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Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU)

This refers to the amount schools are given for each pupil on their school roll, irrespective whether they have a SEND.

Annual Review

Local authorities have to carry out a review of each EHC Plan at least once in every 12 months. (Also called Transfer Review?)

Children and Families Act 2014

Part 3 of this Act highlights the law around SEND. The Act is supported by other documentation: SEND Regulations 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 Years.

Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Across the country numerous individuals and organisations are working together to purchase health services to meet the needs of local people.

Direct Payment

This is a payment which goes directly to a parent/carer to buy specific services they need, for example, those listed within an EHC Plan.

Disagreement Resolution

Local authorities have to offer independent support to parents/carers and young people to resolve any disputes they have with local authorities, schools and other settings about SEND support.

EHC Needs Assessment

Local authorities must carry this statutory assessment out if a child/young person may need an EHC Plan. It involves looking at the SEND of the child and the support they need in order to achieve their educational potential.

Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan

This legal document describes the child’s SEND needs, and the variety of support that different agencies will provide to help meet their educational, health and care needs.

First Tier Tribunal (SEN and disability)

The Tribunal hears appeals from parents/carers of children with SEND, and young people with SEN, about EHC needs assessments/plans.

Graduated Approach

Schools are expected to follow a ‘graduated approach when providing SEND support. It involves four key phases: access, plan, do, review.

Independent Supporter

A person independent of the local authority (eg volunteer) who will help families going through an EHC needs assessment and the process of developing an EHC plan.


A person who gives parents/carers and young people one single point of contact to deal with and help ensure they receive the support agreed.

Local Offer

This is information published by each local authority which explains the support available for young people with SEND in the area (eg education, health and care provision, training, employment).

Mainstream School

A school that is attended by children, whether or not they have SEND.


Local authorities have to provide independent to help parents and young people resolve any disputes with local authorities (eg around EHC Plans and assessments).


This refers to any positive difference to the young person’s education or training that has happened because of the support they have received (eg a programme, one-to-one work, resource).

Parent Carer Forum

A local group of parents/carers and young people who work together with local authorities and other organisations to ensure local services meet the needs of children with SEND and their families.

Personal Budget

This money funds support listed within an EHC Plan. Parents of children who have an EHC plan can choose whether or not they wish to have a Personal Budget.

Reasonable Adjustments

These are the changes that schools etc are expected to make to help meet a child’s needs (eg one-to-one support from a teacher).

SEND Code of Practice

This is the legal document which explains what schools, local authorities etc must do to support children with SEND.

SEN Information Report

All schools must put detailed information on their website about their SEND policies and how they support children with SEND.

SEN Support

SEN support includes help for children/young people with SEND that is additional to (or different from) the support generally made for other children of the same age. (SEN support replaces Early Years Action/Action Plus and School Action/Action Plus.)

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)

This person within a mainstream school/nursery is responsible for co-ordinating SEND provision. (A pre-school will identify someone to perform this role.)