximum of 1265 hours in a school year
A term used where National Curriculum requirements may not apply to a pupil
Dedicated School Grant
English as an Additional Language
Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
An organisation who have worked with NGA to produce First Certificatein Governance; an online training programme for governors, based on Welcome to Governance
Established by the Government as a consultative group including the NGA, the LGA and all the teaching and headteaching unions.
Education Fu nding Agency - will replace the YPLA in April 2012. It will be responsible for all revenue and capital funding for schools.
Education Maintenance Allowance
Education Supervision Order, which LAs may apply for to deal with cases of poor attendance at school
Excellent Teacher Scheme
Education Welfare Officer - a professional worker who visits pupils' homes and deals with attendance problems and other welfare matters in co-operation with the school.
The temporary or permanent removal of a pupil from school for serious breaches of the school's behaviour and discipline policy
Able to attend meetings by virtue of holding a particular office
Schools that provide a range of services and activities often beyond the school day, to help meet the needs of the pupils, their families and the wider community.
Two or more schools governed by one governing body
Financial Management Standard in Schools (now abolished)
Form of entry
The number of classes that a school admits each year
A governor appointed by the foundation body of a voluntary school
LA maintained schools in which the governing body is the employer, owns the land and buildings and sets the admission criteria
Foundation special schools
LA maintained special schools, which have the same freedoms as foundation schools (see above)
Curriculum followed by children below statutory school age, in schools and nursery/pre-school provision
A type of Academy, either a new school set up in response to parental demand or a fee-paying school joining the state education system
Free School Meals
General Certificate of Secondary Education
General National Vocational Qualification
Free telephone helpline for school governors - 08000 722 181
General Teaching Council (due to be abolished)
Higher Level Teaching Assistant
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools
Her Majesty's Inspector
Health and Safety Executive
Information and Communications Technology
Individual Education Plan for pupils with special educational needs
Investors in People
In-Service Education and Training - courses for practising teachers
Instrument of Government
A legal document setting out the name of the school and the constitution of the governing body.
Information for School and College Governors
Key Stages (KSl-4)
For curriculum purposes, pupils are divided into age groups, called Key Stages. Different subjects will
be taught at different Key Stages and at the end of each Key Stage pupils will be formally assessed through Standard Attainment Tests. The key stages are KS1 (age 5-7), KS2 (age 7-11), KS3 (age 11- 14), KS4 (age 14-16).
Learning and Skills Council (LSC)
The LSC is responsible for planning and funding education provision for adults and young people over the age of 16 (not in schools) in England.
Local Authority (LA)
Local authorities (LAs) are part of local councils, i.e. borough, county, metropolitan and city. Within local councils, LAs are accountable for early years education, schools, adult education and youth services. Community, foundation and voluntary schools are funded directly by their LA.
Local Government Association
Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant - LACSEG
The funding Academies receive to meet their additional responsibilities
Learning and Skills Council- now abolished
A district council or parish council
A teaching group in which children of all abilities are taught together
National Association of Head Teachers
National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers
This was established by the 1988 Education Reform Act to ensure that all pupils receive a broad and balanced education, which is relevant to their needs.
National College for School Leadership - the organisation responsible for national training programmes for school leaders, aspiring school leaders and the development of leaders of Children's Services. In particular, it is responsible for the National Professional Qualification for Headship.
National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations (now PTA UK)
National Foundation for Educational Research
National Governors' Association (NGA)
The national membership organisation for school governors
National Grid for Learning
National Nursery Examination Board
Non-teaching (Support) Staff
Members of the school staff employed by the governors to provide services in a school, such as teaching assistants, cleaners and office staff
National Professional Qualification for Headship
Newly Qualified Teacher
National Union of Teachers
Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Register - the regulator of examinations and qualifications.
Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills - the body which inspects education and training for learners of all ages and inspects and regulates care for children and young people
A school that has more applications from parents than paces available. See Admissions (Code of Practice).
Published Admissions Number - the number of children the lA (or governing body of a foundation or aided school or Academy Trust) determines must be admitted to anyone year group in the school
Are appointed at foundation schools where the school has no foundation body.
A teacher who teaches in a number of schools to give specialist instruction
Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
One of the routes into teaching. A PGCE can be studied full-time or part-time following the completion of a first degree.
Private Finance Initiative (PFI)
PFI is a way of funding public building through leasing arrangements with private firms. Private firms design, build and often manage new building programmes. The building is leased back to the public body, usually over a period of 20-30 years.
Parent Governor Representative - elected to serve on a local authority committee discharging the education functions of the LA
Pupil Level Annual School Census
Planning, Preparation and Assessment - 10% guaranteed non-contact time for teachers
Public and Private Partnership
Performance Related Pay
Pupil Referral Unit
Pastoral Support Programme for pupils at serious risk of permanent exclusion
Parent Teacher Association – or PSA (Parent Staff Association)
Pupil/Teacher Ratio - this is calculated by dividing the number of pupils in a school by the number of full-time equivalent teachers
National membership organisation for parent teacher associations - formerly NCPTA
This money will go with eligible pupils to the school they attend, and will be distributed in addition to the underlying schools budget from 2011-12. The funding is allocated to pupils eligible for FSM, or who have parents in the armed forces.
Broad evaluation of a pupil's personality, interests and capabilities - this forms part of the pupil's Record of Achievement
Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (formerly QCA) ( now defunct)
Qualified Teacher Status
The minimum number of members present at a meeting before decisions can be made
Reporting and Analysis for Improvement through School Self-Evaluation is the web-based system to disseminate school performance data to schools
A formal decision which has been proposed, seconded and agreed - not necessarily by a vote - at a meeting
Registered Inspector, who is authorised to lead an inspection team (colloquially, a 'Reggie')
Record of Achievement
Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education +local statutory body which advises on religious education and collective worship
Standard Assessment Tasks used for Curriculum Assessment
The release of staff on a temporary basis for work elsewhere
A Schools Forum has been established in each LA area to advise on the allocation of the funding for schools - the majority of places on this body should be filled by governors and headteacher/ principals, preferably in equal numbers.
Annual on-line report for parents, which schools must produce to inform on how the school has performed (abolished by the Education Act 2011)
Self-Evaluation Form – previously a standard template produced by Ofsted
Special Educational Needs – learning difficulties for which special educational provision has to be made
SEN Co-ordinator - the teacher responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision in the school
Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
A system of organising pupils into ability groups for particular subjects
Schools Financial Value Standard - a means for the governing body to assess its financial processes, capabilities and skills.
Schools Information and Management System - a computer package to assist schools in managing information on pupils, staff and resources
Schools that make provision for pupils with statements of special educational needs (SEN), whose needs cannot be fully met from within mainstream provision
Special Unit (or Resourced Provision)
A unit attached to a mainstream school to cater for children with specific special needs
Specialist Schools and Academies Trust now renamed the Schools Network
School Standards and Framework Act 1998
School Support Staff Negotiating Body - makes recommendations to the Secretary of State on the pay, terms and conditions of school support staff. Abolished by the Education Act 2011.
School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document
School Teachers' Review Body - makes recommendations to the Secretary of State on teachers' pay
The procedure by which a child is formally assessed under the 1996 Education Act as having significant special educational needs
A system of organising pupils into classes according to their ability across a range of subjects. Setting and streaming are not the same thing.
Training and Development Agency for Schools
Teaching and Learning Responsibilities
The deed by which a Voluntary aided or a Voluntary controlled school has been established
Foundation schools with a foundation body established under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 - the foundation body may appoint either a minority or a majority of the governing body
Union of Public Employees
Value Added (VA)
The progress schools help pupils make relative to their individual starting points - rather than looking at raw results VA also takes into account the prior attainment, thus enabling a judgement to be made about the effect of the school on pupils' current attainment.
Classes formed (in primary schools) with children of different age groups
The agreed transfer of money from the budget heading to which it has been allocated to another budget heading
A teaching union, formerly the Professional Association of Teachers
VA Voluntary Aided
A school set up and owned by a voluntary body, usually a church body, largely financed by the LA. The governing body employs the staff and controls pupil admissions and religious education. The school's buildings and land (apart from playing fields) will normally be owned by a charitable foundation.
VC Voluntary Controlled
Usually a denominational school wholly LA maintained by the LA but with certain residual rights regarding religious worship.
Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group – now abolished
A planned programme as part of careers education, which enables pupils in school time to sample experience of a working environment of their choice
Young People's Learning Agency - the body set up by central government to manage the oversight and funding of Academies. It is also responsible for funding for 16-18 education. It will be replaced by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) in April 2012