Glossary

Click on the letters to browse the content alphabetically.

Term Definition
P scales Search for term P scales

The P scales are a set of descriptions for recording the achievement of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) who are working towards the first level of the National Curriculum (level 1). There is a P scale for every National Curriculum subject.

PAN Search for term PAN

The Published Admission Number or the number of pupils in each year group that the admissions authority has agreed will be admitted to the school.

PANDA Search for term PANDA

Performance and Assessment Reports, which were produced annually by Ofsted, were replaced by the RAISEonline system in 2007.

Parent Search for term Parent

Defined in section 114 (1D) of the Education Act 1944, this includes a natural parent of the child or a person who has parental responsibility for him or her. See SEN glossary for a detailed definition.

Parent governor Search for term Parent governor

Parents, including carers, of registered pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election by other parents or carers at the school.

Parent governor representative Search for term Parent governor representative

PGRs are elected from serving parent governors to represent the views of all parents on LA committees dealing with education matters.

Parent Teacher Association Search for term Parent Teacher Association

PTAs are groups open to parents and teachers, as well as others in the school community. Their aim is to foster better relationships between parents and their children's schools.

Parental responsibility Search for term Parental responsibility

According to current law, an adoptive or birth mother always has parental responsibility for her child. A father, however, has this responsibility only if he is married to the mother or has acquired legal responsibility for his child.

Parenting contract Search for term Parenting contract

A formal agreement between parent and school or parent and local authority in which each side sets out the steps they will take to secure an improvement in the child's attendance and behaviour.

Parenting order Search for term Parenting order

Parenting orders are available for parents convicted of a school attendance offence. Local authorities can apply for civil parenting orders for parents whose child has been excluded from school for serious misbehaviour.

Parents partners in learning Search for term Parents partners in learning

Parents and families play a key role in their children's learning. Their involvement has long been a strength of early years education, with practitioners working to establish effective partnerships.

ParentsCentre Search for term ParentsCentre

ParentsCentre is an official DCSF website for parents and carers containing information and advice how to help with their child's learning, including advice on choosing a school and finding childcare.

Partially selective school Search for term Partially selective school

A school which selects only a proportion of pupils by ability or aptitude.

Partnership governor Search for term Partnership governor

Where a school does not have a foundation or equivalent body, foundation governors are replaced by partnership governors who are appointed by the governing body after a nominations process.

Partnerships for Schools Search for term Partnerships for Schools

PfS is responsible for delivering the Government's secondary school renewal programme, Building Schools for the Future (BSF).

Passporting Search for term Passporting

Ensuring that LAs are increasing their school budget in line with the increase in their School Formula Spending Share and specific formula grants.

Pastoral care Search for term Pastoral care

A term used to describe systems and activities which promote a child's physical and emotional welfare.

Pastoral Support Plan / Programme Search for term Pastoral Support Plan / Programme

A PSP is a school-based intervention to help pupils to manage their behaviour. It is particularly necessary for pupils whose behaviour is deteriorating rapidly and who are in danger of permanent exclusion.

PAT Search for term PAT

See Pupil Achievement Tracker (which has now been replaced by RAISEonline).

Pathfinder Search for term Pathfinder

A project intended to test out a Government policy over a defined period prior to its full implementation.

Pay calculator Search for term Pay calculator

The teachers' pay calculator tool is quick and easy to use, and replaces earlier software only available on disk or by downloading from the DCSF website.

Pay funding Search for term Pay funding

The reforms launched in the 1998 Education Green Paper included a new staffing framework. This involved the creation of a single pay spine to cover all leadership posts and a new upper pay scale for teachers.

Pay scale Search for term Pay scale

Classroom teachers start on the main pay scale. There are now two scales for this, one for England and Wales and one for inner London.

PCU Search for term PCU

The Public Communications Unit of the Department for Children, Schools and Families can be contacted at PO Box 12, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 2GJ. Tel: 0870 000 2288. Fax: 01928 79 4248. Email: info@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk

PD Search for term PD

Physical disability. Pupils with PD cover the whole ability range. Also refers to Physical Development, one of the six interdependent Foundation Stage areas of learning and development.

PE Search for term PE

Physical Education. Placing PE and sport at the heart of a broad and balanced curriculum can improve attendance, behaviour and attainment.

PECS Search for term PECS

The Picture Exchange Communication System, developed for children with ASD, involves the use of pictures for requesting, rather than for labelling, and encourages the child to initiate communication.

Pedagogy Search for term Pedagogy

The linked processes of teaching and learning.

Pedagogy and personalisation Search for term Pedagogy and personalisation

Pedagogy and Personalisation is designed to contribute to an informed professionalism that will enable practitioners and teachers to make the decisions needed to personalise learning in ways appropriate to the ages and abilities of the learners they teach, the context of the learners and the needs of the subject.

Pedagogy and Practice Search for term Pedagogy and Practice

Pedagogy and Practice is intended to provide not only the means by which teachers can develop their skills but also a common language in which to discuss teaching and learning. It complements the Secondary National Strategy's training.

Peer coaching Search for term Peer coaching

Intervention involving the provision, advice or support on a personal or group basis, by a colleague or fellow student of relatively similar status, age or experience.

Peer mentoring Search for term Peer mentoring

The provision of support and guidance by members of an organisation similar in age and status to those whom they seek to help. In schools, this takes the form of older pupils providing support to younger pupils.

Penalty notice Search for term Penalty notice

Parents of a registered pupil whose child fails to attend school regularly are committing an offence under the Education Act 1996. Penalties of up to £100 can provide an alternative to prosecution in such cases.

PEP Search for term PEP

A Personal Education Plan sets out a series of objectives covering achievement, educational needs, short-term targets and long-term plans for looked-after children.

Per-pupil funding Search for term Per-pupil funding

The amount of funding that a school receives for each pupil on its roll. For the purposes of the minimum funding guarantee it is calculated by dividing a school's budget by the number of pupils on its roll.

Performance management Search for term Performance management

Performance management sets a framework for teachers and their team leaders to agree and review priorities and objectives within the overall framework of a school's development plans.

Performance tables Search for term Performance tables

Now known as Achievement and Attainment Tables.

Performance threshold Search for term Performance threshold

The aim of the performance threshold is to encourage and reward good teaching. It gives experienced and effective teachers at the top of the classroom pay scale (M6) access to the upper pay scale.

Performing arts Search for term Performing arts

Subject area consisting of dance, drama, music and theatre studies.

Peripatetic teacher Search for term Peripatetic teacher

A teacher with specific expertise who travels from school to school and is employed by the LA to give appropriate specialist advice and support to children (often with special educational needs) and the school.

Permanent exclusion Search for term Permanent exclusion

The permanent removal of a child from a school.

Persistent absence Search for term Persistent absence

20% absence

Personal education plan Search for term Personal education plan

A PEP sets out a series of objectives covering achievement, educational needs, short-term targets and long-term plans for looked-after children.

Personalised learning Search for term Personalised learning

Personalised learning is about tailoring education to ensure that every pupil reaches their potential.

PFI Search for term PFI

Private Finance Initiative projects involve the LA buying asset-based services from the private sector such as school buildings and facilities or specific services including heating systems, ICT or catering equipment.

PfS Search for term PfS

Partnerships for Schools is responsible for delivering the Government's secondary school renewal programme, Building Schools for the Future (BSF).

PG Search for term PG

Parent Governor. Parents, including carers, of registered pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election by other parents or carers at the school.

PGCE Search for term PGCE

The Postgraduate Certificate of Education is a postgraduate-level initial teacher training qualification.

PGR Search for term PGR

Parent Governor Representatives are elected from serving parent governors to represent the views of all parents on local authority committees dealing with education matters

Philosophy for children Search for term Philosophy for children

A programme developed by the philosopher Matthew Lipman based on the conviction that children are natural philosophers, centred around materials which help young people develop the ability to think for themselves.

Phonics Search for term Phonics

A system of teaching reading and spelling which stresses the sounds made by different letters and letter combinations. See 'Synthetic phonics' and 'Analytic phonics'.

Physical disability Search for term Physical disability

There is a wide range of physical disabilities and pupils cover the whole ability range. Some pupils are able to learn effectively without additional educational provision, but for others the impact can be severe.

PIPS Search for term PIPS

Performance Indicators in Primary Schools is an information system that tracks a number of aspects of schooling as pupils move through the primary sector.

PIRLS Search for term PIRLS

PIRLS 2006 is the second in a cycle of internationally comparative reading assessments carried out every five years.

PISA Search for term PISA

The Programme for International Student Assessment surveys how far students in industrialised countries near the end of compulsory education have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to participate in society.

PLA Search for term PLA

The Pre-school Learning Alliance in an educational charity specialising in early years education.

Planned places Search for term Planned places

Alternative to age-weighted pupil units and key stage-weighted pupil units in special schools. The bulk of a school's funding is normally determined by the numbers and type of places which it is planned will be available, whether or not they are occupied.

PLASC Search for term PLASC

The Pupil Level Annual School Census was replaced by an enhanced School Census in 2006.

Playgroups Search for term Playgroups

There are several different types of playgroup, each catering for children and parents with different needs.

Playing for Success Search for term Playing for Success

This initiative is based around establishing out-of-school-hours study support centres at football clubs and other sports grounds. The centres use the environment and medium of sport as motivational tools.

Plenary Search for term Plenary

The time at the end of a lesson in which the teacher finds out what children have learnt and re-emphasises the main points of the lesson.

PMLD Search for term PMLD

Profound and multiple learning difficulties. Pupils with PMLD have complex learning needs.

Portage Search for term Portage

A planned approach to home-based pre-school education for children with developmental delay, disabilities or any other special educational needs, developed in the USA. There is now an extensive network in the UK.

PoS Search for term PoS

A Programme of Study outlines what must be taught to all students or pupils during each key stage in the National Curriculum.

Post-16 Search for term Post-16

In September 2000 the most significant changes to post-16 curriculum for 50 years were introduced. Schools and colleges can now offer young people the opportunity to study a wider range of subjects at A Level.

Postgraduate Professional Development Search for term Postgraduate Professional Development

PPD is a long-term, in-depth programme of study that leads to a postgraduate award. A PPD programme is a coherent body of modules, units, classes or activities leading to a specific qualification.

PPA Search for term PPA

Planning, Preparation and Assessment time. All teachers should now receive 10% of their timetabled teaching time for PPA activities.

PPD Search for term PPD

Postgraduate Professional Development is a long-term, in-depth programme of study. It is based on a coherent body of modules, units, classes or activities leading to a specific postgraduate qualification.

PPP Search for term PPP

Public private partnership is a term used to cover a wide range of activities in which the public and private sectors work together to improve services.

Pre-school playgroup Search for term Pre-school playgroup

These generally take children between the ages of 3 and 5 and most offer half-day sessions. They are usually non-profit making and managed by volunteers and parents.

Preliminary advice Search for term Preliminary advice

Written advice sent by the external adviser to the appointed governors and the headteacher prior to an appraisal meeting.

Prescribed alteration Search for term Prescribed alteration

A change to a school, such as the addition of a sixth-form or nursery. Prescribed alterations include all proposals except opening, closing or changing category.

Primary Capital Programme Search for term Primary Capital Programme

A wide-ranging, strategic programme to rebuild, refurbish and upgrade at least 50% of primary schools in England.

Primary Framework for Literacy and Mathematics Search for term Primary Framework for Literacy and Mathematics

The Primary Framework has been designed to support teachers and schools to deliver high-quality learning and teaching for all children. It contains detailed guidance and materials to support literacy and mathematics in primary schools and settings.

Primary leadership Search for term Primary leadership

NCSL provides information about primary leadership, including events and professional development opportunities such as the Developing Leaders for Tomorrow: Primary programme.

Primary leadership programme Search for term Primary leadership programme

This programme seeks to support schools in improving the leadership of the teaching and learning of English and mathematics, helping to ensure that the rate of progress of children within the school community continues to improve as more reach the standards expected.

Primary legislation Search for term Primary legislation

The general term used to describe the main laws passed by the legislative bodies of the UK. Examples are Acts of the UK Parliament and the corresponding assemblies of Scotland and Northern Ireland. These are often also known as Statutes.

Primary National Strategy Search for term Primary National Strategy

The Primary National Strategy supports teachers and schools to raise standards across the whole curriculum.

Primary phase of education Search for term Primary phase of education

Full-time education suitable to the requirements of junior pupils who have not attained the age of 10 years and 6 months, or have attained that age and whom it is expedient to educate together with junior pupils.

Primary strategy consultant leader Search for term Primary strategy consultant leader

A person, usually a serving headteacher, who helps other primary schools to improve the quality of their leadership.

Primary Strategy Learning Networks Search for term Primary Strategy Learning Networks

PSLNs are being established to help schools work together to raise standards in literacy and mathematics and to increase a school's capacity to deliver a broad and rich curriculum.

Principles INTO Practice Search for term Principles INTO Practice

PINTOP is an online tool designed to help teachers evaluate how well they implement the 11 statutory Foundation Stage principles in their setting. It helps practitioners record and organise their current levels on the standard development scale: Focusing, Developing, Establishing and Enhancing.

Private nursery school Search for term Private nursery school

Private nursery schools take children between the ages of 2 and 5 and offer half- or full-day sessions. Some stay open in the school holidays.

Problem-based learning Search for term Problem-based learning

An approach using problem solving techniques where learners are set specific challenges through realistic or unstructured problems. Similar to enquiry learning, but orientated towards attaining a particular goal.

Procurement Search for term Procurement

Activities relating to the purchase of goods and services.

Professional Association of Teachers Search for term Professional Association of Teachers

The Professional Association of Teachers is an independent trade union and professional association for teachers, headteachers, lecturers and education support staff.

Programme of Study Search for term Programme of Study

An outline of what must be taught to all pupils or students during each key stage in the national curriculum.

Progress file Search for term Progress file

The DCSF no longer provides progress file materials, as the principles and processes which underpin progress file have been adopted in an increasing range of other products and services.

Progression in phonics Search for term Progression in phonics

High-quality phonic work is adhered to ‘with fidelity’, applied consistently and used regularly, avoiding drawing in too many elements from different programmes. Programmes to support the teaching of phonics vary in both pace and timescale, though they are all careful to introduce phonemes, graphemes and the processes of segmenting and blending.

Promoter Search for term Promoter

A body that brings forward a proposal for a new school.

Prospectus Search for term Prospectus

A school brochure containing facts and figures which the governing body must publish annually for parents and prospective parents. Ministers set minimum requirements for content to allow comparison between schools.

Providers' register Search for term Providers' register

A list, maintained by the DCSF, of publicly funded and private education and training providers in the UK.

PRU Search for term PRU

Pupil Referral Unit. Any school established and maintained by an LA which is specially organised to provide education for children who are excluded, sick or otherwise unable to attend mainstream school

PSA Search for term PSA

Public Service Agreement. A plan setting out what a department will deliver in the form of measurable targets over the public expenditure review period. Also - Parent Staff Association.

PSED Search for term PSED

Personal, Social and Emotional Development is one of the six interdependent areas of learning and development which make up the Foundation Stage.

PSHE Search for term PSHE

Personal, Social and Health Education covers Citizenship; Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco; Emotional Health and Wellbeing; Nutrition and Physical Activity; Personal Finance; Safety; and Sex and Relationship Education.

PSLD Search for term PSLD

Physical and severe learning difficulties. Pupils showing symptoms of PSLD will receive extra support under SEN provision, either in mainstream or special schools.

PSLN Search for term PSLN

Primary Strategy Learning Networks are being established to help schools work together to raise standards in literacy and mathematics and to increase schools' capacity to deliver a broad and rich curriculum.

PSP Search for term PSP

Pastoral Support Plan (or Programme) is a school-based intervention to help pupils to manage their behaviour. It is necessary for pupils with rapidly deteriorating behaviour who in danger of permanent exclusion.

PSRN Search for term PSRN

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy is one of the six interdependent areas of learning and development which make up the Foundation Stage.

PSV Search for term PSV

Public Service Vehicles is a category of vehicle including minibuses and coaches with legal requirements to meet standards. Specific standards apply to different vehicles according to number of seats fitted.

PTA Search for term PTA

Parent Teacher Associations are groups open to parents and teachers, as well as others in the school community. Their aim is to foster better relationships between parents and their children's schools.

PTR Search for term PTR

The Pupil Teacher Ratio in a school is the ratio of all pupils on the register to all qualified teachers employed within the schools during the census week.

Public private partnership Search for term Public private partnership

Public Private Partnership (PPP) is a term used to cover a wide range of activities in which the public and private sectors work together to improve services.

Public service agreement Search for term Public service agreement

A PSA is a plan setting out what a department will deliver in the form of measurable targets over the public expenditure review period. Also - Parent Staff Association.

Published admission number Search for term Published admission number

The number of pupils in each year group that the admissions authority has agreed will be admitted without causing problems for the school.

Pupil Achievement Tracker Search for term Pupil Achievement Tracker

The Pupil Achievement Tracker (PAT) has now been replaced by RAISEonline.

Pupil projection Search for term Pupil projection

Projections of pupil numbers feed into important planning activities such as building each school's detailed budget, school improvement planning and curriculum planning.

Pupil referral unit Search for term Pupil referral unit

A PRU is defined as any school established and maintained by a local authority which is specially organised to provide education for children who are excluded, sick or otherwise unable to attend mainstream school

Pupil yield Search for term Pupil yield

The number of additional children expected to require schooling following new house building. Normally this is expressed as a ratio of new children per school year per 1000 new properties.

Pupils without statements Search for term Pupils without statements

These are pupils registered as having special educational needs but whose schools meet the pupils' needs without statements.

Parents as Partners in Early Learning (PPEL) Search for term Parents as Partners in Early Learning (PPEL)

The Parents as Partners in Early Learning (PPEL) project ran from October 2006 to March 2008. The project team undertook to review current provision with an initial baseline audit of policy and practice across 150 LAs in England.

PDM Search for term PDM

See Professional development meeting (PDM).

Peer coaches/peer coaching Search for term Peer coaches/peer coaching

This is intervention involving the reciprocal provision of support on a personal or group basis, by a colleague or fellow student.

Pen portraits Search for term Pen portraits

These can be found in the English Progression Maps and describe readers and writers at particular points on their learning journey. They help teachers identify where their pupils are and see where they need to go next.

PPEL Search for term PPEL

See Parents as Partners in Early Learning (PPEL).

PPM Search for term PPM

See Pupil progress meeting (PPM).

Prediction Search for term Prediction

Guessing what will happen later in a text, using the evidence met so far.

Private, voluntary and independent (PVI) Search for term Private, voluntary and independent (PVI)

PVI refers to a non-maintained Early Years setting.

Professional development meeting (PDM) Search for term Professional development meeting (PDM)

A whole-school meeting that is an effective mechanism for improving teaching and raising standards. See also: continuing professional development (CPD), post-graduate professional development (PPD).

Progression Maps Search for term Progression Maps

These are a web-based tool to help teachers identify curricular targets for their pupils and teach effectively towards them. The Progression Maps also help teachers make effective use of the wide range of materials that has been developed by the Secondary National Strategy.

Pupil progress meeting (PPM) Search for term Pupil progress meeting (PPM)

Pupil progress meetings, one of the core elements of school improvement, enable a professional dialogue to be set up between individual teachers and members of the senior management to review pupil progress, set targets and refocus the school's resources to ensure accelerated pupil progress. See also: Improving Schools Programme (ISP), School Improvement Programme.

PVI Search for term PVI

See Private, voluntary and independent (PVI).