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Jargon buster O - S


Ordinarily Available Provision refers to the setting based interventions and services that all schools, early years and post 16 settings should be able to provide for children or young people, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), from within their own resources.


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.


Oppositional Defiance Disorder.


Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. This is the body which inspects and regulates services which care for children and young people and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages. 


Occupational Therapy, sometimes used to refer to the occupational therapist.


A provision, criteria or practice (relevant for indirect discrimination and the duty to make reasonable adjustments under the EqA).


Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is now considered to be part of the autism spectrum. Individuals with PDA share difficulties with others on the autism spectrum in social aspects of interaction, communication and imagination. However, the central difficulty for people with PDA is the way they are driven to avoid demands and expectations. This is because they have an anxiety based need to be in control. 


Pervasive Developmental Disorder.

Personal Budget

A Personal Budget is the notional amount of money which an LA has identified as necessary to secure the special educational provision in an EHC plan.


Profound and multiple learning difficulties.


Home-based educational support for pre-school children with SEN.

Proxy Factors or Indicators

Indirect indicator or measure that approximates or represents a particular need or characteristic in the absence of a direct measure.

Pupil Referral Unit or PRU

Pupil Referral Unit - for children who need to be educated out of school, often because they have been excluded. They have the same legal status as schools in some respects but do not have to teach the national curriculum.


Resourced Provision in Mainstream Schools

Resourced provision is where places are reserved at a mainstream school for pupils with a specific type of SEN, taught mainly within mainstream classes, but requiring a base and some specialist facilities around the school.


The responsible body of a school.

Schools Block

The schools block funds all pupils not funded through the high needs or early years blocks.

School Census

The school census is a statutory return which takes place during the autumn, spring, and summer terms. The census collects information about individual pupils and about the schools themselves.

Section 41 List

Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014 allows independent special schools and specialist post-16 institutions to be included on the Secretary of State approved list. Registration under Section 41 would give parents/young people a right to express a school or institution as a preference when their education, health and care plan is being prepared/agreed and a requirement for local authorities to include the school or institution in their local offer. The arrangements also enable independent special schools and special post-16 institutions on the approved list to be considered on the same basis as maintained schools, academies, non-maintained special schools and FE colleges when a child’s or young person’s education, health and care plan is developed. It also places an obligation on the school or institution to admit the pupil and meet his or her needs.


Special educational needs. 


Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator – the teacher with responsibility for co-ordinating special help for children with SEN at their school.

SEND or The Tribunal

The First-tier Tribunal, Special Educational Needs and Disability – sometimes referred to by its former name “Sendist”.


Special educational provision. 


Severe learning difficulties – not a legal term but often used in relation to the description of a school, i.e. an SLD school.


Speech and Language Therapy, sometimes used to refer to the Speech and Language Therapist.

Special Educational Needs & Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years

Statutory guidance on the SEN and disability system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, produced for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have SEN or disabilities.

Special School

A school which is specifically organised to make special educational provision for pupils with SEN.

Special units attached to mainstream schools

Special provision within a mainstream school where the children are taught mainly within separate classes.

Studio School

A type of Academy.


Teaching Assistant also sometimes called Learning Support Assistant (“LSA”).


University Technical College (which offers academic and technical education to secondary school pupils) – a type of Academy.


Visual impairment.