Skip to content

Please use the tabs or sitemap if using the search function results in a broken link. This is due to a recent site restructure which takes the search a few weeks to update. Our Local Offer also includes a directory which you can visit at

Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms

A professional checking a letter. A mobile phone and a hot drink are either side of the letter.

This page explains the meanings of some of the terms and acronyms used on this website and throughout East Sussex.

If there are any terms used on this website that are not explained on this page, please contact us on:

"#, A, B, C, D, E"


1Space: 1Space is East Sussex County Council's online directory. It’s free to use and brings together groups and organisations that offer care, support and wellbeing services to people in East Sussex. It was set up in 2012 by Adult Social Care & Health and expanded in 2021 to include the East Sussex Local Offer.


Access Arrangements: Access arrangements are special arrangements, or reasonable adjustments, which some disabled students are entitled to in their public exams. The intention is that students can demonstrate their ability in an area without their disability being a barrier.

Additional Needs Plan: This is the written plan that schools will use to set out what support they will offer a child or young person with SEND (also called an Individual Education Plan Setting Based Plan, Additional Support Plan, Specific Support Plan)

Alternative Provision (AP): An AP teaches children and young people who are not able to attend a mainstream school. This could be because they have behavioural difficulties, a short or long-term illness or have been excluded.

Amaze: A local charity that specialises in advising on and supporting SEND.

Annual Review: Under the Children and Families Act 2014 local authorities must carry out a review of every Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) at least once every 12 months.

Areas of Need: Areas of Need is the name for the four broad categories used to describe a pupil’s SEND. They are: 

Assess, Plan, Do, Review: (Also called the Graduated Approach) This is the approach taken to all support of SEND in which a child's needs are assessed first, then a plan is set out, the actions are carried out (do), and then reviewed to see what worked and what requires changing.


Broad Areas of Need: Broad Areas of Need is the name for the four broad categories used to describe a pupil’s SEND. They are: 


Child Development Clinic: This is the East Sussex Health Care NHS Trust clinic where medical assessment for SEND need are carried out.

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS): CAMHS assess and treats children and young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. 

Children and Families Act 2014: The Children and Families Act 2014 became law on 1st September 2014. Part 3 of the Act sets out the new law on SEND. The Act is supported by the SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 Years.

Children and Young People's Additional Needs Register: This register (previously known as the Children's Disability Register) is a list of children and young people in East Sussex who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The information is used to help build a picture about the need for services and can help with planning. All local authorities in England have a duty to keep a children’s disability register. Our register is part of i-go.


Direct Payment: A payment made directly to a parent or young person to purchase specific services. Under the Children and Families Act 2014 a Direct Payment may be made as part of a Personal Budget so that the parent or young person can buy certain services that are specified in their EHC plan. 

Disagreement Resolution: Local authorities must provide independent disagreement resolution to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities, schools and other settings about SEND duties and provision.

Dual Registration: Dual registration occurs when a pupil who is registered at one school is also registered at another provision for some or all of their learning. The purpose is to identify and provide additional support to the child to enable them to engage with and benefit from learning to achieve the best outcomes possible.


Early Help: Early Help is the name of an assessment and offer of support of a family to help identify needs and offer intervention at an early stage. In East Sussex this is done via the 0-19 Early Help Service

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): The EYFS begins when children reach the age of three. Many children attend an early education setting soon after their third birthday. The foundation stage continues until the end of the reception year and is consistent with the National Curriculum. It prepares children for learning in Year 1 when programmes of study for Key Stage 1 are taught.

East Sussex Parent Carer Forum (ESPCF): ESPCF are a forum for parent carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in East Sussex who work with local authorities, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families.

Education East Sussex: Education East Sussex is a division within East Sussex County Council's Children's Services that works together with schools and families to deliver excellence and inclusion in education. Education East Sussex is a combination of previous services known as ISEND (Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and SLES (Schools Standards, Learning and Effectiveness Service).

Education Front Door: The Education Front Door is the referral pathway to accessing SEND services. Referrals are made by educational settings such as nurseries and schools. 

Education Funding Agency (EFA): The EFA is the government agency that funds education for learners between the ages of 3 and 19, and those with learning difficulties and disabilities between the ages of 3 and 25.

The EFA allocates funds to local authorities, which then provide the funding for maintained schools. The EFA directly funds academies and free schools

Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA): The initial assessment carried out by the Local Authority, for deciding whether a child or young person needs an EHC plan. 

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP): An EHCP/EHC plan describes the special educational needs that a child or young person has and the help that they will be given to meet them. It also includes the health and care provision that is needed. It is a legal document written by the local authority and is used for children and young people who have high support needs.

Education Otherwise Than at School (EOTAS): EOTAS is a formal special education provision package made under an EHC Plan for children and young people, for whom education in a school or post-16 institution would be inappropriate and for which the local authority remains legally responsible. 

Under a formal EOTAS arrangement, the child or young person will not be required to be on the roll of, or in attendance at, a “traditional” educational setting. Instead, local authority will provide a package of support, which may be delivered at an alternative venue, in the child’s home, through online learning or by any other appropriate means. 

EOTAS should not be confused with Elective Home Education (EHE), where the child’s parent assumes full responsibility for the educational provision for their child.

Elective Home Education (EHE): Elective home education refers to the choice by parents to provide full-time education for their children at home instead of sending them to school. Whether this is through making a positive choice to home educate, or in response to circumstances, both journeys are referred to as Elective Home Education.

Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA): Emotionally Based School Avoidance is a term used to describe some children and young people who do not attend school due to emotional factors. Other terms are Emotionally Based School Refusal (EBSR) and Anxiety Related Non-Attendance (ARNA).

"F, G, H, I, J"


First Tier Tribunal (SEN and disability): The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) is a legal body. The Tribunal hears appeals from parents of children with SEND and young people with SEND, about EHC needs assessments and EHC plans.

The Tribunal also hears claims of disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.


Graduated Approach (also known as Graduated Response and Assess, Plan, Do, Review): The SEND Code of Practice states that schools should follow a graduated approach when providing SEN Support. This is based on a cycle of:


High Needs Funding and High Needs Top-Up Funding: High needs funding is the funding that LA use to pay for special school places. 

High needs top-up funding is additional funding paid directly by the LA for some high needs pupils.

Homeschooling: See ’Elective Home Education'.


i-go: i-go is a register and free leisure discount card. It is for people 0-25 with additional needs living or studying in East Sussex. 

Independent School: A school that is not maintained (this means the budget and overall management is attached to the Local Authority) by a local authority.  These schools can be mainstream (also called non-maintained, fee-paying or private schools) or specialist independent schools funded through an EHC plan (also called non-maintained specialist schools). 

Individual Education Plan (IEP): A document that schools can use to outline and monitor the support they provide to a child or young person. It is a non-statutory document meaning that schools can choose if and how they use it. They can also have different names such as; SEND Support Plans, Pupil Passports or One Page Profiles.

"K, L, M, N, O"


Key Stage: A key stage is a stage of education. They are separated in age as follows: 


Local Authority/Authorities: Local authorities are administrative offices that provide services within their local areas. There are 152 across England which are education authorities.

Local Offer: The Local Offer, published by every local authority, tells you what support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their families. It includes information about education, health and care provision. It also gives information about training, employment and independent living for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. The East Sussex Local Offer consists of this site, and a directory on 1Space.

Looked After Children (LAC): The term ‘looked after’ refers to children, under 18, who have been provided with care and accommodation by children’s services.


Mainstream School: This is a school that provides education for all children, whether or not they have special educational needs or disabilities. Mainstream schools include maintained schools, academies and free schools. Mainstream school does not include private schools, fee-paying schools or special schools. In short, schools that are accessed through the standard admissions process are 'mainstream' and schools that manage their own admissions process (for example fee-paying schools) are non-mainstream.

Maintained School: Schools in England that are funded by a local authority (the Council) and retain a management relationship with the local authority. This excludes academies, free schools, and private schools, which control their own budget and management.

Mediation: A form of disagreement resolution for parents and young people considering appealing decisions about EHC needs assessments and plans at the tribunal.

Every local authority must provide independent mediation to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities about:

Mediation must also be provided on the health and social care elements of an EHC plan.

Mediation Advice: The purpose of mediation advice is to give information about what mediation involves. Parents or young people who wish to register an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability) must first seek mediation advice. The advice must be factual and unbiased. After mediation advice has been given the parent or young person can choose whether they wish to go to mediation.

However, it is not necessary to seek mediation advice if the appeal is only about the name of the school, or college named on the plan, the type of provision specified in the plan or the fact that no school or other institution is named.


Outcome: Outcomes describe the difference that will be made to a child or young person as a result of special educational and other provision. Must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART).

"P, Q, R, S, T"


Parent Carer Forum: A Parent Carer Forum (in our case the East Sussex Parent Carer Forum) is a representative local group of parents and carers of disabled children who work with local authorities, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families.

Parental Responsibility (PR): Parental responsibility is defined under Section 3 (1) of the Children Act 1989 as meaning all the duties, rights, powers, responsibilities and authority which parents have with respect to their children and their children’s property.

Pastoral Support (Pastoral Care): The Support offered at school that is separate from teaching. This can include support for SEND, or social and emotional support. 

Performance Levels/Scales (P Levels/Scales): P Scales or P Levels are used to assess the progress of children between the ages of 5-14 who have SEND and whose abilities do not yet reach Key Stage Level 1 of the National Curriculum.

Personal Budget: A Personal Budget is money set aside to fund support as part of an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from Education, Health and Social Care.

Phase TransferPhase transfer is the term used in Education, Health and Care Planning for where a child or young person is transitioning to a new 'phase' of education, for example from primary school to secondary school.

Portage Service: Portage is home-based educational support for pre-school children with special educational needs. Local authorities usually provide Portage services.

Preparing for Adulthood (PfA): A programme providing expertise and support to local authorities and their partners to embed preparing for adulthood from the earliest years. PfA ensures that young people with SEND achieve paid employment, independent living and housing options, good health, friendships, relationships and community inclusion as they move into adulthood.

Pupil Premium: Maintained schools in England get extra funding from the government to help improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.

Schools get pupil premium funding based on the number of pupils they have in January each year who receive free school meals and/or are Looked After and previously Looked After

Pupil Referral Unit (PRU): A school which is specially organised to provide education for pupils who would otherwise not receive suitable education because of illness, exclusion or any other reason. Also called an alternative provision.


Quality-First Teaching: This is the provision of high-quality teaching that is sufficient for meeting most Children and Young People's Learning Needs, without requiring additional input or adjustments.


Reasonable Adjustments: Reasonable adjustments are changes schools and other settings are required to make which could include: changes to physical features – for example, creating a ramp so that students can enter a classroom or providing extra support and aids (such as specialist teachers or equipment).


Sec 41 Schools: These are independent schools approved by the Government (under Sec 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014) for the provision of Special Educational Needs teaching.

SEND: SEND stands for special educational needs and disabilities.

SEND Code of Practice: This is the statutory guidance that supports Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014. It tells local authorities, early years settings, schools, colleges, heath and social care providers and others what they must and should do to identify, assess and provide for children and young people with SEN or disabilities.

SEN Information Report: All schools must publish a Special Educational Needs (SEN) information report on their website, which outlines their policy and arrangements for supporting children with SEN. This must be reviewed each year.

SENDISTSee ‘First Tier Tribunal’ above.

Significant Need: This is a way of referring to higher levels of need requiring higher levels of input. As each child's needs are different, there is no specific level this refers to. 

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND): Special educational needs often referred to as ‘SEN’ or ‘SEND’ (Special educational needs and disabilities), is a term used to describe learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for a child to learn compared to children of the same age.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENCo/SENDCo): A SENCo is a qualified teacher in a school or maintained nursery school who has responsibility for co-ordinating SEND provision. 

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS): SENDIASS services provide information, advice and support to children and young people with SEN and their parents. They provide impartial advice on the special educational needs system to help the children, their parents and young people to play an active and informed role in their education and care. Although funded by local authorities, SENDIASS Services are run either at arm’s length from the local authority or by a voluntary organisation to ensure children, their parents and young people have confidence in them.

Amaze SENDIASS is the SENDIASS for East Sussex.

Special Educational Provision: Special education is any educational or training provision which is extra to or different from what is needed by other children or young people of the same age. This covers many different things including communicating through sign language, having worksheets in a larger font, needing additional adult or small group support.  

Some children and young people may need extra help which is not special educational provision such as having medication at school. As this is not support with education or training it would not be classed as special educational provision.  

Special School: A school which is specifically set up to provide education for pupils with SEND. 

Specialist Facility: Some mainstream schools have a specialist facility within them which provide additional support for children and young people with, for example, speech, language and communication difficulties or Autism. 

Statement of Special Educational Need: Under the Education Act 1996 local authorities issued Statements of Special Educational Need for children whose needs could not be met through the provision normally made by schools.

The Children and Families Act 2014 has replaced Statements with EHC plans.

Statutory Guidance: Statutory guidance is guidance that local authorities and other local bodies have a legal duty to follow.


Transition Planning: Preparation for moves between phases of education or for adult life.

Tribunal: The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) is a legal body. The Tribunal hears appeals from parents of children with SEND and young people with SEND, about EHC needs assessments and EHC plans.

The Tribunal also hears claims of disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

"U, V, W, X, Y, Z"

Universally Available Provision: This is a way of describing all the support for SEND that schools, the Local Authority (East Sussex County Council) and Health Services can reasonably be expected to provide.

Get in touch