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P Scales

Performance Scales (or levels) are a set of descriptions for recording the achievement of pupils with special educational needs who are working towards the first level of the National Curriculum. The scales are designed for pupils who are well below the level of their peers. The P scales are split into eight different levels with P1 being the lowest and P8 the highest. P1 to P3 are not subject specific as they describe early learning and conceptual development.



Planned Admissions Number. The number of children the LEA (or governing body of an Aided School) determines can be admitted to the school. Parents decide whether to appeal to any school to which they have applied and not been offered a place.


Pastoral Support

Pastoral Support Programme - a school-based intervention to help individual pupils manage their behaviour. It's particularly necessary for those whose behaviour is deteriorating rapidly and who are in danger of permanent exclusion. The PSP should identify precise and realistic targets for the pupil to work towards. A nominated member of staff will oversee the PSP.



Physical Education. Taught as part of National Curriculum - includes competitive games.



The art of teaching.


Performance Tables

Performance Tables are published annually and list the results of a school or college's performance based on national tests.


Personalised Learning

The official definition of personalised learning is "putting the learner at the heart of the education system." The major components of personalised learning include: paying attention to every child's individual learning styles, motivations and needs; a rigorous use of pupil target setting linked to high quality assessment; well-paced and enjoyable lessons; and pupils are supported by partnership with others well beyond the classroom."



Phonics is a system of breaking down words into smaller components of sounds. Synthetic phonics involves breaking words down, then teaching children to blend these sounds together to form words. Sometimes referred to as "all-through-the-letter" teaching. "Street" for example, is broken down into five components: "s-t-r-e-e-t." Analytic phonics also involves breaking down words, but not necessarily into the smallest units. "Street" is broken down into "str-eet." Children are typically taught one letter sound a week and shown a series of alliterative pictures and words starting with that sound, such as mat, man and make.


Phonics Screening Check

Introduced in June 2012 the check will allow teachers to know which of their pupils have met the expected standard in phonics.



A part of a lesson where the teacher reviews what's been learnt, usually through questioning the pupils. 



Primary Link Teacher. A teacher who acts as a liaison between primary and secondary schools



Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties Likely to require total care from others and attendance will be at a special school. See SEN. PMLD Network



Programme of Study Sets out what should be taught in each subject at each key stage.



Planning, Preparation and Assessment time. From 1 September 2005 a minimum of 10 per cent of all teachers time will be allocated to planning, preparation and assessment.


Preparatory School

Independent schools for young children usually aged between five and 11 and 13 dedicated to preparing students for entry to independent, fee-paying secondary schools.


Professional Skills Tests

These are the tests that initial teacher training candidates need to pass before they can be recommended for qualified teacher status. Applicants starting ITT course from September 2013 need to pass the tests before starting their course. For more information read our guide



Personal, Social and Health and Economic Education.There is currently a review of PSHE education



Pupil Teacher Ratio



Pupil Referral Unit - established and maintained by an LA to provide education for pupils who would not otherwise receive suitable education because of exclusion or other reasons.



Primary years programme…as in the International Baccalaureate’s primary years programme. This is based on a pupil profile of characteristics that schools wish to develop in children. It aims to make them enquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable about themes of global importance, principled, caring, open-minded, well-balanced and reflective. Find out more at


Pupil Premium

Additional funding allocated to schools per free school meals pupil. Schools are able to decide how the Pupil Premium is spent. Read more in this article from the TES