Here’s our quick guide to commonly used secondary education acronyms in British schools:

Secondary Education AcronymsDefinition
ADDAttention Deficit Disorder
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ALISA Level Indicator System
AQAAssessment and Qualifications Alliance
ASDAutism Spectrum Disorders
ASTAdvanced Skills Teacher
ATAttainment Target (in National Curriculum)
BACBehaviour and Attendance Collaborative
BESDBehavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulty
BSLBritish Sign Language
BSPBehaviour Support Plan
BSSBehaviour Support Service
BTECBusiness and Technology Education Council
CAT Cognitive Ability Test
CLCurriculum Leader
CPDContinuing Professional Development
D&TDesign and Technology
DCPODesignated Child Protection Officer
DHRDeputy Head Teacher
EBDEmotional and Behavioural Difficulties
FEFurther Education
FSMFree School Meals
GCSEGeneral Certificate of Secondary Education
HEHigher Education
HIHearing Impairment
IBInternational Baccalaureate
ICTInformation and Communications Technology
ITInformation Technology
KSKey Stage
KS3Key Stage 3 (covers year groups 7, 8 and 9, ages 11-14)
KS4Key Stage 4 (covers year groups 10 and 11, ages 14-16)
KS5Key Stage 5 (covers year groups 12 and 13, also known as sixth form, ages 16-18)
LDLearning Difficulties
LSWLearning Support Workers
MFLModern Foreign Languages
MLDModerate Learning Difficulties
NCNational Curriculum
NCTNon-contact Time
NQTNewly Qualified Teacher
NVQNational Vocational Qualification
PCTPrimary Care Team
PDPhysical Disability
PEPhysical Education
PMLDProfound Multiple Learning Difficulties
PPAPlanning, Preparation & Assessment
PSHEPersonal, Social and Health Education
PSMPastoral Support Manager
QTSQualified Teacher Status
REReligious Education
RSReligious Studies
SATsStandard Attainment Tests (taken in year 2, 6 and 9)
SEBDSocial, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
SEMHSocial, Emotional and Mental Health
SENSpecial Educational Needs
SENCOSpecial Educational Needs Coordinator
SENDSpecial Educational Needs and Disability
SLDSevere Learning Difficulties
SLTSenior Leadership Team
SMTSenior Management Team
STEMScience, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
TATeaching Assistant
UCASUniversity and Colleges Admissions Service
UPRUpper Pay Range
VAKVisual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic (learning styles)
VIVisual Impairment

Not found the acronym you’re looking for? Here’s a further list of commonly used acronyms in British schools:

General Education AcronymsDefinition
BSABasic Skills Agency
DBSDisclosure Barring Service
DfEDepartment for Education
EALEnglish as an Additional Language
EDUEducation Development Unit
EPEducation Psychologist
ESW Education Social Worker
EWOEducation Welfare Officer
GTCGeneral Teaching Council
IEPIndividual Educational Plans
INSETIn-service Education and Training
ITTInitial Teacher Training
KPIKey Performance Indicator
L&DLearning and Development
LALocal Authority
LEALocal Education Authority
LGBLocal Governing Body (for Academies)
LRCLearning Resource Centre
LSALocal Support Assistant
LSCBLocal Safeguarding Children's Board
LGBLocal Governing Body (for Academies)
LRCLearning Resource Centre
LSALocal Support Assistant
LSCBLocal Safeguarding Children's Board
NUTNational Union of Teachers
NVQNational Vocational Qualification
OFSTEDOffice for Standards in Education
PGCEPostgraduate Certificate of Education
SCITTSchool-centred Initial Teacher Training
SDPSchool Development Plan
SMARTSmart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-scaled Targets
SoWScheme of Work
TEFLTeaching English as a Foreign Language
TESOLTeaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
TLRTeaching and Learning Responsibilities
UCASUniversity and Colleges Admissions Service
VLEVirtual Learning Environment
WBLWork Based Learning

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