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Standard Attainment Tests (previously Standard Assessment Tasks) are now known as National Curriculum Tests. During Key Stages 1-3 progress in most National Curriculum subjects is assessed against eight levels. At KS1 the level will be based on teachers’ assessment. At KS2 the level will reflect the teacher’s assessment and the national test results. The KS2 tests cover English, maths and science. At KS3 the level will be based on the teacher’s assessment.



School Development Plan. A projection of what a school hopes to achieve within a prescribed time limit.



Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning.


Secondary Transfer

The move from primary to secondary school.



Self-Evaluation Form. The online self-evaluation form introduced alongside the Framework or the Inspection of schools helps schools to evaluate their own performance. The SEF is used by inspectors before the inspection to help identify where they might need to focus their efforts.



Special Educational Needs. Provision to support pupils with learning disabilities - may be provided through mainstream or more specialised education.



Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. Teacher responsible for ensuring that children with learning difficulties and emotional/behavioural problems receive appropriate support, overseeing the completion of IEPs and liaising with external agencies.


School Direct

School Direct replaces the Graduate Teacher Programme and allows schools to train graduates as teachers in the subjects and phases they need and in the way they want them trained. Schools will also be able to choose which accredited provider - such as universities or Teaching School Partnerships - they want to work with. In return for this additional control the schools will be expected to find a job for the trainee once they finish training. Read our article on the changes to ITT


Sixth form

Used to describe the final two years spent in secondary school. Students usually take A-levels, but increasingly are also being offered more vocational qualifications such as GNVQs. There are also sixth form colleges, not tied to schools, which are much larger and offer a wider range of courses.



Severe Learning Difficulties. Pupils with SLD will receive extra support under SEN provision, often attending a special school. See SEN.


Skills funding agency

Set up in 2010 to fund and regulate further education and skills training in England



This cryptic acronym stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development in schools. Try the SMSC Online site for lesson advice and ideas.



Senior Management Team. This consists of Headteacher, Deputy Head and possibly other senior teachers.



Standard National Scale. Payscale for classroom teachers.


Special Measures

According to the Schools Inspections Act of 1996 a school requiring special measures is one that's "failing or likely to fail to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education".


Special school

Provides education for children whose needs cannot be met in an ordinary school.



Science, technology, engineering and maths.



School Sport Co-ordinators- responsible for implementing School Sport Partnership plans for the feeder primary schools in their cluster. They support colleagues in the delivery of high quality PE and school sport and have a remit to increase sporting opportunities for pupils out of school hours. Read more about a day in the life of a SSCO



Pupils who are issued with a statement, have a serious SEN requirement and will receive extra assistance with their learning The statement sets out the child’s needs and the help they should have. It is reviewed annually. See SEN.



School Teachers’ Review Body, established under the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Act 1991 to report to the Government on the statutory pay and conditions of school teachers in England and Wales.


Subject Associations

Subject Associations are normally membership groups whose mission it is to further the teaching and learning of a specific subject in schools, colleges and universities. For more information visit the Council for Subject Associations website


Supply teacher

Staff who provide cover for absent teachers