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Schools Glossary


5-14 Programme
5-14 Programme is the programme of curriculum development covering the seven years of primary education and the first two years of secondary.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning APEL
The granting of credit towards a qualification in Higher Education based on evaluation of the candidate's previous experience and learning.

Accreditation of Prior Learning APL
The granting of credit towards a qualification in higher education based on evaluation of the candidate's previous learning.

Additional Support Needs ASN
The term now used in Scotland instead of "Special Educational Needs".

Assessment is for Learning AifL
A major current programme to relaunch and promote key principles and good practice in both formative and summative assessment across primary and secondary schools

Assessment of Achievement Programme AAP
An annual survey of pupil attainment at ages 7, 11 and 14, which measures progress in English, mathematics and general science in Scottish schools.

Assistant Head Teacher AHT
Formerly a promoted post in primary and secondary schools carrying with it management responsibility. Now replaced by a new depute head teacher role, more broadly defined than the previous post of that name.

Assistant Principal Teacher APT
Formerly the second in command in a large subject department in a secondary school, or the head of a small department, or a member of guidance staff. This post has now been discontinued.

Association of Directors of Education in Scotland ADES
The organisation of which the heads of the education service in the local authorities are members. It provides a forum for discussion and is a body which can discuss issues with the Scottish Executive Education Department.

Association of Head Teachers and Deputies in Scotland AHDS
An association which represents the head teachers of primary schools in Scotland.

Association of Scottish Colleges ASC
The ASC groups together the Principals of all the further education colleges in Scotland.

Association of University Teachers (Scotland ) AUTS
Many university lecturers in Scotland belong to this association, which is part of a wider UK organisation representing university teaching staff.

Awards Scheme Development and Accreditation Network ASDAN
ASDAN is a curriculum development organisation and awarding body, which offers a wide range of curriculum programmes and qualifications for all abilities, mainly in the 11-25 age group.

Bachelor of Education BEd
A first degree offered by teacher training institutions, which provide academic education and professional training for primary teachers and some teachers of physical education, music and technology.

British Broadcasting Corporation BBC
The national, publicly funded, broadcasting authority in the United Kingdom.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Minister for Schools and Skills and Minister for Children and Early Years
The Education Ministers are responsible for further and higher education, science and lifelong learning, school education, training and skills, HM Inspectorate of Education and the Scottish Qualifications Authority, nurseries and childcare, children's services, children's hearings, social work and HM Social Work Inspectorate.

Catholic Education Commission CEC
The Catholic Education Commission concerns itself with matters in Scottish education which affect the Roman Catholic Church.

Central Bureau for International Education and Training CBIET
A UK-wide organisation which arranges educational visits and exchanges for teachers, students and other educationists. It also operates an extensive partner-finding service for educational establishments covering all parts of the world.

Certificate of Sixth Year Studies CSYS
The examination taken by some pupils in the final year of (upper) secondary education. Now re-named Advanced Higher level.

The honorary head of a University. He or she is usually a distinguished person or a member of Royalty and need not be an academic.

Chartered Teacher
A new career path for teachers who do not wish to pursue a management post. Achievement of chartered teacher status is through successful completion of a modular based programme of study.

Committee of Scottish Higher Education Principals COSHEP
The committee to which all Principals of Higher Education in Scotland belong. It discusses matters of common interest and common policies either in its main committee or its sub-committees. COSHEP was recently re-named Universities Scotland.

Continuing Professional Development CPD
CPD supports teachers' learning throughout their careers with high quality development opportunities, keeping them up to date with the latest thinking in learning and teaching and enabling them to meet the full potential.

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities COSLA
The body which represents local authorities in Scotland and consults on behalf of the authorities with central government on national issues.

Curriculum for Excellence CfE
The Government's programme of curriculum reform. It will develop a single curriculum framework for young people between the ages of three and 18 years. CfE aims to enable all children to develop their capacities as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors to society.

Depute Head Teacher DHT
A member of the senior management team in a Scottish school, carrying management responsibilities for various aspects of the school's work and deputising for the head teacher when necessary. (Formerly the second in command in a school).

Devolved School Management DSM
Since April 1996 local authorities in Scotland have been required to devolve at least 80 per cent of available funding to schools themselves, so that they may manage their own budgets.

Education Authorities EAs
Every one of the 32 local authorities in Scotland is also an education authority for its area.

Educational Institute of Scotland EIS
The largest of the Scottish teacher unions, with members in both the school and the post-school sectors.

An information service, set up in 1990 within Community Learning Scotland (CLS) in order to keep schools, further education colleges and youth and community groups well informed about educational developments in the European Union.

First Minister
The First Minister is appointed by HM the Queen to lead the Scottish Government. He/she is normally the leader of the majority party in the Scottish Parliament.

Further Education FE
Post-school, mainly vocational education, offered through 46 FE colleges, which are grant-aided, directly or indirectly, by the Scottish Executive. The funding agency set up by the Scottish Government for this purpose is known as the Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC).

General Scottish Vocational Qualifications GSVQ
Basic vocational qualifications offered by Scottish further education colleges.

General Teaching Council GTC
The body responsible for keeping a register of teachers in public education in Scotland and advising the Scottish Ministers on teacher education. All teachers in public education must be registered with the GTC.

Grant Aided Special Schools GASS
These schools provide for a wide range of special educational needs. There are seven GASS in Scotland providing education for young people with a wide range of additional support needs.

Head Teacher HT
The head of any school in Scotland. The head teachers of some secondary schools may also be known as rectors.

Head Teachers' Association of Scotland HAS
An organisation to which most secondary head teachers in Scotland belong. It deals with national issues as they affect schools and head teachers and also discusses issues directly with the Scottish Government Education and Lifelong Learning Department.

Health Promoting School
A health promoting school is one in which all members of the school community work together to provide pupils with integrated and positive experiences and structures, which promote and protect their health; including both the formal and informal curriculum in health, the creation of a safe and healthy school environment, the provision of appropriate health services and the involvement of the family and wider community in efforts to promote health.

Higher Education HE
In Scotland this term refers to the sector of education which encompasses post-school courses at Higher National Certificate and Diploma levels and degree and post-graduate course levels. All FE colleges as well as universities and other HE institutions offer higher education courses of some kind.

Higher Education Institutions HEIs (formerly Teacher Education Institutions)
Currently, there are seven Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Scotland which offer teacher training courses and teaching qualifications. Student teachers can choose from a range of courses. Most HEIs are also offering part-time/distance learning PGDE (Secondary) courses in specific subjects (e.g. Physics with Science, Maths, English etc).

Higher National Certificate HNC
A vocational certificate in higher education involving at least one year of full-time post-school study, sometimes two years. It is often taken part-time.

Higher National Diploma HND
A vocational qualification in higher education which is normally obtained following two or three years of full-time study.

Highers are the primary higher education entry qualification in Scotland. This is normally a one-year course taken in the fifth or sixth year of secondary education though courses can also be followed at FE Colleges.

Highland School Services HPS
The HPS provides training for pre-school staff in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, just as the Scottish Pre-school Play Association does in the rest of Scotland.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise HIE
The body set up by Government to encourage economic development in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Like Scottish Enterprise, HIE is responsible for supporting a number of Local Enterprise Companies, which include the Careers Service for secondary schools among their responsibilities.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education HMIE
The national inspectors, who form an executive agency of the Scottish Government Education and Lifelong Learning Department and who visit and report on the performance of schools and further education colleges. They also provide professional advice to the Government on curriculum and standards in education.

Independent Schools
The term used to describe private, fee-paying schools in Scotland.

Individual Learning Accounts ILAs
ILAs were available in Scotland from September 2000 to December 2001. They assisted people aged 18 and over to invest in their own learning, if they were not already in full-time higher education or in receipt of public funding for their learning. They had to contribute 25 themselves and were then eligible to receive a further sum up to 150.

Initial Teacher Education ITE
Often referred to also as Initial Teacher Training, ITE is the study programme which intending teachers must follow either in pursuit of a four year Bachelor of Education degree to qualify for primary teaching; or to achieve a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), Primary or Secondary, in one year, after graduation from a university degree course. Aberdeen, Glasgow, Stirling and Strathclyde universities offer combined or concurrent degree courses whereby training for teaching may be pursued simultaneously with a degree course.

Integrated (formerly New) Community Schools
The first Integrated Community Schools were set up in 1999-2000. There is no single model for them. Most bring several existing schools together to operate with a team of professionals providing a range of services including education, social work, family support and health education.

International Team IT
The team in the Scottish Government's Education and Lifelong Learning Department that is responsible for taking forward international education policy and liaising on educational matters with other countries in the European Union and beyond. It also includes the Scottish Eurydice Unit.

learndirect scotland
The brand name for the Scottish University for Industry (qv). There is a large number of 'learndirect scotland' centres throughout the country offering information, advice and contacts to individuals and companies wishing to access education and training opportunities.

Learning and Teaching Scotland LTS
LTS is the lead organisation for the development and support of the Scottish curriculum.

Local Enterprise Companies LEC
The 22 Councils set up to liaise with industry and arrange and provide vocational training in their particular areas, covering the whole of Scotland. Most of the LECs are supported by Scottish Enterprise, the remainder by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Modern Apprenticeships
In 1995 the Skillseekers programme was extended to include Modern Apprenticeships, aimed primarily at 16-17 year olds to enable them to train for jobs at craft, technician and trainee management levels. The training must lead to a Scottish Vocational Qualification Level III or above.

National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers NAS/UWT
One of the main teaching unions in the UK but with a relatively small membership in Scotland.

National Certificate NC
The non-advanced post-school vocational certificate awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) (formerly SCOTVEC) on the basis of a course comprising a number of learning modules.

National Grid for Learning NGfL
The NGfL is a Government initiative for securing the benefits of advanced networked information for education and lifelong learning. It offers high quality learning material via the Internet for schools, colleges, teachers and students. It also operates a programme to deliver the infrastructure of cable and networks, hardware, services and training.

National Qualifications NQ
A single unified system of National Qualifications has now replaced the separate systems of academic and vocational qualifications in Scotland which operated in Scotland until 1999.

National Record of Achievement NRA
A record of achievement which records details of qualifications and experiences of pupils gained at school and beyond school. It has now been replaced by a Progress File (or Pro-File).

National Training Organisations NTO
National Training Organisations form a UK-wide network representing occupational sectors. They have now replaced Industry Lead Bodies, Occupational Standards Councils and Industry Training Organisations. They are therefore national strategic bodies responsible for identifying the skills, education and needs of their respective sectors and for maintaining standards.

National Vocational Qualifications NVQ
The vocational qualifications awarded in further education and training in England and Wales.

New Deal
The New Deal is a Government initiative aimed at helping the long-term unemployed back to work.

Open College
The UK vocational education college which operates by distance learning and on a similar basis to the Open University.

Open University OU
The United Kingdom University which operates through distance learning but also brings students together for seminars at different times throughout the year.

Parent Councils
A Parent Council, consisting of elected parent and staff members, contributes to the running of a school and provides a forum for parental views.

Parent-Teacher Association PTA
Many schools have PTAs as well as Parent Councils. They exist to work on behalf of or in support of the school.

This website offers a broad range of information for parents, carers and others responsible for school age children about education in Scotland. The website also produces a comprehensive list of links to useful organisations and recent publications. website - www.parentzonescotland.gov.uk

Performance Indicators PI
Performance indicators, now often known as quality indicators, are criteria which are used by educational establishments themselves in self-evaluation and by external evaluators, such as HM Inspectors of Education, when judging the quality of education offered.

Personal Support for Learning (also referred to as guidance or pastoral care)
Personal support is an holistic approach by which the school attempts to meet the personal, social, emotional and intellectual needs of every pupil, in order that each might participate fully and gain maximum benefit from everything the school has to offer, and is equipped with the skills to cope with life.

Post-Graduate Certificate in Education PGCE
The certificate awarded to intending teachers on completion of a one-year course of post-graduate professional training.

Primary 1 P1
The first year of primary school education. The years of primary education are normally referred to in Scotland as P1 to P7.

The name given to the Head of a Further Education College or Higher Education Institution.

Principal Teacher PT,
The name given to a member of middle management in a Scottish school, e.g., the head of a subject department or a senior guidance teacher in a secondary school, or a promoted teacher in a primary school who has some specified responsibilities.

Professional Association of Teachers PAT
A teachers' union with members throughout the United Kingdom.

Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) (used to be known as PGCE)
The certificate awarded to intending teachers on completion of a one-year course of post-graduate professional training.

Quality Assurance Agency QAA
A UK body set up to check that appropriate quality assurance mechanisms are operating in all Higher Education Institutions throughout the UK. The QAA now fulfils this function in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.

Quality Indicators QI
Quality indicators (or performance indicators) are used by all educational institutions in Scotland in the process of self-evaluation and by external evaluators, such as HM Inspectors of Education.

Quality Initiative in Scottish Schools QISS
A programme designed to establish the characteristics of effective schools, promote the best use of school development plans and encourage the attainment of higher standards.

Quality Standards and Audit Division QSAD
The former name of the unit within HM Inspectorate of Education in SEED responsible for analysing information about the Scottish education system and informing parents and others on trends. This unit is now known as HMIE Directorate 5.

Record of Needs RoN
The record of the assessment made of a child with additional support needs in his or her early years, setting out the provision which should be made.

This term is used with two different meanings in Scottish education:
a) it is the title sometimes given to the head teacher of a secondary school;
b) it is the title of the Chairperson of the University Court in the ancient universities, who is elected by the student body.

Research Assessment Exercise RAE
The assessment of the quality of research in Higher Education Institutions in the United Kingdom, as a result of which funding for research is distributed on a formula basis.

Research and Economic Unit REU
The REU's functions within the Scottish Executive Education Department include advice on the development, appraisal, monitoring and evaluation of policies, and the management of, and advice on, social and economic research projects. The REU's remit covers school education, children and young people, social work, and tourism, culture and sport.

Revenue Support Grant RSG
The sum of money allocated to local authorities by the Scottish Executive to cover their statutory obligations, not only in relation to education but also housing, roads, etc.

School Boards
A School Board, consisting of elected parent and staff members, contributes to the running of a school and provides a forum for parental views. School Boards have now been replaced by Parent Councils.

School Improvement Plans SIP
It is a statutory requirement that Scottish schools each produce an annual School Development Plan stating the school's aims, indicating the results of self-evaluation and announcing what actions are to be taken to effect improvement.

Scottish Centre for Information on Language Teaching SCILT
The SCILT is based in the University of Stirling. It provides information on the teaching of languages other than English for the benefit of Scottish educational institutions in all sectors of the education system.

Scottish Certificate of Education SCE
Formerly, the general name given to the leaving certificate awarded at the end of compulsory (and post-compulsory) schooling by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. The certificate is now known as the Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC).

Scottish Community Education Council SCEC
Until recently, the body which had general responsibility for promotion, development and oversight of adult, youth and community education in Scotland. It is now known as Community Learning Scotland (CLS).

Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum SCCC
Formerly, the body made up of teachers, educationists and others who advised on the curriculum in Scottish schools. It has now merged with the Scottish Council for Educational technology (SCET) to form Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS).

Scottish Council for Development and Industry SCDI
A broadly based body including industry, commerce, trade unions, universities, colleges and the churches which has the aim of creating a more prosperous Scotland. In this capacity it has a considerable interest in enterprise education.

Scottish Council for Educational Technology SCET
Former name of the national body set up to promote effective learning in schools and colleges through the use of new technology. It has now merged with the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum (SCCC) to form Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS).

Scottish Council for Research in Education SCRE
An independent national body which carries out research on all aspects of education in Scotland, now merged with the Faculty of Education, University of Glasgow.

Scottish Council of Independent Schools SCIS
The body representing the majority of independent (i.e. private) schools in Scotland

Scottish Credit Accumulation and Transfer SCOTCAT
The scheme which was established to give a credit rating to courses so that those who wish to take a degree or other qualification may claim credit for courses which they have already completed successfully. It has now been renamed the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework SCQF
Formerly known as SCOTCAT (qv), the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework gives a credit rating to courses in further and higher education.

Scottish Enterprise SE
The body set up by the Government to promote economic development in most of Scotland, to 'sell' Scotland abroad and to encourage inward investment. The rest of Scotland in respect of economic development is covered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Scottish Enterprise supports the Local Enterprise Companies, one of whose responsibilities is the operation of the careers services for secondary schools.

Scottish Exchange of Educational Data ScotXed
A major programme to underpin quality improvements and effective police making in Scottish school education by: supporting and promoting effective and secure systems for data exchange and data sharing and publishing statistics and benchmarks so that all can benefit from access to high quality information.

ScotXchange on the web
A one stop-shop for statistics and benchmarks for use by the Scottish schools community. www.scotXed.net

Scottish Government Education and Lifelong Learning Department ELL
The Government Department within the Scottish Government which is responsible for pre-school education, school education in Scotland, all post-school education and training, Enterprise in Education and Careers Guidance.

Scottish Further and Higher Education Association SFHEA
One of the unions which represents lecturers in post-school education.

Scottish Further Education Funding Council SFEFC
The body set up in 1999 under the terms of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992 to allocate funding to Further Education Colleges in Scotland.

Scottish Further Education Unit SFEU
The centre for curriculum development in further education in Scotland.

Scottish Group Awards SGA
An arrangement whereby passes in examinations administered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (in schools and further education establishments) are grouped in order to provide entry qualifications to further courses of study or training. SGAs are not yet in widespread use.

Scottish Health Promoting Schools Unit SHPSU
Established in May 2002 to champion and promote the development of health promoting schools in order to meet the target of all schools in Scotland being health promoting by 2007. The Unit works principally in a strategic way, influencing policy and guidance towards ensuring that health promoting school development is integral to local and national policy and plans.

Scottish Higher Education Funding Council SHEFC
The body set up under the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992 to allocate funding to Higher Education Institutions in Scotland.

Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee SJNC
The body set up by the Secretary of State for Scotland to determine salaries and conditions of service for teachers in State schools. It was replaced by a new statutory body in 2001: the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT).

Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers SNCT
This is the body which took over responsibility in 2001 (from the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee) for the negotiation of the salaries and conditions of service of teachers in Scotland.

Scottish Pre-school Play Association SPPA
The Scottish Pre-school Play Association is the association which works to support playgroups, toddler groups and under-fives groups in Scotland.

Scottish Qualification for Headship SQH
Prospective head teachers in Scotland are generally expected to follow a course of study leading to the SQH prior to appointment to a head teacher post. Website: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/education/sqh/

Scottish Qualifications Authority SQA
A Non-departmental Public Body sponsored by SEED, the SQA is the national body in Scotland responsible for the assessment and certification of qualifications other than degrees.

Scottish Qualifications Certificate SQC
Formerly known as the Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE), the SQC is a certificate awarded to pupils in S4 - S6 on successful completion of examinations set by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Scottish School of Further Education SSFE
The unit in the Faculty of Education of the University of Strathclyde which provides training, including courses leading to a Teaching Qualification for lecturers in Further Education.

Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association SSTA
A teachers' union to which many secondary teachers in Scotland belong.

Scottish Teachers for a New Era STNE
Funded by SEED, the Hunter Foundation and the University of Aberdeen, STNE is investigating and developing a new model for teacher education. In order to achieve this, teacher educators, students, teachers, pupils, parents, other professionals from local authorities and national agencies are working together to share ideas and experiences, engage in research activity and explore new approaches in learning and teaching.

Scottish University for Industry SUfI
Launched in October 2000, the SUfI is intended to act as a broker bringing individuals or companies requiring education and/or training together with organisations, such as further and higher education institutions, that can provide it. The SUfI does not provide learning itself but offers information, advice and contacts through so-called 'learndirect scotland' centres.

Scottish Vocational Education Council SCOTVEC
The national body which, until March 31, 1997, awarded vocational qualifications in Scotland. It has been superseded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Scottish Vocational Qualifications SVQ
Qualifications which relate to an individual's ability to do a job and which are based on actual working practices in workplace conditions. They are similar to National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) awarded in other parts of the United Kingdom.

Secondary 1 S1
The first year of secondary education which is usually referred to in Scotland as S1. The other years are referred to similarly: S2, S3, etc., up to S6

Secretary of State
The Secretary of State for Scotland is a member of the UK Cabinet. His or her role is to act as a link between the UK Government and the Scottish Executive and to represent Scottish interests in the Cabinet. The Secretary of State is currently supported by a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and works in close co-operation with the Lord Advocate for Scotland.

Senior Teachers
A senior teacher was formerly one who was paid on a higher scale and had normally certain specific responsibilities for an aspect or aspects of the work of the primary or secondary school. This post has now been superseded.

The Government-funded training programme for 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland. It is managed and delivered by Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) through their network of Local Enterprise Companies (LEC).

Standard Grades (SG) are generally taken over two years of study in third and fourth year at secondary school. Students often take seven or eight subjects including Maths and English. There are three levels of study Credit, General and Foundation. The courses are made up of different parts called 'elements', there are usually three of these - one internally assessed with the other two externally examined at the end of the course.

Student Awards Agency for Scotland SAAS
The body which operates the student allowance scheme on behalf of the Scottish Executive.

Student Loan Scheme
Full-time Scottish domiciled and EU students studying in Scotland are entitled to free tuition and living costs support through means-tested loans arranged by the Student Loan Scheme.

Teaching Qualification TQ
The qualification awarded by a teacher education institution to a student who has successfully completed a post-graduate certificate in education, a Bachelor of Education degree, or a combined degree which includes study of education and school experience. It entitles the student to register with the General Teaching Council (GTC) for Scotland.

Teach in Scotland
This website is a comprehensive source of information for people who are considering teaching as a career and want to find out how to get into teacher training and what to expect from a career being a teacher. The website is also important to attract teachers who have qualified outwith Scotland and to give them more information on how to become registered as a teacher. www.infoscotland.com/teaching

Training for Work TfW
TfW is the Scottish Executive's training scheme for those aged 25 and over who have been unemployed for six months or more.

Unique Pupil Identifier
Each pupil in a Scottish publicly funded primary, secondary or special school has a unique education identifier, his or her SCN, derived using the SQA's Scottish Candidate Number system.

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service UCAS
The body which processes most applications for entry to higher education institutions throughout the UK, distributes them to individual institutions, and enables candidates to apply to several institutions on one application form.

Universities Scotland
This is the body which brings together all the Principals of Scottish Higher Education Institutions. Universities Scotland advises the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council on policy and strategy for HE.

University of the Highlands and Islands UHI Millennium Institute
This is the first 'federal' university in the UK. Based in Inverness the UHI Millennium Institute links together, by means of new information and communication technology, the colleges which serve the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

Workers' Educational Association WEA
An adult education organisation founded after the First World War to provide educational opportunities, originally for those whose education had not extended beyond the minimum school leaving age.