Terminology

Unfamiliar terms and words often appear in reports on assessments and in conversations with professionals. Parents may be unsure of their meaning and the implications they have for their child – here are some of the words/phrases you may encounter.

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Disabled Children and Young People
Many children and young people who have SEN may have a disability, that is ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ means ‘more than minor or trivial’. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. The Equality Act 2010 sets out the legal obligations that schools, early years providers, post-16 institutions, local authorities and others have towards disabled children and young people:
  • They must not directly or indirectly discriminate against, harass or victimise disabled children and young people
  • They must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services, to ensure that disabled children and young people are not at a substantial disadvantage compared with their peers.
SEN support will replace School Action and School Action Plus for children with SEN in mainstream schools. Schools will still be required to identify children who need additional support and involve parent carers and children and young people in planning how to meet these needs and call on specialists from outside the school when they need to. Schools must use their ‘best endeavours’ to identify and meet children’s special educational needs.


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