- 14 Feb 2022
Terms used in the Noddy No-nonsense Guide to SEN Law
Academy A type of independent school (i.e. not a school maintained by an LA) which has been set up in accordance with the Academies Act 2010 (i.e. through a Funding Agreement between the school and the Secretary of State for Education) and which is therefore state funded. Other independent schools are referred to here as “private schools”.
Annual review The process of yearly review of an EHCP. See CFA2014 s44(1) and Regs2014 r18.
Authorities The collective term for decided case law, which constitutes previously decided cases (in the form of decisions and judgments) by the UT and Courts. These can be relied upon for particular legal propositions to show that a particular decision should be taken in a certain way. Where we mention an authority as being the reference for a particular legal proposition, the text includes a hyperlink to an on-line copy of its text.
Caselaw See above ‘Authorities’.
CFA2014 Children and Families Act 2014 – the principal piece of legislation which governs SEN law in England.
CCG Clinical Commissioning Group. These are the local NHS bodies generally responsible for providing health care provision in their area, including therefore to a CYP.
Child A person who is not over compulsory school age: EA1996 s579(1) (definition still applies by virtue of CFA2014 s83(7)).
COP2015 SEN Code of Practice. More: What is the SEN Code of Practice?
CYP Child or young person up to the age of 25.
Direct payment Payments representing all or part of a personal budget made to a child’s parent or young person (or other prescribed person) to secure provision to which the budget relates. See CFA2014 r49 and The Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014.
EA1996 Education Act 1996 – the legislation which used to govern SEN in England (and was the basis for Statements of SEN). The SEN aspects are now covered by CFA2014, but some other elements of EA1996 (such as in relation to home-school transport) are still in operation.
EBD emotional and behavioural difficulties/disabilities
EHCP(s) Education Health and Care Plan.
FTT First Tier Tribunal. The independent court-like body to which parents (in relation to a child) or a young person (on their own account) can appeal in relation to decisions about the EHCP process and EHCPs. The term “SENDIST” or “SENT” or “tribunal” is also used by some people and in some contexts.
FTT (HESC) Rules First Tier Tribunal (Health, Education and Social Care) Rules 2008; i.e. the rules that specify the processes for FTT appeals.
Guidance19-25 Department for Education’s guidance ‘SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds’ entitlement to EHC plans’, available here.
HCP health care provision, which is “the provision of healthcare health care services as part of the comprehensive health service in England continued under section 1(1) of the National Health Service Act 2006”: CFA2014 s21(3)
Independent living skills this includes finding employment, obtaining accommodation and participation in society (Regs2014 r2(2)), and will include basic living skills such as (for example) dressing, washing, food preparation etc.
Independent school Means (by virtue of EA1996 s463) a school which is not maintained by the LA (this includes Academies and private schools)
LA Local Authority. The relevant LA responsible for education provision for a particular child is set out in CFA2014 s24. In an area with a “county council”, it is likely to be the County Council. Where there is a “unitary authority” (such as a “borough council”) it is likely to be that body. The previous expression “local education authority” (LEA) no longer exists so it should only appear in old documents.
Maintained in general terms is an educational institution which is funded by, and operates under the oversight of, an LA. More legalistically: (a) a community, foundation or voluntary school, or (b) a community or foundation special school not established in a hospital: CFA2014 s83(2)
Mainstream means (by CFA2014 s83(2): (a) a maintained school that is not a special school, or (b) an Academy school that is not a special school.
MLD moderate learning difficulties
National Trial The FTT procedure currently being operated as an experiment by which health and social care needs and provision can be considered by the FTT alongside consideration of educational matters. More: Can I appeal to the FTT about health or social care provision when I appeal the education provision?
Paramountcy principle The principle that the child’s welfare shall be the Court’s paramount consideration, see Children Act 1989 s1(1).
Peer group The other children who a CYP interacts with including in class.
Personal budget The amount an LA has identified as available to secure particular provision which is specified with a view to the child’s parent or the young person being involved in securing the provision. See CFA2014 s49 and The Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014.
Private school A school that charges fees. Often referred to as an “independent school”, however the legal definition of independent school includes Academy schools, which are not fee-paying.
Public sector equality duty (sometimes: PSED) The legal duty placed on all public authorities to consider the need to promote equality in everything they do, as defined in Equality Act 2010 s149.
Regs2014 Special Educational Needs Regulations 2014.
SEN Special Educational Needs. A CYP is said to have SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for SEP to be made for them: CFA2014 s20. More: Are there particular rules about whether a child or young person has special educational needs?
SEP Special Educational Provision. SEP is educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that generally made for others of the same age in mainstream provision: CFA2014 s21. More: Is there a rule specifying what counts as SEP?
SCP Social Care Provision, which is “provision made by a local authority in the exercise of its social services functions”: CFA2014 s21(4); such provision is sometimes called “social care” or “community care”.
Section 41 School CFA2014 s41 allows independent special schools and special post-16 institutions to apply to be approved (and then to be approved) as schools which can be the focus of a parental or young person’s request for a particular placement in circumstances where there is then a qualified presumption in favour of that request. More: Must the LA consult with a candidate placement before naming it in section I? and Can parent’s/young person request a particular placement?
Special school Means (by EA1996 s337) a school which is specially organised to make SEP for pupils with SEN that is maintained by the LA, an Academy [special] school or a non-maintained special school.
Statement [of SEN] The (now historic) document under the EA1996 which was previously the equivalent of what is now an EHCP.
UT Upper Tribunal. The court-like body to which a parent or LOA can appeal to if they believe the FTT has made an error of law. The principles in its decisions are binding on the FTT.
Young person A person who is over compulsory school age but under 25: CFA2014 s83(2)