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RIASS Redbridge
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A glossary of regularly used terms and phrases related to SENDIASS.


Academies are publicly funded independent schools.

Academies don’t have to follow the national curriculum and can set their own term times. They still have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools.

Academies get money direct from the government, not the local council. They’re run by an academy trust which employs the staff.

Annual Review

Local authorities must carry out an annual review of every EHC plan at least once every 12 months

Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

CCGs are groups of professionals that work together to commission health services, ensuring there is sufficient capacity contracted to deliver the necessary services to people.

Direct Payment

A payment made directly to a parent or young person to purchase specific services. A direct payment may be made as part of a personal budget so that the parent or young person can buy certain services that are specified in their EHC plan.


Someone has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial (more than minor or trivial) and long-term (lasting more than one year or likely to last more than one year) adverse effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities. This is a wide definition, and can cover physical or mental health problems, as well as conditions such as dyslexia or autism.

EHC Needs Assessment

Local authorities must carry out an EHC needs assessment if they think a child or young person may need an EHC plan. The assessment is a detailed look at what special educational needs the child or young person has and what help they may need in order to learn. It is sometimes called a statutory assessment.

Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)

An EHC plan describes the special educational needs that a child or young person has and the help that they will be given to meet them. It also includes the health and care provision that is needed. It is a legal document written by the local authority and is used for children and young people who have high support needs.

Education Other Than At School (EOTAS)

For some children and young people, education in any setting would be inappropriate due to their special educational needs. This is often referred to education otherwise than in a school, but includes early years and post 16 settings as well. The local authority (“LA”) can arrange for any required special educational provision to be delivered somewhere else, for example at home. The LA must arrange and pay for that provision.

EOTAS is different to elective home education. With an EOTAS package the LA is responsible for arranging and paying for the provision. If a parent chooses to home educate their child, the LA is not responsible for meeting any of the costs or providing any support. 

Elective Home Education

Parents are responsible for making sure their child is educated, either at school or otherwise. Parents can choose to home educate their child. This means that they are responsible for giving them a suitable education. This is called elective home education (“EHE”).

If your child does not have an education, health and care (“EHC”) plan, you do not need permission from the school or the local authority (“LA”) to home educate them and remove them from school. If your child does have an EHC plan, you can choose to home educate them but:

  • your LA does not have to provide any special educational provision set out in the EHC plan, and
  • if they currently go to a special school, you will need your LA’s agreement to take your child off the school roll. 

National Curriculum

The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.

Independent Supporter

A person recruited by a voluntary or community sector organisation to help families going through an EHC needs assessment and the process of developing an EHC plan.

This person is independent of the local authority and will receive training, including legal training, to enable him or her to provide this support.

Local Authority

Local authorities are administrative offices that provide services within their local areas. They provide education support and social care services, as well as more general services such as rubbish collection.

Local Offer

The Local Offer, published by every local authority, tells you what support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their families.

It includes information about education, health and care provision. It also gives information about training, employment and independent living for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Mainstream School

This is a school that provides education for all children, whether or not they have special educational needs or disabilities.


This is a free way to resolve a dispute without going to court or to the SEND Tribunal. An independent person, called the mediator, helps the parties discuss what the problems are and see how they can be resolved. If agreement is reached, a mediation agreement is created.

You have a right to try mediation whenever your local authority makes a decision which you could appeal to the SEND Tribunal, including if you only disagree with the name or type of setting, or the fact no setting or type has been named in section I of an EHC plan. In Redbridge the mediation service is Community Accord


An outcome is the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. It should be personal and not expressed from a service perspective.

it should be something that those involved have control and influence over, and while it does not always have to be formal or accredited, it should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART).

When an outcome is focused on education or training, it will describe what the expected benefit will be to the individual as a result of the educational or training intervention provided.

Parent Carer Forum

A Parent Carer Forum is a representative local group of parents/carers of disabled children who work with local authorities, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver, meet the needs of disabled children and families. They have been established in most local authority areas.

Personal Budget

A Personal Budget is money set aside to fund support as part of an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from Education, Health and Social Care.

Parents of children with an EHC plan and young people with an EHC plan can choose whether or not they wish to have a Personal Budget.

Travel Assistance

Redbridge Council has a duty to provide some assistance with home to school and home to college transport based on a child’s individual needs and circumstances.


  • Councils transport vehicles
  • Independent Travel Training (a 12-week program with the aim of pupil’s being able to travel to and from college independently)
  • Buddy system
  • Mileage claim
  • Travel Warrants

For more information contact SEN & Inclusion Transport Office

SEN Support

SEN support includes any help for children and young people with SEN that is additional to, or different from the support generally made for other children of the same age.

The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives that have been set for them by the school. Schools should involve parents in this process.

Social Care

Social care provides support to children in need in their area.  They carry out a range of assessments to look at what practical help a family may require e.g. parenting support, short breaks etc.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo)

A SENCo is a qualified teacher in a school or maintained nursery school who has responsibility for co-ordinating SEN provision.

Special School

A special school is a school for students who have special educational needs due to severe learning difficulties, physical disabilities or behavioural problems.

Special schools may be specifically designed, staffed and resourced to provide appropriate special education for children with additional needs.