Common Teaching Acronyms

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what are the common teaching acronyms

There’s nothing worse than sitting in a staff meeting and hearing lots of different acronyms, not having a clue what they mean! Or being a parent and reading your child’s school report – and wondering what the heck things mean! We’re here to demystify common education acronyms so that you can feel empowered and informed next time you go to a staff meeting, attend a parents’ evening or read an article about education – we’re here to help!

  • 1FE/2FE/3FE – one form entry/two form entry/three form entry (so one class per year group = one form entry and so on)
  • ADD/ADHD – attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactive disorder
  • AHT – assistant head teacher
  • AOB – any other business (during staff meetings this will be on the agenda and is a chance to discuss anything not on the agenda)
  • ASC – autistic spectrum condition
  • ASD – autistic spectrum disorder
  • CAF – common assessment framework
  • CP – child protection
  • CPD – continued professional development (courses and training)
  • DBS – disclosure and barring service (what you need to prove you can work with children)
  • DfE – department for education
  • DHT – deputy head teacher (this role is usually higher in the school hierarchy than AHT)
  • DSL.- designated safeguarding lead (the person you talk to if you are worried about a child’s wellbeing and safety)
  • EAL – English as an additional language
  • ESL – English as a second language
  • EP – educational psychologist
  • EY – early years (aged 0-5)
  • EYFS – early years foundation stage (the curriculum followed by children age 0-5)
  • FSM – free school meals (accessible to children whose parents earn below a certain threshold, and other children such as looked after children – children who don’t live with their parents/live in care. FSM status allows the school to get extra funding for those children to enhance their learning opportunities).
  • GB – governing body
  • HLTA – higher level teaching assistant. HLTA can cover classes and often have teaching responsibilities. They are usually higher on the pay scale than other teaching assistants.
  • HMI – her Majesty’s inspectors. (these are usually called in when a school is really struggling and are different to Ofsted).
  • HT – head teacher
  • IEP – individual education plan (usually used for children who have special needs and include individual targets).
  • IWB – interactive whiteboard used in classrooms by teachers
  • KS1/KS2 – key stage 1 (years 1 and 2) /key stage 2 (years 3-6)
  • LA – local authority (i.e. the local council)
  • MAT – multi academy trust
  • NC – National Curriculum – the curriculum that every child in school in the UK has to be taught by law.
  • NOR – number on roll (the number of children in a school)
  • NQT – newly qualified teacher (a person in their first year of teaching)
  • Ofsted – office for standards in education (the people who come and inspect schools and give judgements on how effective they are)
  • PM – performance management (the way teachers are judged to see if they can go up the pay scale each year)
  • PP – pupil premium (this is the money allocated to children on free school meals, looked after children and children in military families (who also get an extra £300 per year on top of PP money)
  • PPA – planning, preparation and assessment (the time teachers get each week off timetable to prepare lessons and resource, and mark work.
  • PSHE – personal, social and health education.
  • PTA – parent teacher association (the parents and staff who help raise money for the school and organise events)
  • RSE – relationships and sex education
  • RQT – recently qualified teacher
  • QTS – qualified teacher status (a person who has successfully completed their teacher training course has QTS before they can take up a teaching post).
  • SDP – school development plan (prepared by the senior leadership team to show what areas the school is focusing on to improve)
  • SIP – school improvement plan – the same as the above
  • SEN – special educational needs
  • SEND – special educational needs and disability
  • SENDCO/SENCO – special educational needs co-ordinator (the teacher in a school who is the go-to person for anything to do with SEN.
  • SLT – senior leadership team (made up of the HT, AHT, DHT and possibly key stage leaders/subject leaders
  • SMT – senior management team (usually just the HT, DHT and sometimes the AHT too)
  • TA – teaching assistant
  • TA – teacher assessment
  • TAF – teacher assessment framework
  • VA – voluntary aided school (some schools are funded slightly differently and are VA)
  • Y1/Y2 etc – year 1, year 2 etc etc

Can you think of any acronyms we haven’t included? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below!

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