Attachment In the context of this website, this describes a relationship bond between a child and their primary caregiver, formed in the early years.
BAME Black, Asian and minority ethnic

A term often used to describe the broader range of community-based services supporting children and young people's mental health. It stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. It is different from specialist CAMHS.

See also: Specialist CAMHS


In educational contexts, character describes certain skills or attributes that enable children to perform better in school, cope with adversity, develop positive relationships and flourish into well-rounded adults. Sometimes used interchangeably with resilience.

See also: Resilience


A feeling of belonging and a sense of being cared for. It is also linked to feeling that you belong in your school. 

See also: School belonging

Cultural competency 

In the context of school, health, social, educational and wider settings, cultural competence is a skill that you can develop. It involves appreciating and respecting cultural differences and taking them into consideration in order to:

  • meet the educational and wellbeing needs of children
  • support families to help children thrive and learn
Cultural competence also involves analysing and on occasions challenging systems of power that create and perpetuate inequities in health, social, and educational and wider settings. 
Cultural sensititivity Being aware and being sensitive and flexible towards other cultures and practices.
Designated safeguarding lead (DSL) Used as generic term to reflect a number of different job titles involved in safeguarding, including designated senior person/child protection officer.
DfE Department for Education
Early help This term is used across the site, but also specifically in relation to early help teams. Early Help teams are often  commissioned to meet the needs of children and families early in order to prevent problems and challenges from emerging and sometimes to avoid crisis. 
Graduated support A graduated approach means not merely focusing on those with the most severe SEND needs (e.g. those  eligible for an educational, health and care [ECHP]plan). It involves recognising that many children in school will have different intensities of need in terms of SEND – most will not meet the threshold for an ECHP – but they may still have a need for teaching adaptations  and support to help them acheive. The SEND code of practice saw all school staff having an ongoing responsibility for assessing children's needs across this spectrum of need and making 'best endeavours' to adapt teaching to help children maximise learning. 
Learning difficulty Often used in schools to describe children who require differentiated or additional support for learning and to access the curriculum. These challenges may be linked to general cognitive difficulties or specific difficulties affecting learning in particular areas e.g. literacy or numeracy.
Learning disability

Often refers to children identified as having special educational needs (SEN) who require extra support to access and engage with the curriculum, over and above that which is usually available. However, ‘learning disability’ is a broad medical term. Not all children with SEN will have a learning disability. Some will have mild learning needs  and require  minimal support and oversight, and others may have significant learning needs and benefit from a high level of daily support and care. Some will need lifelong additional support in order to live independently.

See also: SEND

LGBTQQIAP Acronyms used for: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, pansexual. Soemtimes also referred to as LGBT or LGBTQ+.
Looked after children A child who is being cared for by their local council/authority is known as a ‘looked after’ child.
NICE National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 
Perspective take  Looking at a situation from another child or person's point of view. 
Post-traumatic stress disorder An anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
Protective factors

These shield children from risks to their mental health and wellbeing and can decrease their chances of becoming mentally unwell. Amongst other influences, protective factors can come from the individual child, their family, their community or their school.

See also: Risks


An ability to cope and thrive despite setbacks.

See also: Character

Reflective practice Being open to reviewing and considering your actions and experiences to improve how you work.
Restorative A restorative approach to resolving conflict allows children to explain the impact of certain actions or harm, and gives those responsible the opportunity to understand how their behaviour has affected others and to learn from what they have done.
Risks Risks are things that increase the chances of mental health difficulties developing. They can be linked to differences in a child's temperament as well as exposure to harmful experiences, environments or events.

See also: Protective factors

SENCO Special Educational Needs Coordinator

Special educational needs and disabilities can affect a child's ability to learn. SEND can affect their:

  • behaviour or ability to socialise;
  • reading and writing;
  • ability to understand things;
  • concentration levels;
  • physical ability.

School staff (isometimes with guidance from SENCOs) must make best endeavours to prevent SEND needs interfering with a child's ability to learn and thrive.

See also: Learning disability

School belonging  Feeling valued, included, accepted and respected at school.

See also: Connectedness

Specialist CAMHS

Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are National Health Service (NHS) mental health services that focus on the needs of children and young people. They are multidisciplinary teams including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, psychological therapists and mental health link workers.

See also: CAMHS

Spiral curriculum

Spiral curriculum is an approach to education that introduces key concepts to students at a young age and covers these concepts repeatedly, with increasing degrees of complexity. This approach is also known as also known as a "spaced" or "distributed" approach.

SLT Senior leadership team in a school. 
Stereotypes A widely held but fixed and simplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
Theory of Change  'A tool to help you describe the need you are trying to address, the changes you want to make (your outcomes) and what you plan to do (activities).' (From Creating your theory of change: NPC's practical guide, 2014
Transformation plans Local Transformation Plans set out how local services will invest resources to improve children and young people's mental health and improve the support offered to children, young people and families. LTPs were prompted by the 2015 government task force review of children and young people's mental health provision, called Future in Mind. 
Virtual school head (VSH) A local authority lead officer with responsibility for ensuring that arrangements are in place to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of the authorities' looked after children (even when not educated in their home area). The virtual head has responsibility for how the Pupil Premium is invested to promote a looked after child’s attainment and school experiences.  

Suggested results

No search results found