0370 270 6000

List of acronyms

10 January 2011
There are a number of acronyms and abbreviations widely used amongst those who work in education. When used in important documents, new governors and educationalists may find them hard to interpret. To make it a bit easier we have developed a Clarity Guide which we hope you will find useful.
A LEVELS Advanced Levels
ACMF Academies Capital Maintenance Fund
ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
AFA Achievement for All
AFL Assessment for Learning
AGM Annual General Meeting (meeting of the members of the Academy Trust)
AHT Assistant Headteacher
AIS Advisory and Inspection Service
ALIS A Level Information System
AoC Association of Colleges
Altex Centre Alternative to Exclusion Centre
AQA Exam Board
AS/A2 LEVELS Advanced Subsidiary / Advanced 2 Level
ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder
AST Advanced Skills Teacher
AUP Acceptable Use Policy
BTEC Business and Technician Education Council
BSF Building Schools for the Future
C&G City and Guilds
CAMHS Children & Adult Mental Health Service
CATs Cognitive Assessment Tests
CATS Consortium of All-Through Schooling
CC Children’s Centre
CEM Curriculum Evaluation and Management Centre
CEOP Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
CIF Common Inspection Framework
CIPFA Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy
CoP Code of Practice
COSHH Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
CPA Creative & Performing Arts
CPD Continuing Professional Development
CRB Criminal Records Bureau
CSA Curriculum Support Assistant
CTA Commercial Transfer Agreement
Cyber-bullying the deliberate use of technology and electronic forms of communication (particularly mobile phones, email and the internet) to upset someone else
DARE Drug Abuse Resistance Education
DBS Disclosure and Barring Service (which replaces ISA (Independent Safeguarding Authority from 1 December 2012)
DCPO Designated Child Protection Officer
DFC Devolved Formula Capital
DfE (previously DCSF) Department for Education (previously Department for Children, Schools and Families)
DHT Deputy Headteacher
Directors Also known as trustees or governors, the individuals who run the academy trust on a day-to-day basis
DNB Design and Build
DOV Deed of Variation
EAG Earmarked Annual Grant
EBAC English Baccalaureate (recognising student achievement in English, mathematics, sciences, a language and a humanities subject)
EBD Education and Behavioural Difficulties
ECM Every Child Matters
EFA Education Funding Agency (formerly the YPLA – Young Person’s Learning Agency)
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Education Maintenance Allowance
Education Psychology Service
EWO Education Welfare Officer
EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage
FA Funding Agreement
FAP Fair Access Protocol
FE Further Education
FM Facilities Management
FMSiS Financial Management Standards in Schools (no longer used)
FSM Free School Meals
GAG General Annual Grant
GBA Governing Body Agreement (common for schools with BSF/PFI arrangements)
GCE’s General Certificate of Education
GCSE’s General Certificate of Secondary Education
GNVQ General National Vocational Qualification
GTC General Teaching Council
Hard FM Facilities management relating to building, electrical and mechanical maintenance issues
HE Higher Education
HR Human Resources
HMI Her Majesty’s Inspector
HSE Health and Safety Executive
HT Headteacher
IAA Independent Academies Association
IAP Independent Appeal Panel (For Admissions)
ICT Information and Communications Technology
IEB Interim Executive Board
IEP Individual Education Plan
IIP Investor in People
INSET In-service Training
IRP Independent Review Panel (For Exclusions)
ISA Independent Safeguarding Authority (which will be replaced by the DBS - Disclosure and Barring Service on 1 December 2012)
ISBL Institute of School Business Leadership (formerly NASBM)
LA Local Authority
LCVAP Locally Co-ordinated Voluntary Aided Programme (capital programme for VA schools controlled by the LA)
LGB Local Governing Body (body which has the delegated authority to run an academy within a MAT)
LLE Local leader of education
LSC Learning Skills Council
MAT Multi-Academy Trust
Members Individuals or organisations who together act as a “check and balance” on the governing body
MFA Master Funding Agreement
MLT Middle Leadership Team
NAHT National Association of Head Teachers
NGA National Governors Association
NAS / UWT National Association of School Masters and Union of Women Teachers
NASBM National Association of School Business Management (known as ISBL from November 2017) 
NEETs 16 to 18 year-olds not in education, employment or training
NC National Curriculum
NC National College
NF National Framework
NLE National Leader of Education
NQT Newly Qualified Teacher
NUT National Union of Teachers
NVQ National Vocational Qualification
OCR Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations (Exam Board)
OFQUAL the Office of Qualifications, Examinations and Assessments in England
OFSTED Office for Standards in Education
PAN Planned Admission Number
PDSP Property Data Survey Programme
PFI Private Finance Initiative
PfS Partnership for Schools
PGCE Post Graduate Course / Certificate of Education
PIES Policies and practice, infrastructure and technology, education and training, standards and inspection
PoS Programme of Study
PP Pupil Premium
PRU Pupil Referral Unit
PSBP Priority Schools Building Programme
PSHE Personal Social and Health Education
PSP Pastoral Support Plan
PTA Parent Teacher Association
QTS Qualified Teacher Status
QA Quality Assurance
RQT Recently Qualified Teacher
SAS Schools Advisory Service
SATs Standard Assessment Tests
SEF School Evaluation Form OR Self Evaluation Form
SEN Special Educational Needs
SEND Special Education Needs & Disability
SENCO Special Education Needs Co-ordinator
SFA Supplemental Funding Agreement
SGOSS School Governors' One-Stop Shop
SIMS School Information Management System
SIP School Improvement Plan or School Improvement Partner
SIR School Improvement Report
SISS Special Inclusion Support Service
SLASC Secondary School Level Annual School Census
SLD Severe Learning Difficulties
SLE Specialist Leader of Education
SLT Senior Leadership Team
Soft FM Facilities management relating to cleaning and catering among other things
SoW Scheme of Work
SSAT Specialist Academies and Academies Trust
TA Teaching Assistant
TA Teaching Agency (formerly the General Teaching Council for England)
TES Times Educational Supplement
TLR Teaching & Learning Responsibility
TTA Teacher Training Authority / Agency
TUPE Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of Employment
UC Unitary Charge (paid under PFI arrangements)
UCAS Universities and College Admissions Service
UT Umbrella Trust
UTC University Technical College
VA School Voluntary-aided school
VC School Voluntary-controlled school
VLE Virtual Learning Environment
YOT Youth Offending Team

Download our list of acronyms

Focus on...

Legal updates

Data reform in the UK

Since the UK left the EU and are now able to move away from the EU data protection regime, the UK government have implemented a national data strategy with the aim of reducing the burden on organisations but maintaining a high data protection standard.


Published articles

Key steps to avoid falling foul of disability discrimination laws

The law around disability discrimination against pupils is not straightforward – but the reputational risk, let alone costs, of falling foul of the law are huge, so it’s worth upskilling staff whenever possible, as these two lawyers outline.


Employment Law – Harpur Trust v Brazel – Implications for schools webinar

On 20 July 2022, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited judgment in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel, upholding the decision of the Court of Appeal. For those of you familiar with this case, you will know that it concerns the statutory leave requirements for part-time and part-year workers. For schools and academies whose workforce consists of a variety of types of part-time and part-year workers, this case is one that must be understood before any changes are applied. Come and join Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services as she puts questions to Ian Deakin, Employment Partner, and Sarah Linden, Senior Associate.


Press releases

Leading education lawyers play major role as DfE announces 10,000th academy conversion

The Department for Education (DfE) have announced that the conversion of Donisthorpe Primary School in Leicestershire on 1st September marked the 10,000th academy conversion.