Cambridge Handbook of Educational Abbreviations and Terms

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Acronym Meaning
11+ The name derives from the age group of the pupils: 10-11. The 'Eleven Plus' (occasionally referred to as the 'Transfer Test') was an examination given to pupils in their last year of primary education in the United Kingdom. It was based on the erroneous
1944 Act RA Butler's 1944 Education Act raised the school-leaving age to 15 and provided universal free schooling in three different types of schools: grammar, secondary modern and technical. Butler hoped that these schools would cater for the different academic levels and other aptitudes of children. Entry to these schools was based on the 11+ examination, with the apparently more academically inclined children going to Grammar schools.
3Rs See Three Rs.
A2 Advanced Level 2nd stage. (It also refers to a size of paper often used in art rooms: half the size of A1, twice the size of A3 and four times the size of A4).
A4 In addition to being a size of paper (see A2, above), it stands for the Association for Advice and support in Art & Design.
AAI Association of Assessment Inspectors and Advisers.
AAP Average attaining pupil; an abbreviation used by OFSTED. See also HAP and LAP.
AB Awarding Body.
Ability grouping There are four principal ways by which pupils can be grouped according to perceived ability: banding, used in larger schools, refers to pupils being grouped on the basis of apparent overall ability - each 'band' consists of two or more groups which follow a similar timetable streaming, as with banding, refers to pupils being grouped on the basis of apparent overall ability; setting, refers to a group of consisting of pupils selected on the basis of ability in a particular subject; mixed ability, refers to a group that is made up of pupils representing a wide range of apparent abilities.
ABE Adult Basic Education - Literacy, numeracy etc. for adult learners.
Academy Academies are, in this context, relatively new type of schools which are publicly funded independent schools for pupils of all abilities. They are established by sponsors from faith or voluntary groups and/or businesses, working in partnerships with central Government and local education partners. Their independent status is intended to allow more flexibility and for them to be 'innovative and creative' in their curriculum as well as with regard to staffing and governance, although they must follow the National Curriculum in Mathematics, English, Science and ICT.
ACCAC Qualifications Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales.
ACCESS Programmes The stated aims of Access programmes include preparing adult learners from 'non-traditional' backgrounds and under-represented groups for admission to undergraduate education. They often lead to GCSEs and A levels and are run by Colleges of Further Education.
ACDAP Advisory Committee on Degree Awarding Powers, reporting to the QAA.
ACE Advisory Centre for Education.
ACEO Association of Chief Education Officers.
ACER Advanced Certificate of Educational Research
ACET Adult Continuing Education and Training.
Achievement Achievement refers to the overall accomplishment of a pupil, including personal factors. See Assessment and RoA.
ACLF Adult and Community Learning Fund.
ACPC Area Child Protection Committee.
ACS Average Class Size.
ACVT Advisory Committee for Vocational Training (European Union).
Action Plan A document that school governors have to produce after an OFSTED inspection to show how the school will respond to the report. The governing body must formulate it within 40 days to address the key issues identified in the inspection.
ADCE Advanced Diploma in Children's Care and Education.
ADEW Association of Directors of Education in Wales.
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder.
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Admission criteria The method of allocating places to schools which are over-subscribed.
Admissions Authority Schools which handle their own pupil applications are admissions authorities; they send out pupil application forms and information about the school. Local education authorities are also said to be admission authorities because they are responsible for admissions to community and voluntary-controlled schools.
ADOL Assistant Director Of Learning.
ADSS Association of Directors of Social Services.
Advanced GNVQ Advanced General National Vocational Qualification. This is similar to BTEC and the equivalent of 2 A levels. The subjects offered have a vocational element.
AEA (1) Advanced Extension Award.
(2) Association for Education and Ageing
AE Adult Education.
AEB Associated Examining Board (see AQA).
AEN Additional Educational Needs.
AEWM Association for Education Welfare Management.
AF Admissions Forum.
Affective (skills) Traditionally, skills have been thought of as belonging to either the 'cognitive' or 'affective' domain of learning - roughly thinking and feeling. See for example Bloom's taxonomy (Bloom, B S and Krathwohl, D R, 1956). Affective skills could be associated with sensitivity, empathy or the ability to make subtle distinctions based for example on an awareness of cultural values.
AfL Assessment for learning.
AFVAS Association of Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools.
Aims Aims are statements which encapsulate the educational value and worth of lessons; educational aims are broad and general; they are related to general rationales for education. See Objectives.
Agreed syllabus A non-denominational syllabus of religious education required to be used in Community schools and drawn up by a SACRE.
AHRB Arts and Humanities Research Board.
AICE Advanced International Certificate of Education; an academic 2-year program (similar to A levels) taken between the age of 16 and 18 where students concentrate on 2 or 3 subjects while maintaining an incorporated international focus.
AiDA Award in digital applications (see also DiDA; CiDA)
AL (1) Associate Lecturer.
(2) Advanced Level.
A level Advanced level GCSE examination.
ALF Activity-Led Funding.
ALG Association of Local Government.
ALI Adult Learning Inspectorate.
ALL (1) Adult Literacy and Life Skills.
(2) Association for Language Learning
ALNs Asynchronous Learning Networks.
Alternative assessment An assessment in which students originate a response to a task or question. Such responses could include demonstrations, exhibits, portfolios, oral presentations, or essays.
ALS Additional Literacy Support.
AMT Advanced Mathematical Thinking.
AO Assessment Objective.
AoC Association of Colleges.
AOT Adult other than Teacher.
APL Accreditation of Prior Learning - Credit for a previous award, towards a further award.
APEL Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning.
APT Assistant Principal Teacher (Scotland).
AQA Assessment & Qualifications Alliance - A 'Unitary Exam Body' formed by amalgamation of NEAB, AEB, SEG and C&G).
APP (1) Assessment of Pupil Performance
(2) Assessing Pupils Progress
APS Alliance of Parents and Schools.
ARP Additional Responsibility Points (for teachers).
AS Advanced Subsidiary, replacing Advanced Supplementary National examinations.
ASB Actual Schools Budget (Wales).
ASB Aggregated Schools Budget.
ASC The ASC has replaced PLASC for all maintained secondary schools, CTCs and Academies in England as of 2010.
ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
ASDAN Award Scheme Development Accreditation Network. A course seen as an alternative to GCSE examinations for disapplied pupils.
ASE Association for Science Education.
ASG Area School Group (Scotland).
ASPECT ASPECT stands for the Association of Professionals in Education and Children's Trusts.
Assessment Assessment is said to be a 'parent concept', covering: Evaluation - judging the value of. It refers to the process through which evidence is secured and judged with respect to its educational value; Testing - one procedure through which some kinds of evidence are obtained; it secures a sample of a students' or group's behaviour or product through a mechanism - a 'test'; Examination refers to a formal process whereby a student's achievement over specified period of time in a particular place is measured against stated criteria; Measurements deals with a quantification of data; Grading is the assignment of a symbol to a person's performance, often a letter (ABCDE) is used to indicate some level of performance, relative to some criteria; Achievement refers to the overall accomplishment of a student, including personal factors; Attainment refers to the standard or quality of work measured against set criteria.
Asset Management Plan A five year plan which identifies the condition, suitability and sufficiency of accommodation within a school and the costs of making necessary improvements.
AST Advanced Skills Teacher.
AT Advisory Teacher.
ATL (1) Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
(2) Attitude to learning
ATO Approved Training Organisation.
At risk A term applied to pupils who have not been adequately served by social service or educational systems and who are at risk of educational failure due to, for example, lack of services, negative life events, or physical or mental challenges.
Attainment Attainment refers to the standard or quality of work measured against set criteria.
AUT Association of University Teachers - Trades' union for university lecturers. Most are from the 'old universities' (those that were universities before the end of the 'binary divide' between universities and polytechnics, in 1992).
Authentic assessment An assessment based upon tasks that reflect the kind of competence demonstrated by experts.
Authentic task School assignment that has a 'real-world' application. Such assignments bear a strong resemblance to tasks performed in non-school settings such as the home or the workplace. They usually require students to apply a broad range of knowledge and skills.
AVA Audio Visual Aids
AWI Area Wide Inspection
AWPU Age-Weighted Pupil Unit.
B&A Behaviour and attendance.
BAALPE British Association of Advisers and Lecturers in Physical Education.
BA with QTS A Bachelor of Arts degree-level initial teacher training (ITT) qualification, leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This is one of the main routes into primary teaching.
Banding A method used by some schools for allocating pupils to teaching groups by perceived ability. See ability grouping.
Batod British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
BCA Black Children's Achievement.
BS The defines basic skills as the ability to read, write and speak in English and use mathematics at a level necessary to function and progress at work and society in general. This is a contentious issue in that some might argue that, for example, drawing is a basic skill; there is also the notion that acquisition of 'basic skills' should be related to the nature of one's work.
Baseline Assessment An assessment of a child's skills and abilities usually made by a teacher within the first seven weeks of starting primary school. It shows teachers what children can do when starting school and helps teachers to plan lessons and measure progress. Areas covered include Language and Literacy, Maths and Personal and Social Development.
BATOD British Association of Teachers of the Deaf.
BDA British Dyslexia Association.
Beacon School A government programme which ran from 1998-2005; it aimed to identify high achieving schools which could disseminate good practice. See also Hub school
BECTA British Educational Communications Technology Agency; an agency which funds and supports research in to effective use of ICT in schools.
Behavioural Objectives See Objectives.
Behaviourism A theory suggesting that learning occurs when an environmental stimulus triggers a response or behaviour. Based on classical conditioning theory, behaviourism applies to educational practices that reward performance behaviours to encourage repetition of those behaviours. Rote memorisation and drill-and-practice instruction are supported by behaviourist theory.
Behaviour Support Plan A statement which sets out local arrangements for schools and other service providers for the education of children with behavioural difficulties.
BELMAS British Educational Leadership and Administration Society.
Benchmark Statement that provides a description of pupil knowledge expected at specific grades, ages, or developmental levels. Benchmarks often are used in conjunction with standards.
Benchmark performances Performance examples against which other performances may be judged.
BEP Business Education Partnership (see also EBP).
BERA British Educational Research Association. (Most acronyms ending with ERA stand for (-)Educational research Association, e.g. CamERA: Cambridge Educational Research Association).
BESD Behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
BEST (1) Behaviour and Education Support Team.
(2) Building Excellent Schools Together (Wales).
BIP Behaviour Improvement Programme.
BITC Business in the Community.
Bloom Well known for his 'educational taxonomy' which focused on dividing 'cognitive skills' from 'affective skills'. See reference list.
Bologna Declaration The European Higher Education Area Joint Declaration of the European Ministers of Education (convened in Bologna on 19 June 1999) was signed on behalf of 29 EU member states. It declared that by 2010, there will be European-wide student mobility and commonality between degrees.
Book Trust An independent educational charity established to promote books and reading among readers of all ages and cultures.
Brothers and Sisters rule A rule applied by some admissions authorities if a parent's/guardian's school of choice is over-subscribed. They will sometimes treat the application more favourably if the child concerned already has a brother or sister at the school.
Bruner(ian) Jerome Bruner was born in New York in 1915, his seminal works include The Process of Education (1960), Toward a Theory of Instruction (1966) and The Culture of Education (1996). He is associated with both cognitivism and constructivism, as a reaction to behaviourism. Cognitivism stressed the importance of learner's needs and their expectations in developing cognition, as opposed the mere re-acting to stimuli which characterises behaviourism. Toward a Theory of Instruction was very influential in placing constructivist thought at the centre of educational theory. In constructivism, learning is seen as an active process, where learners construct their knowledge from their experiences.
BN Basic Need
BSA Basic Skills Agency.
BSF Building Schools for the Future.
BSP Behaviour Support Plans.
BT Beginning Teacher.
BTA Bi-lingual teaching assistant.
BTEC Business & Technician Education Council (see EdExcel). A National Qualification equivalent to two A level courses. Subjects include Nursery Nursing, Business Studies and Art and Design. There are considerable practical elements to the courses with work placements offered.
BVFM Best Value for Money (an OFSTED criterion when inspecting schools). See also VFM.
CAA Computer Assisted Assessment.
CA City Academy.
CAF Common Assessment Framework.
CAL Computer-Aided [or Assisted] Learning.
CAD Computer Aided Design.
CAI Computer Aided Instruction.
CASE Campaign for the Advancement of State Education.
CASS Curriculum Advisory and Support Service (Northern Ireland).
CAT (1) Cognitive Ability Test, produced by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).
(2) Capability Assessment Toolkit.
(3) Computer Aided Teaching.
CATs points Score achieved on Cognitive Ability Tests.
Catchment Area The area, usually in the immediate vicinity of schools, designated by some admissions authorities, which sometimes gives priority to children who live in it. It is the area from which a school traditionally draws the majority of its pupils. It does not, however, take precedence over the published admission criteria for allocating places when schools are over-subscribed.
CBEVE Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges.
C&G City & Guilds (see AQA and CGLI).
CC (1) Community College.
(2) Cwricwlwm Cymraeg (Welsh curriculum).
Ccc Consultative Council on the Curriculum (Scotland).
CCEA Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (Northern Ireland); a non-departmental public body reporting to the Department of Education in Northern Ireland.
CCs Certificates of Competence.
CCET Community Consortia for Education and Training (Wales)/
CCTA City College for the Technology of the Arts
CDC Curriculum Development Centre.
CDT Craft, Design and Technology. This term is now redundant, and has been replaced for the most part by DT or D & T.
CEDP Career entry and development profile. A document which must be completed by NQTs during their Probationary year.
CEG Careers Education and Guidance.
CEO Chief Education Officer.
CER Community Education and Regeneration.
CERES Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland.
CET Continuing Education and Training.
CF Challenge Funding.
CfBT Centre for British Teachers - an independent charitable trust which is acts as an education consultancy.
CfSA Council for subject associations. A new (2008) body to oversee the work of individual school subject associations e.g. NSEAD.
CFE College of Further Education.
CGLI City and Guilds of London Institute.
CHE College of Higher Education
CHI The Support Society for Children of Higher Intelligence.
Childminders Childminders look after children under five and school age children after hours and in the holidays. The local authority decides how many children a childminder can care for, and childminders are able to register as part of a network to provide early education.
Child centred Refers to the belief that education should revolve around the needs of the individual child - as opposed to discipline-based or discipline-centred education which emphasises the importance of subjects as bodies of knowledge that can be transferred to learners.
CIF Common Inspection Framework (for post-16 Education and Training).
CILT Centre for Information on Language Teaching. See NCL and LNTO.
CiDA Certificate in digital applications. See also AiDA and DiDA.
CIHE Council for Industry and Higher Education.
CIN Children in need.
CIS (1) Children's Information Service.
(2) Controlled Integrated School (N. Ireland).
CJE Cambridge Journal of Education.
CLAIT Computer Literacy and Information Technology.
CLE Compelling Learning Experience.
CLIL Content and Language Integrated Learning.
CLLD Communication Language and Literacy Development.
CLPE Centre for Language in Primary Education.
CLS Curriculum and Learning Support (usually a department in a school).
CMT College Management Team - Senior Management within a college (see SMT).
CoA Certificate of Achievement (awarded by the examination boards MEG/OCR).
Collective Worship A statutory (but widely ignored) requirement in all maintained schools. Parents have a right to withdraw their children.
Coaching An instructional method in which a teacher supports pupils as they perfect old skills and acquire new skills.
COBISEC Council of British Independent Schools in the European Community.
Cognitive science A science investigating how people learn rather than what they learn. Prior knowledge and out-of-classroom experience help form the foundation on which teachers build effective instruction. Also referred to as the study of the mind.
Cognitive (skills) Cognitive skill usually refers to the application of learning based on knowledge of facts together with understanding of underlying principles.
Cognitively guided instruction An instructional strategy in which a teacher assesses what pupils already know about a subject and then builds on pupils' prior knowledge. Guided questions, encouragement and suggestions encourage pupils to devise solutions to problems and these are then shared with the class.
COIC Careers and Occupational Information Centre.
Collaborative learning [or Cooperative learning] An instructional approach in which pupils of varying abilities and interests work together in small groups to solve a problem, complete a project, or achieve a common goal. Some see a subtle distinction between the two, with collaborative learning being more 'empowering', i.e. the authority for how the learning evolves remains with the learners, whereas in cooperative learning, there is always an authority figure (the teacher) directing the learning situation. See also learning.
Community school State schools in England and Wales which are wholly owned and maintained by the local education authority. The local education authority is the admissions authority - it has the main responsibility for deciding arrangements for admitting pupils.
Comprehensive school This refers to a state secondary school which admits pupils of all abilities, and therefore without any selection procedure. In England most (nearly 90%) of all pupils attend a comprehensive school; they were introduced into England during the late 1960s.
Concept Usually refers to an idea; more specifically a concept is ordered information about the properties of things, events, processes, that enables any particular thing to be differentiated from, and also related to, other things (or classes of things).
Constructionism This is a theory that suggesting that pupils learn by constructing their own knowledge, especially through hands-on exploration. It emphasises that the context in which an idea is presented, as well as pupil attitude and behaviour, affects learning. Pupils learn by incorporating new information into what they already know. It builds upon principles derived from constructivism.
Constructivism Constructionism is often divided into two aspects: Social Constructivism (based on the work of, e.g., Vygotsky) and Cognitive Constructivism (based on the work of, e.g., Piaget). Constructivism revolves around the notion that learners construct new knowledge based on their existing knowledge; constructionism builds on this idea by maintaining that this process happens most effectively when the learner is in the process of constructing something.
Controlled Schools Schools in Northern Ireland which come under the control of Education and Library Boards.
Cooperative learning See Collaborative learning.
CoP Code of Practice
Core curriculum The National Curriculum subjects that children in England and Wales were expected to study throughout their period of compulsory schooling (as laid down by the ERA) -these subject were English, Mathematics, Science and Information Technology.
County Schools State schools in England and Wales which are wholly owned and maintained by local education authorities.
CPAG Child Poverty Action Group.
CPC Child Protection Committee.
CPD Continuing Professional Development. The term is often used to describe qualifications such as MEd, taken after Initial Teacher Training such as PGCE.
CPI Child Protection Issue.
CPS Common Pay Spine. See MPG.
CRAC Careers Research and Advisory Centre.
CRaM Creative Arts and Media - one of the 'new' Diplomas.
CRB Criminal Records Bureau. All adults who will have contact with young people (such as teachers) must have a CRB check.
CRE Commission for Racial Equality.
Criterion-referenced assessment An assessment that measures what a pupil understands, knows, or can accomplish in relation to specific performance objectives. It is used to identify a pupil's specific strengths and weaknesses in relation to skills defined as the goals of the instruction, but it does not compare pupils to other pupils. (Compare to norm-referenced assessment and ipsative referencing.)
Critical Pedagogy Critical pedagogy usually refers to educational theories and related teaching and learning practices that are designed to raise learners' critical consciousness regarding what can be seen as oppressive social conditions. Paulo Freire is regarded by many as one of the most influential critical educators; Freire heavily endorses students' ability to think critically about their education situation. See Torres (1998).
Critical thinking Logical thinking that draws conclusions from facts and evidence.
CSA Children's Services Authority.
CSCI The Commission for Social Care Inspection. See OFSTED.
CSE Certificate of Secondary Education. A public examination that was introduced in the mid 1960's as a less academic alternative to O level; it was abandoned with the advent of GCSE
CSI Class Size Initiative.
CSIE Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education.
CSP (1) Children's Service plan.
(2) Co-ordinated support plan (Scotland). If a child has particularly complex needs, a coordinated support plan might be required to organise the support they receive. It is a legal document which details the support a child needs and how this will be organised.
CSR Continuous Student Record.
CST Curriculum Support Teachers.
CSYC Certificate of Sixth Year Studies (Scotland).
CTC City Technical College; an independent all ability non-fee-paying school for students aged 11-18. CTCs teach the national curriculum to pre-16-year-olds with a focus on Science, Mathematics and Technology.
CUREE Centre for Use of Research and Evidence in Education.
Curriculum (plural curricula) A plan of instruction that details what pupils are to know, how they are to learn it, what the teacher's role is, and the context in which learning and teaching will take place.
CWDC Children's workforce Development Council.
CY A government abbreviation for community school maintained by the local education authority.
CYPP Children and Young People's Plan.
CYPSP Children and Young People Strategic Partnership.
CYPU Children and Young People's Unit.
CYS Community special school, maintained by the LEA, which is specially organised to make special educational provision for pupils with special educational needs.
DAMP DAMP syndrome refers to Dyspraxia, Autism, Motor Control and Perception.
D&T Design and Technology.
Data-driven decision making A process of making decisions about curriculum and instruction based on the analysis of classroom data and standardized test data. It is based on the assumption that scientific methods used to solve complex problems in industry can effectively evaluate educational policy, programs, and methods.
Day Nurseries These take children under five for the whole working day. Children can attend on a part-time or full-time basis according to their parents' needs. They may be run by local authorities, voluntary organisations, private companies, individuals or employers. There must be at least one adult for every eight children and at least half of the staff must have a qualification recognised by the local authority.
DCD Developmental Co-ordination Disorder.
DCELLS Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (Wales).
DCS Director of Children's Services.
DCSF Department for Children, Schools and Families (see DFEE, DES, DFES, DOE, MOE) set up in June 2007, alongside DIUS. This particular abbreviation has the distinction of being singularly unmemorable; the most common mnemonic being 'Department of Curtains and Soft Furnishings'.
DDA Disability Discrimination Act (1995).
Dearing report A government report formally known as the reports of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education. It is a series of reports into the future of Higher Education in the United Kingdom, published in 1997.
Declarative Knowledge Declarative knowledge, also known as descriptive knowledge, refers to knowing that or what, rather than knowing how. See Procedural knowledge.
DEEP Digitally Enhanced Evaluation and Planning.
DENI Department of Education for Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland equivalent of DSCF.
DEPIS Drug Education Prevention and Information Service (within DoH now DH - Department of Health).
DES Department of education and science. See DfES.
Designated Teachers Advocates who liaise with other services on behalf of young people in care.
DeSoCo Definition and selection of competencies (PISA and OECD).
DfEE Department for Education and Employment. It changed to DfES in 2001. See also DCSF
DfES The Department for Education and Skills, (this ever changing acronym for government departments dealing with education evolved into two in 2007: DCSF and DIUS).
DFID Department for International Development.
DiDA Diploma in digital applications. See also CiDA and AiDA.
Differentiation The organisation of teaching programmes and methods specifically to suit the age, ability and aptitudes of individual children.
DipAD Diploma in Art & Design (designated as equivalent to an honours degree and abolished in 1973).
Directed time Time when a teacher must be available to carry out duties, under the direction of the head. A full-time teacher's directed time is usually reckoned to be 1,265 hours in any school year.
Disapplied pupils This applies to a small number of pupils who are not able to take part in some or all of the assessments, required as part of the National Curriculum. Usually this only happens if all or part of the National Curriculum is not suitable for a pupil because he or she has certain special educational needs.
Disapplication A term used where National Curriculum requirements may not apply to a pupil.
Distance learning This usually refers to a situation where learning occurs remotely from the teaching, for example when using technology such as two-way, interactive television; teacher and student(s) in different locations may communicate with one another as in a normal classroom setting.
DIUS Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. See also DFES and DCSF.
DLOs Desirable Learning Outcomes.
DOL Director of learning.
DOSP Director Of Student Progress.
DRBs Designated Recommending Bodies. Those Institutions, such as Universities, which are designated by the TTA as having the power to recommend the award of QTS. See also RB.
DRC Disability Rights Commission.
DT [sometimes D&T] Design and technology.
DTLS Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.
E2L English as a Second Language. (Also ESL; compare with ESOL and EAL).
EA Education Authority (Scotland).
EAs External assessors. More particularly, assessors of the quality of provision given on EBR by ITT providers.
EAB Education Assets Board.
EAF Education Action Forum.
EAL English as an Additional Language -this term refers to learners whose first language is not English. The learner may already be fluent in several other languages or dialects, which is why the term English as a second language (ESL or E2L) is usually considered inappropriate. See also ESOL.
EAZ Education Action Zone; occasionally Education Achievement Zone. Education Action Zones consist of 15-25 schools which aim to create new partnerships, raise standards and generate innovation within education. These groups of schools receive extra money each year for up to five years.
EBR Employment based route (for entry into teacher training).
EDP Education Development Plan.
Education Act(s) There are several education acts which have had a profound and continuing impact upon schooling and education in the UK. Of particular significance are the 1944 act and the ERA.
EBD Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.
EBEY Early years employment based RTP programme.
EBN Exceptional Basic Need.
EBP Education Business Partnership (Company which organises links between schools and wider community).
EBSD Emotional Behavioural and Social Difficulties.
EC Excellence Cluster.
ECC Every Child Counts.
ECM Every Child Matters.
ECaR Every Child a Reader.
ECaT Every Child a Talker.
ECaW Every Child a Writer.
ECYPPC Education of Children and Young People in Public Care.
EdD Doctor of Education.
EdExcel A Unitary Exam body formed by the amalgamation of London Exams and BTEC.
EDI Electronic Data Interchange.
EDP Education Development Plan.
EDSI Education Departments' Superhighways Initiative.
EDT Education Development Target.
EEC Early Excellence Centre.
EFL English as a Foreign Language - Courses in English for those whose first language is not English.
EFS Education Formula Spending.
EFSG Education Finance Strategy Group.
EiC Excellence in Cities. Another government initiative, launched in March 1999 with the aim to raise standards in specific city areas through 'targeted intervention and investment', focusing mainly on secondary schools. The main programs involved are: extending opportunities for Gifted and Talented pupils, expansion of the number of specialist and beacon schools, establishing City Learning Centres, introducing new smaller EAZs, providing access to Learning Mentors, and establishing Learning Support Units to tackle disruption.
EIP Early Intervention Programme.
ELB Education and Library Board (N. Ireland).
eLCs Electronic Learning Credits - for the purchase of Digital learning products.
Eleven plus See 11+.
ELG Early Learning Goal.
ELO Education Liaison Officer.
ELS Early Literacy Support.
ELWa Education and Learning Wales (National Council for Education and Training for Wales).
EMA (1) Education Maintenance Allowance.
(2) Ethnic Minority Achievement (Officer/tutor etc).
EMAP Ethnic Minority Achievement Programme.
EMAS Ethnic Minority Achievement Service.
EMIE Education Management Information Exchange.
EMRO Ethnic Minority Recruitment Officer.
EMTAG Ethnic Minority and Travellers Achievement Grant.
EMU Education for Mutual Understanding (N. Ireland).
ENGAGE The National Association for Gallery Education.
Envoying A classroom strategy based on small group discussion. 'Envoys' from each small group report the discussion from their original group to another group, have further discussion with that group and report back.
EO 1) Equal Opportunities.
(2) Education Officer.
EOC Equal Opportunities Commission.
EOTAS Education Other Than At School.
EP Educational Psychologist.
EPPI Centre Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre.
EPS Education Psychology Service.
ERA The Education Reform Act of 1988. This Act paved the way for the National Curriculum in England and Wales and a system of inspection under the auspices of OfSTED.
ERASMUS European Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students.
ERIC Educational Resources Information Centre.
ERO Education Reform (Nl) Order 1989 (N. Ireland).
ESCGA Ethnicity, Social Class, Gender and Achievement.
ESF European Social Fund - a funding body for research.
ESIS Education and School Improvement Service.
ESO Education Supervision Order.
ESOL English for Speakers of Other Languages; a term usually used in post-16 provision.
ESP Education Strategic Plan (Wales).
ESPP Early Support Pilot Programme.
ESS Education Standard Spending.
Estyn Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales.
ESL English as a second language. (Also E2L)
ESS Education Standard Spending.
ESVI Education Services for the Visually Impaired
ESW Educational Social Worker.
ETC Ethics Theology and Citizenship.
ETDA Education and Training Development Agenda.
ETI Education and Training Inspectorate (N. Ireland).
ETS Excellent Teacher Scheme.
EUI European University Institute.
Evaluation Judging the value of. It refers to the process through which evidence is secured and judged with respect to its educational value. See Assessment.
EWO Education Welfare Officer. They are sometimes known as Education Social Workers and are employed by local education authorities to monitor school attendance and help parents meet their responsibilities.
EWS/ESWS Education Welfare Service/Education Social Work Service.
Examination Examination refers to a formal process whereby a pupil's achievement over specified period of time in a particular place is measured against stated criteria. See Assessment.
Exclusion The suspension or expulsion of a pupil from school for disciplinary reasons.
Exhibition of mastery A type of assessment in which pupils display their grasp of knowledge and skills using methods such as video presentations, posters, oral presentations, or portfolios.
Expressive Objectives See Objectives.
Extended school A school that provides a range of services and activities often beyond the school day to help meet the needs of its pupils, their families and the wider community.
EY Early Years.
EYDCP Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership.
EYDP Early Years Development Plan.
EYU Early Years Unit.
F&HE Further and Higher Education.
Facilitator A role for classroom teachers that allows pupils to take a more active role in learning. Teachers assist pupils in making connections between classroom instruction and pupils' own knowledge and experiences by encouraging pupils to create new solutions, by challenging their assumptions, and by asking probing questions.
FAETC Further Adult Education Teaching Certificate.
Failing school A school that has been deemed unsatisfactory following an OFSTED inspection. See Special Measures.
FAS Funding Agency for Schools.
FCBG Federation of Children's Book Groups; a national, voluntary organisation which aims to promote enjoyment and interest in children's books and reading.
FD Foundation school.
FDS Foundation special school, maintained by the LEA, which is specially organised to make special educational provision for pupils with special educational needs.
FE Further Education (e.g. Sixth Form College).
Feeder Schools Schools which 'feed' into the next phase of education. Some admission authorities give priority to children from certain primary schools to feed into specific secondary schools.
FEFC Further Education Funding Council.
FECDF Further Education Competitiveness and Development Fund.
FECF Further Education Collaboration Fund.
FEFCW Further Education Funding Council for Wales.
FEDA Further Education Development Agency.
FENTO Further Education National Training Organisation.
FERL Further Education Resources for Learning. An information service for all staff working within the Post-Compulsory Education sector. It aims to support individuals and organisations in making effective use of Information Learning Technologies.
FESI Further Education Sector Institution (sixth form college, FE college, tertiary college).
FFT Fischer Family Trust. A project set up by an organisation to help LEAs and Schools to make more effective use of Performance Data, providing analyses to support self-evaluation, assessment and target setting.
Foundation Schools Type of state school which is run by the local authority but which has more freedom than community schools to manage their school and decide on their own admissions. They are maintained by the LEA but some may have a foundation (generally religious) which appoints some of the governing body (which acts as the admissions authority).
Foundation Stage A Key Stage; it is organised into six areas of learning rather than into subjects.
Framework The Framework for the Inspection of Schools, which gives Registered Inspectors detailed guidance on inspection.
FS Foundation Stage; see above.
FSM Free School Meals.
FSMQ Free Standing Mathematics Qualification.
FSP Foundation Stage Profile.
FSW Family Social Worker
FTE Full-Time Equivalent.
FTET Full-Time Education and Training.
GAL Guardian Ad Litem. An adult who is legally responsible (for a young person).
G&T Gifted & Talented.
GMIS Grant Maintained Integrated Status (N. Ireland).
GCE General Certificate of Education. Currently refers to A (Advanced) Level; 0 Level (Ordinary) was replaced by the GCSE in the UK in 1988.
GCSE General Certificate of Secondary Education. O levels and CSEs were replaced in1988 with GCSEs. O-level (Ordinary level) qualifications were designed for allegedly more able secondary school pupils and were seen as being necessary for progression into A-level and beyond. The Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) qualification was intended for pupils of all abilities in mainstream secondary education, though they were not taken by the most academic pupils who would have taken only 0 levels. There was an overlap between these two types of certificate in that a CSE grade 1 result was regarded as equivalent to an 0 level. The GCSE examination was designed for pupils of all abilities; GCSE grades A-C are seen by most schools and employers as 0 level (or CSE grade 1) equivalents and GCSE grades D and below represent to many what would have previously been CSE grade 2 and below.
GCSE Bitesize A BBC revision guide which uses TV, books and the Internet to help children prepare for GCSE exams.
GEST Grants for Education, Support and Training.
GF General Fund (of a Local Education Authority).
GM In the context of education, GM stands for Grant Maintained and refers to schools that are maintained by central government rather than the LEA.
GMSAC Grant Maintained Schools Advisory Committee.
GMSF Grant Maintained Schools Foundation.
GNVQ General National Vocational Qualification Vocational qualifications taken mainly by pupils age 16 and in full-time education. After October 20007 it is replaced by alternative BTEC qualifications.
Grading Grading is the assignment of a symbol to a person's performance, often a letter (ABCDE) is used to indicate some level of performance, relative to some criteria. See Assessment.
Grammar Schools A type of selective school associated with the tripartite system established by the 1944 Education Act. Most schools since 1976 in the UK are comprehensive schools, which are non-selective. However there are still about 160 grammar schools throughout England. These schools usually select pupils on the basis of their performance on a one-off test. It should be noted that there are some comprehensive schools which retain the name 'Grammar' in their title.
Grant Maintained Schools State schools in England and Wales which are funded by central government through the Funding Agency for Schools.
GSVQ General Scottish Vocational Qualification.
Graphing calculator A calculator with a large display that enables the user to see maths functions and data graphically.
Grouping A generic term which covers all of the different ways in which teaching groups are organised. See jigsaw, setting, streaming, rainbow. See also ability grouping.
GRICS Grant Reduction of Infant Class Sizes (Wales).
GRTP Graduate and Registered Teacher Programme.
GSB General Schools Budget.
GSVQ General Scottish Vocational Qualification.
GRT Gypsy/Roma Traveller.
GRTAP Gypsy, Roma Traveller Achievement Programme.
GTC See GTCE (below).
GTCE General Teaching Council for England - a professional body for school teachers. Membership is compulsory.
GTCNI General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland.
GTCS General Teaching Council for Scotland.
GTCW General Teaching Council for Wales.
GTP GraduateTraining Programme. A scheme launched in 1998 to attract more entrants to the teaching profession by providing a route into teaching while working within a designated school. See also RTP - 'GRTP' usually refers to Graduate and Registered Teacher Programme.
GTTR Graduate Teacher Training Registry. A central agency for processing applications for most postgraduate (Post Graduate Certificate Education) initial teacher training courses.
H&S Health and Safety.
HAD Hyperactivity Disorder.
HAP Higher attaining pupil; an abbreviation used by OFSTED. See also AAP and LAP.
HAZ Health Action Zone.
HE Higher Education (University, Art College etc.).
HEI Higher Education Institution.
HEA Health Education Authority.
HEADLAMP Head Teachers Leadership and Management Programme.
Healthy Schools Initiative Government scheme to help improve the health of both pupils and teachers. The initiative includes a Wired for Health website, a Healthy Teacher focus to address occupational health issues for staff and cooks' academies in schools to improve knowledge about nutrition.
HEFCE Higher Education Funding Council for England - administers funding for UK higher education.
HEFCNI Higher Education Funding Council for Northern Ireland.
HEFCS Higher Education Funding Council for Scotland.
HEFCW Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
HERD Higher Education Regional Development Fund.
HERO Higher Education Reach Out Fund.
HESA Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Heterogeneous grouping Grouping together pupils of varying abilities, interests, or ages.
Heuristic learning Learning by discovery.
HG Higher Grade (Scotland - 'Highers').
HGfL 'GfL' stands for 'grid for learning'; another letter at the beginning, such as, in this case, 'H', usually indicates an Authority such as Hillingdon of Hertfordshire. See NGfL.
HI Hearing Impaired.
Higher-order questions Questions that require thinking and reflection rather than single-solution responses.
Higher-order thinking skills Understanding complex concepts and applying sometimes conflicting information to solve a problem, which may have more than one correct answer.
HKD Hyperkinetic disorder.
HLC Hearing and Language Centre (often within a school).
HLTA Higher level teaching assistant. A relatively recent designation, introduced to afford higher status to more experienced TAs.
HMCI Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools.
HMI Her Majesty's Inspector (of Schools). The offices of HMCI and HMI go back to the mid-19th century but were re-established 1993, under the Education (Schools) Act 1992. See OFSTED. inspectors produce education reports which are meant to improve standards of achievement and quality of education, provide public reporting and informed independent advice.
HMIe Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education, the Inspection body for Scottish education.
HNC Higher National Certificate.
HND Higher National Diploma - a two-year course that equates to two years of a degree course. HNDs are offered in many subject areas, mostly with a practical application; they may also have an industrial or commercial placement as part of the course.
HoD Head of Department.
Holistic scoring Assigning a single overall score to a pupil's performance.
Home-school agreements All state schools are required to have written home-school agreements, drawn up in consultation with parents. They are non-binding statements explaining the school's aims and values, the responsibilities of both school and parents, and what the school expects of its pupils. Parents are invited to sign a parental declaration, indicating that they understand and accept the contents of the agreement.
HPSP Health Promoting School Project.
HPSS High Performing Specialist School.
HRD Human Resources Development.
HRM Human Resources Management.
HSA Home School Agreement - see above
HTP Headship Training Plan.
Hub School A school which acts as a 'hub' to disseminate good practice to other schools in a defined partnership role, for example as part of an initial teacher training consortium.
IAL Indicated Admissions Limit.
IAP Individual Action Plan. See IEP.
IB International Baccalaureate.
IBP Individual Behaviour Plan.
ICAA International Curriculum and Assessment Agency (a limited company specialising in educational consultancy).
ICG Institute of Careers Guidance.
ICSP Infant Class Size Plan.
ICT Information and Communications Technology (see IT).
IDeA Improvement and Development Agency.
IDP Inclusion and Development Programme.
IEA Independent External Adjudicator.
IELTS The International English Language Testing System. It is said to measure ability to communicate in English across four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. It is an internationally recognised test aimed at people who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication
IEP Individual Education Plan/Programme. Programmes which are drawn up by the class teacher and/or special needs co-ordinator within a school to provide individual support for children deemed to have needs over and above that of other children in the class. This could be either due to learning difficulties or because they are considered to be exceptionally bright or gifted children.
IFP Increased Flexibility Programme.
ILA Individual Learning Accounts.
ILT (1) Information and Learning Technology (FE).
(2) Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Set up in the spring of 1999 to become a professional body for university lecturers.
INCA International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks.
IND The official acronym for a registered independent school.
Independent Schools These are schools which are not funded by the state and obtain most of their finances from fees paid by parents and income from investments. Some of the larger independent schools are known as public schools, while most boarding schools are independent.
IND(SS) Independent school approved under the Education Act 1996 to take pupils who have statements of special educational needs.
Induction A period, normally a year, which is probationary and is normally required of newly qualified teachers in order to gain full QTS. See Probationary period.
Informal knowledge Knowledge about a topic that children learn through experience outside of the classroom.
Inquiry A process in which pupils investigate a problem, devise and work through a plan to solve the problem, and propose a solution to the problem.
In loco parentis A legal term which literally means in the place of a parent. It means that a teacher/school must show the same duty of care towards a pupil as would a reasonable parent.
INSET In Service Training.
Inspection Report The detailed findings of a school inspection.
Inspection contractor Contracts for batches of school inspections are bid for competitively by inspection contractors. These may be private companies or LEA divisions. Inspection contractors are responsible for recruiting registered and team inspectors to undertake each school inspection.
Intelligence A hotly contested concept. It is commonly thought to refer to the ability to learn and comprehend. See Multiple Intelligences.
Interdiscipinary curriculum A curriculum that consciously applies the methodology and language from more than one discipline to examine a central theme, issue, problem, topic, or experience.
Instrument of Government A legal document which sets out the constitution of the governing body.
Investing in Young People Scheme A government initiative to help young people make the best of their abilities and to ensure that they all have access to education in schools, colleges or work-based training after the age of 16.
IPRN Initial teacher training Professional Resource Network.
IPS Independent Parental Supporter.
Ipsative referencing One of several contexts for assessing learners' achievement (see Norm referencing and criterion referencing). Ipsative referencing (sometimes known as 'Developmental') compares a pupils' present performance with past performances is more learner-centred. It is concerned with individuals' growth and development; assessment is often made by negotiation between teacher and taught and is linked to self-assessment. Ipsative referencing re-inforces positive qualities.
IQ Intelligence Quotient - Numeric score that attempts to quantify a person's ability to undertake certain cognitive tasks; the population average is said to be 100.
IRSC Investigation and Referral Support Co-ordinators.
IRT Identification, Referral and Tracking.
IRU Implementation Review Unit.
IS Integrated Community Schools (Scotland).
ISA (1) Information sharing and assessment
(2) Independent Schools Association
ISB Individual Schools Budget.
ISC Independent Schools Council.
ISCED International Standard Classification of Education which was initially designed by UNESCO in the early 1970s to serve as an instrument suitable for assembling, compiling and presenting statistics of education both within countries and internationally.
ISCG Information for School and College Governors.
ISI Independent Schools Inspectorate.
ISIS Independent Schools Information Service.
ISR Individual School Range (referring to salaries).
IT Information Technology (see ICT).
ITE Initial Teacher Education. The preferred term (outside of government agencies) to refer to the process whereby a pupil gains qualified teacher status (QTS).
ITET Initial Teacher Education and Training.
ITT Initial teacher training - most people need to take an ITT course in order to gain qualified teacher status (QTS). See ITE and ITET, above.
ITTD Initial Teacher Training Directorate.
ITT provider A provider of initial teacher training - e.g. college or university, and sometimes a consortium of schools, known as SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training). See also GTP.
IWB Interactive whiteboard.
JANET Joint Academic Network (web-based).
JAR Joint Area Review.
JCQ Joint Council for Qualifications. An official (UK) body that oversees national qualifications.
Jigsawing This refers to a grouping strategy, where a topic is divided into sections. In 'home' groups of four or five, pupils allocate a section each, and then regroup into 'expert' groups. In these groups, experts work together on their chosen area, then return to original 'home' groups to report back on their area of expertise. The 'home' group is then set a task that requires the pupils to use the different areas of expertise for a joint outcome.
JV Joint Venture.
Key Skills Can be distinguished from basic skills by reference to The Dearing Report (NCIHE, 1997). This refers to four skills: communication skills, numeracy, the use of information technology and learning how to learn.
KIT Keeping in Touch (with teaching).
KS/Key Stages A child's progress through school in England and Wales is measured in Key Stages. Each Key Stage covers a number of school years. Starting at Key Stage 1 and finishing at Key Stage 4. The National Curriculum is divided into four key stages according to pupils' ages: Key Stage 1 for 5-7 year olds, Key Stage 2 for 7-11, Key Stage 3 for years 11-14, Key Stage 4 for 14-16. Some schools use the term 'Key Stage 5' to refer to post-16 provision, but this is not an accurate use of the term, which refers only to the period of compulsory education.
L1 etc Leadership (Pay) Scale or Spine, Point 1, etc.
LAC Looked After Children.
LAP Lower attaining pupil; an abbreviation used by OFSTED. See also AAP and HAP.
LDD Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.
LDSS Learning, Development and Support Services (part of CWDC).
LEA Local Education Authority. The term 'local education authority' describes a type of council which has responsibility for providing education to pupils of school age in its area. Their overall education remit also includes early years, the youth service and adult education. LEAs are responsible for contributing to the spiritual, moral, mental and physical development of the community by ensuring that efficient primary and secondary education is provided and ensuring that there are enough primary and secondary places with adequate facilities to meet the needs of pupils living in the area.
League Tables See Performance Tables. League Tables usually refer to the government analysis of assessment and examination results placed in rank order.
LEARG Local Education Authorities Research Group.
Learner-centered classroom Classroom in which pupils are encouraged to choose their own learning goals and projects. This approach is based on the belief that pupils have a natural inclination to learn, learn better when they work on real or authentic tasks, benefit from interacting with diverse groups of people, and learn best when teachers understand and value the difference in how each pupil learns.
Learning The acquisition of knowledge understanding or skill on a relatively permanent basis.
Learning Modalities Usually refers to visual, auditory and kinaesthetic modes of learning. Some characteristics: Visual earners are said to process information better when it is supplied in the visual, such as graphs, pictures, and diagrams. Auditory learners are said to learn best by listening to conversations or presentations; they learn by listening. Kinaesthetic learners learn by hands-on practical activities, often preferring working within groups.
Learning Outcome This is a statement that describes what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or do as a result of a prescribed learning experience, usually specified in the form of objectives. 'Outcome' is often used synonymously with 'objective', however, outcomes are dependent upon objectives, whilst objectives lead to outcomes.
Learning Styles Usually refers to four differing styles of learning (Accommodators, Divergers, Convergers and Assimilators), each being a particular preference that learners adopt in the way they learn (see Kolb, 1984). Some characteristics of each style: Accommodators are said to enjoy change and variety; they are willing to take risks (therefore not too bothered about getting things wrong) and look for excitement and hidden possibilities. On the more negative side, they tend not to plan work and avoid checking and re-working. Divergers are characteristically imaginative thinkers who draw upon their own personal experiences. They like social interaction and group work. However, they tend to work in short bursts of energy and are easily distracted. Convergers apply their ideas in a practical way and enjoy solving problems. They like finding out how things work and to try them out in a systematic way. They tend not to be too concerned with the presentation of their work. They have a very practical approach to learning and need to know the practical relevance of tasks given. Assimilators also like to try things out and they are good at investigating. They are precise and feel happiest when working towards one solution. They work well alone and are not easily distracted, they do not feel as comfortable in group discussion as for example the diverger. They also differ markedly from the diverger by being reluctant to try anything new, doing things in a set way, being overcautious and trusting logic rather than feelings.
Learning Card A card issued to young people over the age of 16 to remind them of their continued access to careers guidance and information.
LEAWARDS Local Education Authority Award System.
LERN London Education Research Network.
LECT League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers.
LfL (1) Leadership for Learning.
(2) Learning for Leadership.
LFS Labour Force Survey.
LGBTT Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Teachers (sometimes with the addition of 'Q' -Questioning).
LIFE Learning Is For Everyone (Wales).
Lifelong learning Refers to the notion of formal education being available to everyone beyond statutory school age. It is often characterised by distance learning and is exemplified in programs such as those offered by the Open University and U3A.
List 99 A 'list' that contains the details of men and women whose employment has been barred or restricted, either on grounds of misconduct or on medical grounds. If a person's employment is restricted, the entry shows the types of employment in which he or she is permitted to work. People barred on misconduct grounds are listed separately from those barred on medical grounds (no details of misconduct are given).
LLDP Lifelong Learning Development Plan.
LLP Lifelong Learning Partnerships.
Literacy Hour An hour of learning to read and write in (usually Primary) school, broken down into various activities.
LM Learning Mentor.
LMCE Local Management in Community Education.
LMS (1) Local Management of Schools.
(2) Learning Management System - a US term for VLE.
LMSS Local Management of Special Schools.
LNTO The Languages National Training Organisation National Centre for Languages. See CILTandNCL.
LO Learning Objectives.
LP Learning Partnership.
LPSH Leadership Programme for Serving Heads.
LS Leadership (Pay) Scale or Spine.
LSA Learning Support Assistant.
LSAC Language Sports and Arts College(s).
LSB Local Schools Budget.
LSC Learning and Skills Council.
LSCB Local Safeguarding Children's Board.
LSDA Learning and Skills Development Agency.
LSP Learning Schools Programme.
LSRC Learning and Skills Research Centre.
LSU Learning Support Unit.
LTS Learning and Teaching Scotland.
LW or LWA London Weighting or London Weighting Allowance.
M&E Monitoring and Evaluation.
MA (1) Master of Arts
(2) Modern Apprenticeships.
MAT Multi-Agency Team.
MBS Music and Ballet Schools Scheme.
MCE Ministry for Children and Education (Scotland).
MCI Management Charter Initiative.
MDS Midday supervisor.
MDA Mid-day Assistant.
ME Mandatory Exceptions.
Measurement Measurements deal with a quantification of data; there is a notion that everything that exists, exists in some quantity and can therefore be measured. See Assessment.
MEAP Minority Ethnic Achievement Programme.
MECS Minority Ethnic Curriculum Support.
Metacognition Thinking about thinking - the process of considering and regulating one's own learning. People are said to learn more effectively when they have the opportunity to reflect upon and monitor their own learning, conceptualising what has been learned from this and acting upon it.
MFL Modern Foreign Languages.
MGL Main Grade Lecturer.
MIDYIS Middle Years Information System.
MISE Management Information Systems in Education.
Mixed ability A teaching group in which children of all abilities are taught together rather than being streamed or set.
MLD Moderate Learning Difficulties.
MOA Mode of Attendance, e.g. PT (part time) or FT (full time).
MLE Managed Learning Environment.
MNSI Multi-needs sensory impairment.
MOE More Open Enrolment.
MoE Ministry of Education see DfES. An early incarnation of this ever-changing acronym for a government department concerned with education.
Modelling Demonstrating to the learner how to do a task, with the expectation that the learner can copy the model. Modelling often involves thinking aloud or talking about how to work through a task.
MPA Multi-Professional Assessment.
MPG Main Professional Grade (as in teachers' pay), previously CPS: Common Pay Spine.
MPS Management Pay Spine.
MSSR Moderated School Self Review.
MTL Masters in Teaching and Learning.
Multiple Intelligences A concept associated with Howard Gardner and Harvard Project Zero. Gardner (1983) initially identified seven different kinds of 'intelligence': Musical Intelligence Kinesthetic Intelligence Logical-Mathematical Intelligence Linguistic Intelligence Spatial Intelligence Interpersonal Intelligence Intrapersonal Intelligence the following two have since been added (Gardner, 2000): Naturalistic Intelligence Existential Intelligence.
NACE National Association for Able Children in Education.
NAACE National Association of Advisers for Computers in Education.
NACCCE National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education. This committee produced the report All Our Futures, published in 1999, with a government response the following year.
NACCEG National Advisory Council for Careers and Educational Guidance.
NACE National Association for Able Children in Education.
NACETT National Advisory Council on Education and Training Targets.
NAED National Assembly Education Department (Wales).
NAEIAC National Association of Educational Inspectors Advisers and Consultants.
NAEP New Arrivals Excellence Programme.
NAGC National Association for Gifted Children.
NAGCELL National Advisory Group on Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning.
NAHHT National Association of Hospital and Home Teachers.
NAHT National Association of Head Teachers.
NAI Non-Accidental Injury.
NALS National Audit Learning Survey.
NAPE National Association for Primary Education.
NAPP National Association for Primary Providers.
NAS National Autistic Society.
NASEN National Association for SEN.
NASG National Association of School Governors.
NA(S)SIP National Association of (Senior) School Improvement Professionals.
NASWE National Association of Social Workers in Education.
NAS/UWT National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers. This union has most of its members in secondary schools.
National Agreement An agreement struck in January 03 between the British Government, employers and school workforce unions to oversee changes in teachers' contracts. It is monitored by the NRT working with another QUANGO, the WAMG.
NATE National Association for the Teaching of English.
National Curriculum The National Curriculum for England was introduced as a result of the ERA and covers what pupils should be taught in state maintained schools. It provides what is said to be a balanced education and covers 11 subjects overall (including Religious Education; Welsh language in Wales only). It is divided into four Key Stages according to age. The National Curriculum sets out what must be taught for each subject in the form of Programmes of Study (PoS). It has been revised at least twice, with its latest incarnation coming into being in 2007 for implementation from September 2008. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own 'national' curriculum.
National Curriculum Levels As a result of the ERA, all pupils currently undergo national tests and teacher assessments at ages 7, 11 and 14. The school then sends a report to parents telling them what National Curriculum Levels their child has reached in both tests and assessments.
National Numeracy Strategy A government initiative which is intended to raise the standards of numeracy for all children in infant, primary and junior schools in England and Wales.
NATFHE National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education.
NC (1) National Curriculum.
(2) National Challenge.
NCB National Children's Bureau.
NCE National Commission on Education.
NCC National Curriculum Council (see QCA).
NCER National Consortium for Examination Results.
NCET National Council for Educational Technology.
NCL (1) The National Centre for Languages. It is the Government's recognised centre of expertise on languages. The organisation's mission is to promote a greater capability in languages amongst all sectors of the UK population. It was formed in 2003 through the merger of the CILT (Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research) and the LNTO (Languages National Training Organisation).
(2) National Curriculum Level.
NCOGS National Coordinators of Government Support.
NCPTA National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations.
NCS (1) National Childcare Strategy.
(2) New Community School (Scotland).
(3) National Care Standards.
NCSL National College for School Leadership.
NcT Non Contact Time - periods when not teaching.
NCTs National Curriculum Tests.
NCVQ National Council for Vocational Qualifications. It merged with SCAA in 1997 to form the QCA
NCY National Curriculum Year.
NDAQ National Database of Accredited Qualifications.
NDCPP New Deal for Communities Pathfinder Partnerships.
NDO National Development Officer (Target setting for children with SEN) (Scotland).
NDS New Deal for Schools.
NDTEF National Design & Technology Education Foundation (see ICAA).
NEAB Northern Examination and Assessment Board (see AQA).
NEBP National Education Business Partnership.
NEC National Extension College. Provides education for adults through distance learning.
NEET Not in Education Employment or Training.
NEOST National Employers' Organisation for School Teachers.
NERF National Educational Research Forum.
NERS National Exclusions Reporting System.
NESTA National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.
NETT National Education and Training Targets.
NFER National Foundation for Educational Research.
NGC National Governors' Council.
NGfL National Grid for Learning - A government funded project to connect schools to the internet and to provide learning materials for them via the World Wide Web. See HGfL.
NIACE National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.
NIC Northern Ireland Curriculum.
NICIE Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education.
NICCEA Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.
NICEC National Institute of Careers and Education Counselling.
NIHEC Northern Ireland Higher Education Council.
NISVQ National Information System for Vocational Qualifications.
NLD Non-verbal learning difficulties.
NLN New Learning Network.
NLP National Literacy Project.
NLS National Literacy Strategy. A DfES initiative for reading in schools.
NMSS Non-maintained special school, approved by the Secretary of State under the Education Act 1996, which is specially organised to make special educational provision for pupils with special educational needs (Scotland).
NNEB National Nursery Examination Board.
NNS National Numeracy Strategy.
NO Named Officer.
NOF New Opportunities Fund. A lottery distributor created to award grants to education, health and environment projects throughout the UK.
NOR Number on Roll.
NP Named Person (see also IPS).
NOCF National Open College Federation.
NOP National Oracy Project.
Norm-referenced assessment An assessment designed to discover how an individual pupil's performance or test result compares to that of an appropriate peer group. Norm referencing has been the normal procedure for the distribution of grades in public examinations. (Compare to criterion-referenced assessment and Ipsative referencing.)
NPhA National Primary Head Teachers' Association.
NPQH National Professional Qualification for Headship.
NPQSL National Professional Qualifications for Subject Leaders.
NPS National Pay Spine (for teachers).
NPSLBA National Programme for Specialist Leaders of Behaviour and Attendance.
NQT Newly Qualified Teacher.
NRA National Record of achievement (see Profile).
NROVA National Record of Vocational Achievement.
NRT National Remodelling Team. A group associated with the TTA, charged with overseeing the implementation of the 'National Agreement.
NRwS New Relationship with Schools.
NS National Strategy.
NSEAD National Society for Education in Art and Design.
NSF National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services.
NSPCC National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
NTA National Training Award.
NTA Non-Teaching Assistant.
NTAS National Teaching and Advisory Service.
NTETs National Targets for Education and Training.
NtG Narrow(ing) the Gap(s).
NTRP National Teacher Research Panel.
Nursery Classes Operating within State Primary Schools, nursery classes take children from the age of three or four and are open during school term time. They usually offer five half-day sessions a week. There must be one adult for every 13 children.
NUPE National Union of Public Employees.
NUS National Union of Students.
NTDP National Training Development Plan.
NWPU Needs Weighted Pupil Unit.
NVQ National Vocational Qualification.
NYA National Youth Agency.
NUT National Union of Teachers. The largest teaching union, it is predominant in Primary schools. SeeNAS/UWT.
NVQ National Vocational Qualification - a work-based qualification.
NYR National Year of Reading.
OBE Outcome-based education.
OBL Outcome-based learing.
Objectives Objectives refer to the specific intended educational outcomes of a particular lesson and are pre-specified. Behavioural Objective(s) identify observable pupil behaviour, that is, not what pupils will 'understand' but how they will show their understanding. They are sometimes known as Specific or Instructional objectives. Expressive Objectives (more properly referred to as expressive outcomes - Eisner, 1979) refer to an approach which describes an educational situation which the teacher creates, and from which learning can emerge. Skills and concepts learned earlier can be used in such a situation to produce expressive, imaginative and personalised work as a result of the stimuli provided. Learning arising from such a teaching situation is neither pre-specified nor prescribed. See Aims.
OCA OFSTED Complaints Adjudicator.
OCN Open College Network.
OCR Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations Board.
OEAP Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel.
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
OFSTED It is an official body which regularly inspects all the schools in England which are mainly or wholly state funded. OFSTED inspectors produce education reports which are meant to improve standards of achievement and quality of education, provide public reporting and informed independent advice. The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills is the non-ministerial government department of HMCI. All the powers belong to HMCI or to Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools (HMI) who are office holders under the Crown. Ofsted itself has no statutory recognition but is usually identified with the functions of HMCI. In April 2007 the former Office for Standards in Education merged with the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) to provide an inspection service which includes all post-16 government funded education (but not HE institutions which are inspected by the QAA). At the same time it took on responsibility for the registration and inspection of social care services for children from the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI).
OfQual The Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator. It is a relatively new 'regulator' of qualifications, exams and tests in England.
OHP Overhead Projector.
OHT Overhead Transparency.
OLA Outer London Allowance.
OMR Optical Mark Reader.
OND Ordinary National Diploma.
Open-ended question A question that has many avenues of access and allows pupils to respond in a variety of ways. Such questions have more than one correct answer.
Open-ended task A performance task in which pupils are required to generate a solution or response to a problem when there is no single correct answer.
Open-response task A performance task in which pupils are required to generate an answer rather than select an answer from among several possible answers, but there is a single correct response.
OSCI Out of School Childcare Initiative.
OTT Overseas Trained Teacher.
OTTP Overseas teacher training programme.
OU Open University.
Outcome-based education An integrated system of educational programs that aligns specific pupil outcomes, instructional methods, and assessment.
Oversubscription Criteria Often referred to as those rules applied by admission authorities when a school has more applications than places. They must by law be fair and objective and must be published annually in prospectuses and by local authorities in a prospectus explaining admissions at all schools in an area.
P1,P2etc Primary 1, Primary 2, etc (Scotland).
PAL Published (or planned) Admissions Limit.
PAN Published Admission Number.
PANDA Performance and Assessment report. It is a report produced by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) and issued annually to schools. The contents of each PANDA report are confidential between OFSTED, the school, and the Local Education Authority, although schools can disseminate the information, should they so wish.
P&P Personalisation and Progression.
Parental Preference The legal right that parents have to express a preference for the school they would like their child to attend.
Parents' Summary A short version of the inspection report that is sent to all parents of children at a school, and to the local media.
Partnership In the context of education, in particular ITE, Partnership refers to the agreement between an HEI, such as a university faculty of education, with local schools in a joint enterprise to train new teachers. All universities involved in ITE are required to work as part of a partnership.
PAT Professional Association of Teachers. A specific teachers' association which is committed to not taking industrial action.
PATA Parent and Toddler Association.
PAYP Positive Activities for Young People.
PCT Primary Care Trust.
PD Physical Disabilities.
PDC Professional Development Centre.
PE Physical Education. Formerly known as PT (Physical Training) in some schools, it was one of two subjects (the other being RE - Religious Education, also known as RS -Religious Studies) which schools had an obligation to teach prior to the ERA (Education Reform Act). Both subjects were outside the Core and Foundation parts of the curriculum.
PEACH Parents for the Early Intervention of Autism in Children. Professional development (schools often have 'PD days').
PD Pedagogy The art, science and practice of teaching. Alexander (2004) defines it as 'the act of teaching together with its attendant discourse' (p.11); that discourse consists of the ideas, values and the collective histories surrounding the act of teaching.
PEEP Peers Early Education Projects.
PELT Personal Education Learning & Thinking. Sometimes just PLT
PEO Principal Education Officer.
PEP Personal Education Plan. PEPs are schemes developed for young individuals in public care, designed to support their education.
Performance assessment Systematic and direct observation of a pupil performance or examples of pupil performances and ranking according to pre-established performance criteria. Pupils are assessed on the result as well as the process engaged in a complex task or creation of a product.
Performance criteria A description of the characteristics to be assessed for a given task. Performance criteria may be general, specific or holistic.
Performance management This refers to the process for assessing the overall performance of a school principal or assistant teacher with reference to that person's job description (within the context of the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document - the STPCD). This assessment is then used for making plans for the individual's future development in the context of that particular school's improvement plan (SIP).
Performance Tables The government publishes secondary and 16-18 performance tables each year. The tables report achievements in public examinations and vocational qualifications in secondary schools (and colleges of Further Education) so that schools can be compared with each other. Primary school performance tables are published by local education authorities and report pupils' achievements at the end of Key Stage 2.
Performance task An assessment exercise that is goal directed. The exercise is developed to elicit pupils' application of a wide range of skills and knowledge to solve a complex problem.
Personalised learning An approach to teaching which focuses on learners' individual needs regardless of age.
PEX Permanently excluded (hence 'pexed' - a pupil who have been excluded).
PH Physically Handicapped.
PI Performance Indicators.
PIAP Post-Inspection Action Plan.
PICSI Pre-lnspection Context and School Indicator.
PISA Programme for International Student Assessment.
PIT Pool of Inactive Teachers.
PFI Private finance initiative.
PfL Partnerships for Learning - this is a private company which offers professional development courses for schools.
PGCE Postgraduate Certificate in Education. This is the principal route by which graduates gain recommendation for QTS.
Piaget/ian Jean Piaget was born in Switzerland in 1896, his best known works were published in the 1920s and include The Language and Thought of the Child (1926). The Psychology of Intelligence was first published in English in 1950. He came to the notice of many teachers in the UK when his theory of children's development was incorporated into the Plowden Report of 1967. This theory is summed up by four stages: The sensorimotor; pre-operational thought; concrete operations and formal operations. For Piaget, as with Vygotsky, play was seen as a vital part of children's intellectual development; though interacting with the worlds in an imaginative way, children are said to construct their understanding. See constructivism.
PIN (1) Pupil Inclusion Network
(2) Parents' Information Network.
PIRGE Performance Information Reference Group in Education.
PISA The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment.
PIT Pool of Inactive Teachers.
PIU Performance and Innovation Unit.
PIVATS Performance Indicators for Value Added Target Setting.
PLASC Pupil Level Annual School Census. See ASC.
Plenary The time, usually at the end of a lesson, when the whole class is gathered together giving an opportunity for the teacher to find out what pupils have learned.
PL Principal Lecturer - Third level of seniority amongst lecturers in the 'new universities'. It is more or less equivalent to the position of senior lecturer in 'old universities'.
PLT Personal Learning & Thinking.
PLTS Personal Learning and Thinking Skills.
Plowden report This is the unofficial name for the 1967 report of the Central Advisory Council For Education into Primary education in England. The report, entitled Children and their Primary Schools reviewed Primary education in England; its main recommendation was the centrality of the child (rather than individual subjects) in education. The Council was chaired by Lady Bridget Plowden after whom the report is named.
PM Performance Management.
PMLD Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties.
PNS Primary National Strategy.
PPA Pre-school Playgroups Association.
PPA Planning, preparation and assessment - time made available under new pay and conditions for teachers. See STRB and RIG.
PPD Practitioner Professional Development.
PPI Public Performance Indicator.
PPP Public Private Partnership.
Portfolio assessment An assessment process that is based on the collection of pupil work (such as written assignments, drafts, artwork, and presentations) that represents competencies, exemplary work, or pupils' general progress.
PoS Programmes of Study.
PPS Parent Partnership Scheme.
PRC Pupil Referral Centre.
Pre-school Usually refers to children aged between 3 and 5, attending one of the following: playgroups (see below), governmental day nurseries (usually for children from disadvantaged backgrounds), private day nurseries, nursery schools run by the local authority, and nursery classes in primary schools. See also Nursery.
Pre-school playgroups These generally take children between the ages of three and five and most offer half-day sessions. Usually non-profit making and managed by volunteers and parents. There must be at least one adult for every eight children and at least half of the adults must be qualified leaders or assistants.
PRG Pupil Retention Grants.
Prior knowledge The total of an individual's knowledge at any given time.
Private nursery schools These take children between the ages of two and five and offer half or full-day sessions and some stay open in the school holidays. There must be at least one adult for every 13 children and at least half of the staff must be qualified teachers.
Probationary Year This refers to the period of induction required for QTS. Successful completion of induction is a statutory requirement for all those teachers who qualified after 7 May 1999 to teach in maintained schools; it is normally expected that teachers will complete induction within five years of the start of their first term.
Procedural knowledge Procedural knowledge refers to knowing how rather than knowing what (see Declarative Knowledge); the knowledge and skill involved in proceeding, doing, performing, or operating.
PROLOG PROLOG is an acronym from 'Promotional Logistics' and is an 'outsourced fulfilment provider' for the DCSF.
Prospectus A brochure containing information about the school, giving facts and figures , which the governing body must publish each year for parents and prospective parents. Copies must be available at the school for reference or free of charge to parents on request.
PRP Performance Related Pay.
Problem solving A method of learning through which pupils reflect upon and evaluate their thinking while solving problems. The process usually includes discussion, working out strategies to solve similar problems and highlighting additional problems associated with their investigation.
Profile Student record of achievement (includes a folder to store all certificates) (Previously NRA - National Record of Achievement).
PRU Pupil Referral Unit.
PSB Potential Schools Budget.
PS Partially sighted.
PSA (1) Parent School Association
(2) Public Service Agreement
PSP Pastoral Support Programme.
PSE Personal and Social Education.
PSHE Personal, Social and Health Education.
PT (1) Principal Teacher (Scotland).
(2) Part-time.
PTA Parent Teacher Association.
PTLLS Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector'
PTO Parent Teacher Organisation.
PTR Pupil Teacher Ratio.
Public school In the UK, a 'public' school is in fact private and is not to be confused with State school. Public schools are often referred to as Independent schools. Public schools do not have a statutory obligation to deliver a national curriculum. It is not necessary to have gained QTS in order to teach in a public school.
QAA Quality Assurance Agency - a quango set up in 1997 to check on quality and standards of teaching in universities and colleges of higher education; it reports to \the DIUS
QAM Quality assurance mechanism. A system of staff appraisal.
QCA Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (Merger between SCAA and NCC).
QCDA Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency - the latest incarnation of QCA.
QDC Qualifications Data Collection Steering Group.
QR Quality Rating.
QRF Quality Reward Funding (Wales).
QT Qualified Teacher.
QTLS Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills.
QTS Qualified Teacher Status. The professional status needed to obtain to teach in state maintained schools in England and Wales. QTS is normally awarded after successful completion of an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course and a period of induction; reference must be made to the CEDP. See Standards.
QUANGO Quasi Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation, e.g. the TDA and OFSTED.
QUIET Quality in Education and Training Associates.
Quorum/Quorate The minimum number of people required to be present at a meeting of a governing body or Committee before decisions can be taken.
RAE Research Assessment Exercise. A UK government-sponsored attempt to identify how well individual HE institutions perform with regard to research output by subject area. See REF.
Rainbow grouping A form of grouping which is based on including the whole range of abilities and which is essentially mixed.
RBL Resource-based learning (Scotland).
RBs Recommending Bodies. An institution, such as a school involved on the GTP which can recommend the award of QTS.
RE Religious Education.
REACH Record of Achievement (more commonly RoA).
Reader In a university, a research-based position above that of senior lecturer.
RECOUP Research Consortium on Educational Outcomes and Poverty - a research partnership of seven institutions in the UK, Africa and South Asia, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and led by the University of Cambridge.
REE Register of Educational Establishments.
REF Research Excellence Framework - this replaces RAE in assessing universities' research output.
R&D research and development.
RD&D Research, development and dissemination.
Reception Classes In state primary schools children are received at ages four and five, some schools starting children off with half-day sessions. There must be at least one adult for every 13 children.
REEF Race Employment and Education Forum.
Remodelling Remodelling was set out in a national agreement signed by the Secretary of State that aims to reform the school workforce. It was meant to be concerned with giving teachers more time, extra support and renewed leadership in order to reduce teacher workload, raise standards, increase job satisfaction and also to improve the status of the profession.
Reliability An indicator of score consistency over time, or across multiple evaluators. Reliable assessment is one in which the same answers receive the same score regardless of who performs the scoring or how or where the scoring takes place. The same person is likely to get approximately the same score across multiple test administrations.
Rl or RGI or Rgl Usually pronounced 'Reggie' - Registered Inspector. The Rgl is the leader of a school inspection team and is responsible in law for making sure that inspectors are 'fit, proper, competent and effective' in their work.
RIG Rewards and Incentives Group - a part of STRB.
Rising 5s Children admitted to school in the term before they reach statutory school age.
RISS Register of Independent Schools.
ROA Record of Achievement; see Profile.
RSSI Raising School Standards Initiative (N. Ireland).
RSA (1) Royal Society of Arts (see OCR).
(2) Regional Subject Advisor.
RTP Registered Teacher Programme. (See also RTS and GTP; 'GRTP' usually refers to Graduate and Registered Teacher Programme).
RTS Registered Teacher Scheme: Employment based training leading to qualified teacher status.
Rubrics Specific criteria or guidelines used to evaluate pupils' work.
S1,S2, etc Secondary 1, Secondary 2, etc (Scotland).
SACRE Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education.
SAI Schools Access Initiative.
SAL Student Achievement Leader.
SAO School Attendance Order.
SAR Students as researchers. See for example the book by Michael Fielding and Sara Bragg of the same name (reference below).
SAS (1) Student Associates Scheme
(2) Special Agreement School
SATs Standard Assessment Tasks. Often erroneously referred to as standard assessment tests (which are copyrighted in America). They are more accurately known as NCTs -National Curriculum Tests.
SBPO School Based Police Officer.
SCAA School Curriculum and Assessment Authority. This ceased to exist in 1997 and was replaced by QCA.
Scaffolding This is a Brunerian concept which pertains to the structure or scaffold which adults give to children within which they can form new concepts. It is an instructional technique in which the teacher breaks a complex task into smaller tasks, models the desired learning strategy or task, provides support as pupils learn to do the task, and then gradually shifts responsibility to the pupils. In this manner, a teacher enables pupils to accomplish as much of a task as possible without adult assistance.
Scale The range of scores possible for the pupil to achieve on a test or an assessment. Performance assessments typically use a 4-6 point scale.
SCD Severe Communication Difficulties.
SCE Service Children's Education.
ScotXed Scottish Exchange of Educational Data.
SCRE Scottish Council for Research in Education.
SCIS Scottish Council of Independent Schools.
Scientific knowledge Knowledge that provides people with the conceptual and technological tools to explain and describe how the world works.
SCITT School Centred Initial Teacher Training. A school-based teacher training course leading to Qualified Teacher Status.
SCOTVEC Scottish Vocational Educational Qualification equivalent to BTEC and Advanced GNVQ.
SCRE Scottish Council for Research in Education.
SDL Self-directed learning - refers to learners making decisions about what training and development experiences will occur, and how. Learners select and carry out their own learning goals, objectives, methods and approaches to assessment.
SDP School development plan.
SEAL Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning.
SEBD Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
SEBDA Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties Association.
Secondary Modern School Pupils who were unsuccessful in the 11+ examination usually went to a secondary modern school where the emphasis tended to be on vocational and practical subjects. These schools became redundant in 1976 with the widespread introduction of comprehensive (non-selective) education. See also Grammar Schools.
SEED Scottish Executive Education Department.
SEF Self Evaluation Form - used in preparation for inspections. It is compiled in the first instance by the institute about to be inspected.
SEG Southern Examining Group (see AQA).
Self-governing schools The Scottish equivalent to grant-maintained schools in England.
SEN Special Educational Needs. This refers any child that has been identified as having some form of educational need either as a result of a learning difficulty or if they are deemed as particularly talented or gifted. Children designated as having special needs receive additional support either from within the school or from outside agencies.
SENCO Special Education Needs Co-ordinator.
SEND (1) Special Educational Needs Database.
(2) Special Educational Needs & Disability.
SENDIST Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. This is a Tribunal which hears complaints about decisions made by Local Education Authorities on provision for individual children's special needs. See also SENT.
SENDA Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001.
SENIMS Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools.
SENJIT Special Educational Needs Joint Initiative for Training.
SENSS Special Educational Needs Support Service.
SENT Special Educational Needs Tribunal.
SEO Society of Education Officers.
SEP Single Education Plan.
SERF Special Education Resource Facility.
Serious weaknesses This is an outcome of the school inspection process. The Registered Inspector will have concluded that the school, although providing an acceptable standard of education, nevertheless has serious weaknesses in one or more areas of its work.
SeSDL Scottish electronic Staff Development Library.
Setting Putting pupils into different groups for a particular subject according to their apparent ability in that subject. See ability grouping.
Short inspection This is a style of inspection which was introduced in January 2000. It tends to focus on quality assurance, with smaller teams of inspectors spending 2-3 days in the institution; they do not report in detail on each subject.
SEU Standards and Effectiveness Unit (DSCF) - to be distinguished from the Cabinet Office SEU - Social Exclusion Unit.
SFEFC Scottish Further Education Funding Council.
SFEU Scottish Further Education Unit.
SG Standard Grade (Scotland).
SHA (1) Secondary Heads Association.
(2) Strategic Health Authority.
SHEU Schools Health Education Unit.
SHEFC Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.
SI School Improvement.
SILO Schools Industry Liaison Officer.
SIMS School Information Management System.
SIP School Improvement Plan. A plan to improve a school's effectiveness, usually drawn up in the light of an OFSTED inspection.
SIPS School Inclusion: Pupil Support.
SIPs School Improvement Professionals/Partners.
SL Senior Lecturer - Second level of seniority among lecturers in the 'new' universities. In 'old' universities it is broadly equivalent to Principal Lecturer and below that of Reader.
SLC Student Loans Company.
SLCD Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties.
SLCN Speech, Language and Communication Needs.
SLD Severe Learning Difficulties.
SLDD Students with Learning Difficulty and/or Disability.
SLDM Subject Leader Development Material.
SLI Speech and language impairment.
SLS School Library Service.
SLT Speech and Language Therapy.
SMART Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Timed.
SMT Senior Management Team.
SN (1) Special Needs.
(2) Standard Number.
SNA Special Needs Assistant.
SNIP Special Needs Improvement Plan.
SNS (1) Standard National Scale (for teachers).
(2) Secondary National Strategy.
SOC School Organisation Committee.
SOP School Organisation Plan.
SoW Scheme of work.
SPAG Spelling and Grammar.
SpLD Specific Learning Difficulty.
SPTC Scottish Parent Teacher Council.
Special Needs A term associated with the Warnock report of 1978 which advocated that children with 'special educational needs' be educated within mainstream schools.
Special Schools State schools in England and Wales which are provided by local education authorities for certain children with special educational needs.
Specialist Schools This type of school includes technology, languages, sports and art colleges operating in England.
Special Measures This is an outcome of the school inspection process. The Registered Inspector will have concluded that the school is failing or likely to fail to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and thus requires special measures.
SPM Strategic planning meeting.
SQA Scottish Qualifications Agency.
SRB Single Regeneration Budget.
SRCF Schools Renewal Challenge Fund.
SRD Staff Review and Development.
SRE Sex and Relationship Education.
SRS Safer Routes to School. This is a government initiative intended to make children's journey to school safer by encouraging them to walk or cycle to school; the intention is to avoid 'school car runs'. Schools and local education authorities are expected to work with local community and transport planners to facilitate safer routes to school.
SSA (1) Student Support Assistant.
(2) Standard Spending Assessment.
SSBA Scottish School Board Association.
SSCI Social Science Citation Index.
SSD Social Services Department.
SSF School Standards Fund.
SSFA School Standards and Framework Act.
SSI Social Services Inspectorate.
SSI Specialist Schools Initiative.
SSP (1) Starting salary point.
(2) Safer School Partnership.
SSR Staff-Student Ratio.
SSSS Secondary Subject Shortage Scheme.
SSTA Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association.
SST Specialist Schools Trust (formerly known as the Technology Colleges Trust).
Standard Number The number of pupils in each year group below which the governing body cannot legally refuse admission.
Standardised tests Assessments that are administered and scored in exactly the same way for all pupils. Traditional standardised tests are typically mass-produced and machine-scored; they are designed to measure skills and knowledge that are thought to be taught to all pupils in a fairly standardised way.
STA Specialist Teacher Assistant.
STAR Specialist Teacher Assistants Record.
Standards In education, Standards usually refers to the TDA list of Standards which beginning teachers are expected to attain in their training in order to achieve QTS.
State Nursery Schools These take children from the age of three or four and are open during school term time and normally offer five half-day sessions a week. There must be at least one adult for every thirteen children. Staff are qualified teachers and assistants.
State Schools Otherwise known as publicly funded schools; parents do not pay any fees. They are attended by most (over 90 per cent) of pupils. Scottish state schools are maintained and controlled by the local education authority.
Statements A Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) is a statutory document that describes a child's special educational needs and how they are to be met. The process of making the assessment is known as statementing. Statements describe any learning difficulties which pupils have, and specify the extra help or equipment they need. Usually around three per cent of school pupils nationally have statements. Some pupils with special educational needs are academically able. Pupils without statements are other pupils registered as having special educational needs but whose schools meet the pupils' needs without statements.
Statutory School Age The period from the beginning of the term following a child's fifth birthday until the leaving date following his/her 16th birthday.
STEP Scottish Traveller Education Programme.
STPCD School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document.
STRB School Teachers' Review Body.
Streaming A type of school organisation where children are placed according to their perceived ability into groups in which they stay for most of their work. See ability grouping.
STO Statutory Transfer Order.
Sure Start A cross-departmental strategy which aims to improve services for children under four and their families in disadvantaged areas.
SVQ Scottish Vocational Qualification.
SWDB School Workforce Development Board.
SWF School workforce census.
Syllabus A summary of the main topics within a designated course of study. While a curriculum would normally describe all that a school, for example, offers students in terms of subjects, each subject would have a syllabus highlighting the particular aspect of that subject which are to be taught.
SYS Sixth Year Studies (Scotland).
TA Teaching Assistant. See also HLTA.
TDAS Training and Development Agency for Schools.
Teacher Assessment A formal assessment made by a teacher when a child is aged 7, 11 and 14. It is meant to be used alongside the national tests to judge a child's educational progress.
Teaching for understanding A teaching method that focuses on the process of understanding as the goal of learning, rather than simply on the development of specific skills. It focuses on forming connections and seeing relationships among facts, procedures, concepts, and principles, and between prior and new knowledge.
Teaching style The approach adopted (consciously or unconsciously) by a teacher when teaching. There are usually said to be four different teaching styles: The expert or formal authority style - this is characterised by being teacher-centered and information is presented to and received by learners. The demonstrator style is a teacher-centered approach that emphasises modelling and demonstration. This approach encourages learners to observe processes as well as content. The facilitator is a learner-centered model for the classroom. Teachers design activities or create situations that allow pupils to engage in heuristic learning. The delegator places much of the onus of learning on the pupils. Teachers adopting this approach often give tasks that require some degree of pupil initiative to complete successfully.
Team inspector A member of a school inspection team, usually with a subject expertise.
TC Technology College.
TDA Training and Development Agency - formerly the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) until September 2005.
TEC Training and Enterprise Council.
TEFL Teaching of English as a Foreign Language.
TEN The Education Network.
TEP Technology Enhancement Project.
TES (1)Times Educational Supplement.
(2)Traveller Education Service.
TESOL Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
TESSS The Extended Schools Support Service.
Testing Testing refers to one procedure through which some kinds of evidence are obtained; it secures a sample of a pupils' or group's behaviour or product through a mechanism - a 'test'. See Assessment.
TCT Technology College Trust.
THES Times Higher Education Supplement.
Three Rs A term which has come to refer to the 'basics' in education. It is widely believed that Sir William Curtis, an alderman who became Lord Mayor of London, once presented a toast to the three R's as 'reading, riting, and rithmetic'. However, when the term 'the three Rs' was first used, in Parliament in 1840, Hansard recorded that it stood for reading, (w)roughting (i.e. making) and (a)rithmetic.
TLR Teaching and learning responsibility (payments).
TLRP (1) Teaching and Learning Responsibility Payment.
(2) Teaching and Learning Research Programme.
TPS (1) Teachers' Pension Scheme.
(2) Teachers' Pay Spine.
TQM Total Quality Management.
TQA Teaching Quality Assessment.
Transferable skills These might include such things as the ability to work as part of a team or solve problems. 'Transferable' might well be a quality of the learner, rather than the skill.
TRN Teacher's reference number, formerly known as the DfES number.
TS Training School. A school designated by the TDA to train teachers.
TSC Training Standards Council.
TSI Technology Schools Initiative.
TT (1) Timetable.
(2) Trident Trust (Organisation and insurance for Work Experience Placements).
TTA Teacher Training Agency, formerly responsible for raising standards in schools in England by attracting 'able and committed people' to teaching and by improving the quality of teacher training. Now renamed TDA.
TTRB Teacher training resource bank. See www.ttrb.ac.uk
TUPE Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment.
TVEI Technical and Vocational Education Initiative.
U3A University of the Third Age: self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for older people no longer in full time work.
UA Unitary Authority.
UCAC Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru (National Association of the Teachers of Wales).
UCAS Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. This is the central agency for processing applications for undergraduate courses, including degree level initial teacher training courses (BEd, BA/BSc with qualified teacher status).
UCET University Council for the Education of Teachers.
UCLES University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate.
UFA University of the First Age.
UFC Universities Funding Council.
Ufl University for Industry.
UKCOSA UK Council for Overseas Student Affairs.
UNCRC United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Underachieving school This is an outcome of the inspection process. The Registered Inspector will have concluded that the school's performance is below that of schools in similar circumstances.
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
UPN Unique Pupil Number.
UPS Upper pay scale.
VA Voluntary Aided (School), e.g. Church School.
VAK Visual, auditory, kinaesthetic - see learning styles.
VARK Visual, Aural, Read/Write, Kinesthetic. A commercially orientated copyrighted set of materials relating to learning styles.
Validity An indication that an assessment instrument consistently measures what it is designed to measure, excluding extraneous features from such measurement.
VC (1) Vice Chancellor (of a University).
(2) Voluntary Controlled (School).
(3) Village College.
VCE Vocational Certificate of Education.
VCT Voluntary Competitive Tendering.
VFM Value for Money (an OfSTED criterion when inspecting schools). See also BVFM.
VI Visually Impaired
VDU Visual Display Unit.
Vertical grouping Classes formed in primary schools from children of different age-groups.
VET Vocational and Educational Training.
VLE Virtual Learning Environment - usually refers to online, web-based instructional materials.
VocEd Vocational Education.
Voluntary aided schools Schools in England and Wales which are maintained by the Local Education Authority, with a foundation (generally religious) which appoints most of the governing body. The governing body is the admissions authority.
Voluntary controlled schools Schools in England and Wales which are maintained by the Local Education Authority, with a foundation (generally religious) which appoints some, but not most, of the governing body. The LEA is the admissions authority.
Voluntary grammar schools Grant-maintained, integrated schools in Northern Ireland which take both Protestant and Roman Catholic pupils.
Voluntary Maintained Schools Schools in Northern Ireland which are mainly managed by the Catholic Church.
VRQ Verbal Reasoning Quotient.
Vsc Virtual Staff College.
VTC Virtual Teacher Centre. A service for school professionals providing news, support for professional development and the facility to search resources across the National Grid for Learning (NGfL).
Vygotsky[an] Lev Vygotsky was born in Russia in 1896 and produced seminal works such as Thought and Language (1932).
WALT What Are We Learning Today (refers to learning objectives) - see WILF.
WAMG Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group. It works in partnership with the NRT, representing signatories of the 'National Agreement'.
Warnock Report Refers to the 1978 publication on Special Educational Needs - report by the Committee of Enquiry into the Education of Handicapped Children and Young People, London: HMSO.
WBL Wider Benefits of Learning.
WILF What I am Looking For (refers to learning outcomes).
WJEC Welsh Joint Education Committee.
WLB Welsh Language Board.
WLGA Welsh Local Government Association.
WEA Workers' educational Association.
WRA Work Related Activities.
WRC Work Related Curriculum.
YAS Youth Award Scheme.
YE Young Enterprise.
Yellis Year 11 Information System. It is used widely in the UK and elsewhere, forming a baseline for 'value added' measures in secondary schools.
Year Groups Under the National Curriculum, year groups are numbered from Year 1 (5/6 year olds) to year 13 (17/18 year olds). Year R represents reception classes.
YOT Youth Offending Team.
YSS Youth Support Service.
YT Youth training.
YTS Youth Training Scheme.
Zone of proximal development A level or range in which a pupil can perform a task with help. It refers to the difference between the level of solved tasks that can be performed with guidance from a teacher (or other adult) and the level of independently solved tasks; it is the place where the learner and the teacher meet. Vygotsky emphasised the importance of play. When playing, children use their imagination and often take on imaginary roles where they are acting out behaviour which is beyond their age. They do this in a way which is more focused than when given a task to do by an adult. One lesson for teachers here is that learning is best facilitated through creating a situation where people can learn at their own pace, doing things which are relevant to them.
Glossary of Terms used in Educational Research Adapted from Research in Art & Design Education by the same author, published by Intellect, Bristol.
Action research A type of research in which educators examine and reflect upon their own practice and evaluate strategies to improve practice. It is a multi-stage type of research, in which a problem is researched, changes are made, the problem is researched again, more changes are made, and so on through a number of cycles, until the problem is solved. Most action research studies use descriptive research designs.
A/r/tography This term refers to an approach in which art forms are used as part of the research process. Rita Irwin writes, 'A/r/tographers are living their practices, representing their understandings, and questioning their positions as they integrate knowing, doing and making' from Irwin, R.L. and A. de Cosson (2004).
Art-based research This refers to research that privileges the visual over the written word. See also a/r/tography, above. /A/ts-based research refers to research that privileges all art forms (dance, drama, music, poetry) over the written word.
Attrition Attrition refers to the reduction in the number of participants during the course of a research project.
Audit trail Within a naturalistic study, an audit trail is the systematic documentation of material gathered that allows others to follow and audit the researcher's thinking and conclusions about the data.
Autoethnography An autobiographical account that is placed within a broader cultural context.
Autophenomenography A qualitative empirical research method, related to autoethnography, but focusing on the use of narrative description, focusing upon the self as a phenomenon.
Average In descriptive statistics, 'averages' are divided into 'mean', 'median' and 'mode', terms used to describe a measure of central tendency. 'Mean' refers to all scores in a set of scores when they are added together and divided by the number of subjects; 'median' is the score that is exactly in the middle of a distribution (i.e. the value above which and below which 50% of the scores lie), while 'mode' refers to the score that occurs most frequently in a distribution of scores.
Axiology/axiological An axiological concern is a concern with human values; axiology deals with the nature of value and considers the question - what is intrinsically worthwhile?
Bias Bias is any influence that distorts the results of a research project, but particularly from the researcher.
Bracketing Bracketing refers to a process used by some phenomenological researchers to identify their preconceived beliefs and opinions about the phenomena under investigation, in order to clarify how the researcher's belief system might influence what is seen, heard and reported.
Bricolage/bricoleur Bricolage is a term used to refer to the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things which happen to be available, or to a work created by such a process. A person who engages in bricolage is a bricoleur: someone who invents their own strategies for using existing materials or ideas in a resourceful, and original way to learn and solve problems through experimentation. It can therefore be used to refer to research which is so conducted.
Case Study A type of qualitative research which studies one or a few cases (a single person, entity or phenomenon) in great detail; it is a data collection method in which a case (for example an art teacher or a particular child) is studied in depth over a sustained period of time and through a variety of means.
Categorical variable A variable with a particular value such as gender or ethnicity.
Coding A procedure for transforming raw data into a form suitable for data analysis. It involves the labelling of a piece of text or a statement, to make sense of it by summarizing it. Depending on the research question, one piece of text can be coded in various different ways.
Constant comparative method A procedure used in grounded theory research which refers to data being continually compared with previously collected data in order to refine the development of theoretical categories.
Content analysis A procedure for organising narrative, qualitative data into emerging themes and concepts.
Core category The central category that is used to integrate all the categories identified in grounded theory research.
Correlation This refers to the degree of association between two variables. A correlation coefficient is a measure of the degree of relationship between two variables: it lies between +1.0 (indicating a perfect positive relationship), through 0 (indicating no relationship between two variables) to -1.0 (a perfect negative relationship).
Critical realism Critical Realism is a philosophical attempt within social science to argue for the material presence of the social and natural world outside of our knowledge of it. It is concerned with questions of ontology, and the deeper structures and relations that are not directly observable but lie behind the surface of social reality. It is seen as a pragmatic development arising from a reaction to positivism.
Data saturation This refers to the point at which data collection can stop. This is arrived at when the information that is being shared with the researcher becomes repetitive and contains no new ideas, so the researcher can be reasonably confident that the inclusion of additional participants is unlikely to generate any new ideas. In a similar way, literature searches can reach a point of closure when references do not throw up any new significant texts.
Descriptive research A type of research that has the goal of describing what, how or why something is happening.
Descriptive statistics Statistical methods used to describe data that is collected from a specific sample (e.g. mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation).
Determinism The belief that everything is caused by specified factors in a predictable way rather than by chance; it is said to be a key assumption within the positivist paradigm.
Emic An emic perspective (or emic view) is a term used by ethnographers to refer to the insiders' views of their world (see also etic perspective).
Empirical research Empirical research seeks systematic information about something that can be observed in the real world. Empirical information is information based on something that can be observed. Students' achievements, observations of art teachers' use of their own work, and artists' interview responses are examples of empirical information in art education research.
Epistemology The study of the theory of knowledge.
Ethnography A research methodology associated with anthropology and sociology that systematically describes the culture of a group of people. A principal aim of ethnographic research is to understand a culture from the 'inside' - from an emic perspective.
Ethnology Ethnology is a data-collection method in which information is collected about a group of individuals in their natural setting, primarily through observations. It is a branch of anthropology that compares and analyses the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the various distinctive groupings within humans. Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct contact with the culture, ethnology takes the research that ethnographers have compiled and then compares and contrasts different cultures. Not to be confused with ethology, which is the zoological study of animal behaviour.
Ethnomethodology This research approach focuses on how people understand their everyday activities. It is a systematic study of the ways in which people use social interaction to make sense of their situation and construct their 'reality'.
Etic An Etic perspective (or etic view) is a term used by ethnographers to refer to the outsider's view of the experiences of a specific cultural group (see emic perspective).
Field notes Notes taken by researchers in the field which record unstructured observations.
Focus group An interview conducted with a small group of people to explore their ideas on a specific topic.
Grounded theory A research approach used to develop conceptual categories and/or theory about social processes from real-world observations, usually from a selected cultural group. The researcher may subsequently make further observations to test out the developed categories/theory. It is seen as an approach to qualitative research where the researchers try to approach a problem with no preconceptions, and to build their theories solely from the data gathered.
Hermeneutics This used to refer to a method of Biblical criticism: interpreting the whole of a text in the context of its parts, and vice versa. Its meaning is now extended to refer to qualitative research which is concerned with analysing transcripts of interviews and group discussions. It is research concerned principally with interpretation and could be seen as the art of interpreting texts.
Historical research There are said to be four types of historical evidence: primary sources, secondary sources, running records, and recollections. Historians rely mostly on primary sources (often kept in museums, archives, libraries, or private collections). Emphasis is given to the written word on paper, an example might be an artist's correspondence to another artist. Secondary sources are the work of other historians writing history. Running records are documentaries maintained by private or non-profit organisations. Recollections can be autobiographies, memoirs, or oral histories.
Historiography This refers to the method of doing historical research or gathering and analyzing historical evidence. Historiographers are careful to check and double-check their sources of information, and this is seen as giving validity and reliability to their conclusions.
Hybrid research - see mixed method Hypothesis A statement that predicts the relationship between variables, in particular, the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. A null hypothesis is statement that there is no relationship between the independent and dependent variables and that any relationship observed is due to chance or fluctuations in sampling.
Inductive reasoning Inductive reasoning moves from the specific to the more generalised and refers to the logical process of reasoning used to develop more general rules from specific observations.
Informed consent The process of obtaining voluntary participation of individuals in research based on a full understanding of the possible risks and benefits.
Interpretive (methodology) A qualitative approach characterised by an assumption that 'reality' is socially constructed. See also Hermeneutics.
Interview A method of data collection. It usually involves an interviewer asking questions of another person (a respondent) either face-to-face or over the telephone. In a structured interview, the interviewer asks the respondents the same questions using an interview schedule - a formal instrument that specifies the precise wording and ordering of all the questions to be asked of each respondent. Unstructured interviews are where the researcher asks open-ended questions which give the respondent considerable freedom to talk freely on the topic and to influence the direction of the interview. In unstructured interviews, there is no predetermined plan about the specific information to be gathered from those being interviewed.
Longitudinal research A data-collection strategy in which data are collected from the same participants at different points in time. The purpose is to draw conclusions about individual change over time.
Method Specific procedures used to gather and analyse research data.
Methodology Different approaches to systematic inquiry developed within a particular paradigm with associated epistemological assumptions.
Method slurring This term is used to describe the tendency of some researchers to combine research approaches without adequately acknowledging the epistemological origins and assumptions that underpin the methodologies they are blending.
Mixed Method Research In mixed method (or hybrid) research, a qualitative phase and a quantitative phase are included in the overall research study. Proponents of mixed research typically adhere to the idea that quantitative and qualitative methods are compatible, that is, they can both be used in a single research study. Pragmatism indicates that researchers should use the approach or mixture of approaches that works the best in a real world situation. In short, what works is what is useful and should be used, regardless of any prior assumptions. It should not be confused with 'method slurring' (see above)
Naturalistic (paradigm) This paradigm assumes that there are multiple interpretations of reality and that the goal of researchers working within this perspective is to understand how individuals construct their own reality within their social context.
Negative correlation A relationship between two variables where higher values on one variable tend to be associated with lower values on the second variable.
Neonarrative In a neonarrative approach the researcher is actively managing narrative data, synthesising it and rendering it more 'comprehensible'. A neonarrative is said to become a story more representative than the one it replaces.
Observation A method of data collection in which data are gathered through visual observations. Observation in a research setting can be structured or unstructured; structured observation typically involves the researcher determining beforehand the phenomena that are to be observed, often using a standardised checklist to record the frequency with which those phenomena are observed over a specified time period. Unstructured observation involves uses direct observation to record things as they occur, with no preconceived ideas of what will be seen; there is no predetermined plan about what will be observed.
Ontology/ontological Ontology refers to the form and nature of reality and what can be known about it. An ontological perspective considers the question 'what is real?'.
Paradigm The term paradigm is often used to denote a worldview based on a set of basic values and philosophical assumptions that are shared by a particular academic community and that guide their approach to research. A paradigm can be defined as both a group of beliefs, values and techniques shared by a scientific community and also as the procedures and methods used to solve specific problems.
Participant observation Participant observation is a method commonly used in ethnography and involves the researcher being totally immersed in the phenomena observed. Non-participant observation is less concerned with immersion and more with detachment.
Phenomenology A research approach which has its roots in philosophy and which focuses on the lived experience of individuals. It is a qualitative research method in which the researcher conducts an in-depth and extensive study of participants' experiences of an event or situation from the participants' perspectives.
Phenomenography The word phenomenography has Greek roots, being derived from the words phainonmenon (appearance) and graphein (description) - this can be compared with phenomenology where 'ology' refers to 'the study of. Thus, phenomenography is a description of appearances whereas phenomenology is primarily concerned with analysis. Phenomenography is an empirical research method designed to answer questions about thinking and learning, and so is particularly relevant in educational research; it is primarily concerned with describing the relationships that people have with the world around them.
Population A well-defined group or set that has certain specified properties (e.g. all art teachers working full-time in Cambridge state secondary schools).
Portraiture In educational research, portraiture is a form of qualitative research which is related to ethnography but, characteristically, draws upon the subjective interpretations of the narrator (the portraitist) to describe and analyse the object of enquiry (the sitter).
Positive correlation A relationship between two variables where higher values on one variable tend to be associated with higher values on the second variable (e.g. art teachers' qualifications and their students' examination performance).
Positivism This paradigm assumes that human behaviour is determined by external stimuli and that it is possible to use the principles and methods traditionally employed by the natural scientist to observe and measure social phenomena.
Qualitative data Information gathered in narrative (non-numeric) form (e.g. a transcript of an unstructured interview).
Quantitative data Information gathered in numeric form.
Random sampling A process of selecting a sample whereby each member of the population has an equal chance of being included.
Reflexivity Reflexivity refers to researchers' reflections upon their research and their place within it; it requires an awareness of the researcher's contribution to the construction of meanings throughout the research process, and an acknowledgment of the impossibility of remaining outside of one's subject matter while conducting research. Personal reflexivity involves reflecting upon the ways in which our own values have shaped the research and involves thinking about how the research may have affected the researcher. Epistemological reflexivity on the other hand encourages researchers to reflect upon their assumptions about the world (and knowledge of it) that have been made in the course of the research, and about the implications of such assumptions for the study as a whole.
Reliability Reliability is concerned with the consistency and dependability of a measuring instrument, that is, it is an indication of the degree to which it gives the same answers over time, across similar groups and irrespective of who administers it. A reliable measuring instrument will always give the same result on different occasions assuming that what is being measured has not changed during the intervening period. Inter-rater reliability is a measure of the consistency between the ratings or values assigned to an observed phenomenon and is employed by researchers using structured observation techniques; it is usually expressed as a percentage of agreement between two raters.
Research problem A research problem is an issue that lends itself to systematic investigation through research.
Research question A clear statement in the form of a question of the specific issue that a researcher wishes to answer in order to address a research problem.
Response rate The proportion of those invited to participate in a research study who actually do so.
Sampling The process of selecting a sub-group of a population to represent the entire population. Simple random sampling gives each eligible element an equal chance of being selected, while systematic sampling involves the selection of participants randomly drawn from a population at fixed intervals (e.g. every 10th). Cluster sampling involving successive sampling of clusters from larger ones to smaller ones (e.g. Local Education Authority to school to head of department). Convenience sampling uses the most easily accessible people (or objects) to participate in a study while purposive sampling refers to a strategy by which the researcher selects participants who are considered to be typical of the wider population. Quota sampling refers to the researcher identifying the various aspects of a given population and ensuring that they are proportionately represented. Theoretical sampling occurs within a naturalistic research study; it is based on emerging findings as the study progresses to ensure that key issues are adequately represented.
Sampling bias Distortion that occurs when a sample is not representative of the population from which it was drawn.
SAS Statistical Analysis System - a software package.
Significance In quantitative research, 'significance' has a particular and specific meaning related to statistical analysis. It is used to indicate whether the results of an analysis of data drawn from a sample are unlikely to have been cause by chance at a specified level of probability (usually 0.05 or 0.01).
SPSS Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.
Survey research A research approach designed to collect, in a systematic way, descriptions of existing phenomena in order to describe or explain what is going on. Data are often obtained through direct questioning of a sample of respondents.
Theme A recurring issue that emerges during the analysis of qualitative data.
Theoretical framework The conceptual underpinning of a research study which may be based on theory or a specific conceptual model.
Theory In its most general sense a theory describes or explains something. Often it is the answer to 'what', 'when', 'how' or 'why' questions.
Triangulation Sometimes known as 'methodological triangulation', this term is used in a research context to describe the use of a variety of methods to examine specific phenomena either simultaneously or sequentially in order to produce a more accurate and reliable account of the phenomena under investigation; it does not necessarily refer to 'three' approaches.
Trustworthiness With reference to naturalistic research, trustworthiness describes the extent to which the study has been conducted in a way that gives others confidence in the findings. It can be determined by considering both credibility and dependability. Credibility can be compared with internal validity in positivist research; dependability of a study is evaluated if it meets the associated criterion of auditability (see audit trail, above). Auditability is achieved when a researcher provides a sufficiently clear account of the research process to allow others to follow the researcher's thinking and conclusions about the data and thus assess whether the findings are dependable.
Transferability Sometimes known as 'applicability', transferability is said to be equivalent to the concept of external validity as applied to positivist research. A study is said to be transferable if the findings 'fit' contexts beyond the immediate research situation. In order to judge the transferability of a study's findings, one needs sufficient information to be able to evaluate the extent to which a specific research setting is similar to other settings.
Validity In research terms, validity refers to the veracity of the data and findings that are produced. Validity can refer to: the concepts that are being investigated; the phenomena that are being studied; the methods by which data are collected; and the findings that are produced. There are several different types of validity, as follows: External validity, which refers to the degree to which the results of research can be generalised beyond the immediate study sample and setting to other samples and settings; face validity, which refers to the extent to which a measuring tool appears to be measuring what it claims to measure and internal validity, which refers to the extent to which changes in the dependent variable can be attributed to the independent variable rather than to other variables.
Variable An attribute or characteristics of a person or an object that takes on different values (i.e. that varies) within the population under investigation, such as teacher's qualifications or gender. In experimental research, the dependent variable is the variable presumed within the research hypothesis to depend on another variable (known as the independent variable). An extraneous variable is a variable that interferes with the relationship between the independent and dependent variables and which therefore needs to be controlled for in some way.