Browse our A to Z list of definitions for terms used across education statistics and data.

The glossary is intended to grow over time as the service is populated.



When a pupil misses (or is absent from) at least 1 possible school session.

Counted in sessions, where 1 session is equivalent to half-a-day.

There are 4 types of absence:

Academic year

Lasts from 1 August to 31 July. Generally broken into 3 terms - autumn, spring and summer.

Throughout the service this is shown in the format ‘2012/13’ to describe the year from 1 August 2012 to 31 July 2013

Accredited ITT providers

ITT providers can only provide courses that lead to a recommendation for qualified teacher status (QTS) if they are accredited by the Department for Education (DfE). In order to be accredited, providers must design training which meets the Secretary of State for Education’s ITT criteria. Providers need to ensure that all programmes of ITT comply with the criteria. The ITT criteria also includes information on the withdrawal of accreditation. Further information is available here

Ad hoc statistics

Releases of statistics which are not part of DfE's regular annual official statistical release calendar.

Admissions appeal

Appeal submitted by a parent/guardian against not being offered a place at a school via the coordinated admissions process.

Admissions criteria

The way in which schools prioritise the children who have applied for a place via the coordinated admissions process. For all schools the first (top priority) criteria has to be children looked after, other examples are passing a selection test, having a sibling in the school, or living closer to the school than the other children being considered.

APAD (admissions appeals data collection)

Data collection made by local authorities each January, giving aggregated numbers of appeals lodged, heard and the result from schools under local authority control (mainstream voluntary controlled and community schools).

Applications and offers

The process by which places for the main entry points of each school (for example reception year in primary schools) are allocated. Applications are submitted via the coordinated admissions process by parents/guardians to their local authority, listing their school choices in order. All the applications are assessed against the schools` published admissions criteria, and an offer of the highest preference school for which they meet the criteria is made.

Assessment Only (AO) route

Assessment Only is for experienced teachers with a degree who have not been awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) in England and those with a teaching qualification from different countries who satisfy the entry requirements. It allows teachers to do the necessary assessment and skills tests to qualify for QTS. It is a way for existing unqualified teachers, support staff or teaching assistants to demonstrate that they already meet all the QTS standards, without the need for any further training. AO is open to those with relevant teaching experience who hold a degree, or for those with a teaching qualification from another country. Candidates undertaking AO do not complete a course to achieve QTS but are instead assessed against the Teacher’s Standards. The entry criteria for AO are the same as those for all initial teacher training (ITT) courses and must be met in full prior to registration. Only DfE-approved accredited providers of ITT can assess and recommend AO candidates for QTS.

Attendance case management

Attendance case management involves early intervention and a pupil specific approach to tackle absence problems. Common features of attendance case management include:

  • regular monitoring and follow-up of absence,
  • identification of underlying causes of absence or mitigating circumstances,
  • engagement with parents to prompt them to focus on their responsibilities to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school and
  • application of sanctions, for example prosecution, if improvements are not made within an agreed timeframe.
Attendance case management is a non-statutory process and is not used by all local authorities.

Authorised absence

When a pupil misses (or is absent from) at least 1 possible school session with the permission of a teacher or other authorised school representative.

Counted in sessions, where 1 session is equivalent to half-a-day.

Away from placement without authorisation

A looked-after child whose whereabouts is known but who is not at their placement or place they are expected to be and the carer has concerns or the incident has been notified to the local authority or the police.


There are currently no entries under this section.


Cancelled loans

The borrower no longer has any liability to repay as provided for in the loans regulations. A borrower’s liability is cancelled:

  • On the death of the borrower;
  • On reaching the age or length of time cancellation criteria for their loan (which varies by loan product); or,
  • If borrower is in receipt of a disability related benefit and permanently unfit for work.
  • Borrowers who study Access to HE courses and complete a higher education course have any outstanding ALLs balance written off.

Capitalised interest

The interest accrued on student loans is added to a borrower’s loan balance, rather than requiring repayment at the time it is accrued.

Care leaver

Care leavers are relevant or former relevant children. Relevant children are defined under Section 23A(2) of the Children Act 1989 and former relevant children are defined under Section 23C (1) of the Children Act 1989.

A relevant child is:

  • a young person aged 16 or 17
  • is no longer looked-after
  • before last ceasing to be looked-after, was an eligible child


  • a young person aged 16 or 17
  • not subject to a care order
  • detained, or in hospital on their 16th birthday
  • immediately before being detained or admitted to hospital had been looked-after for at least 13 weeks which began after they reached age 14.

A former relevant child is one who is:

  • aged 18 or above,

and either

  • has been a relevant child and would be one if he were under 18,


  • immediately before he ceased to be looked-after at age 18, was an eligible child.

Child in need

A child in need is defined under the Children Act 1989 as a child who is unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health or development will be significantly impaired without the provision of children's social care services, or the child is disabled.

Child protection plan

A child in need becomes the subject of a child protection plan if they are assessed as being at risk of harm, at an initial child protection conference.

Code of practice for Official Statistics

The Code of Practice for Statistics plays an essential role in ensuring that published statistics command public confidence through demonstrating trustworthiness and providing high quality statistics that enhance public value. It consists of three pillars (Trustworthiness, Quality & Value), each consisting of a number of principles and practices ensuring that producers of official statistics know what is expected of them. For producers of non-official statistics, it provides a framework to help produce analytical outputs that are high quality, useful for supporting decision making and well-respected through voluntary application of the Code. Further information is available here

Coordinated admissions process

The process by which applications are received for a school place, the applications assessed and offers made. The process is run by the local authorities but the dates (such as the application deadlines and national offer days) are prescribed by the department


Database of Trainee Teachers and Providers (DTTP)

The data collection system for initial teacher training (ITT) providers and lead schools (involved in School Direct). Guidance for this is available here

Delivered or dispatched

The device has been dispatched from the storage facility or is in transit awaiting delivery on a date specified by the recipient. Shipments are running on a next business day delivery basis and two redelivery attempts are made before the delivery is returned.

Department for Education (DfE)

The Department for Education is responsible for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England. Further information is available here


A laptop or tablet along with a protective sleeve and software/operating licences.

Disadvantaged pupils

Pupils who are one of the following:

  • eligible for Free School Meals in the last 6 years (eligibility on census day)
  • looked after continuously for 1 day or more and aged 4-15
  • adopted from care

This excludes children looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements.

Doctoral loan

Loans issued to students on doctoral courses, on the Plan 3 repayment system. They are paid directly to students and can be used to cover fees or living costs.


The usual residence of a student in the period prior to commencement of study. Wherever ‘EU-domiciled’ students are referred to this includes students domiciled in countries other than the UK that count as EU-domiciled for funding purposes.

Dual main registered pupils

Dual registered pupils who are enrolled at more than 1 school have a dual main registration (at their main school) and 1 or more subsidiary registrations (at their additional schools).

See also dual registered pupils.

Dual registered pupils

Pupils who are enrolled at more than 1 school.

See also dual main registered pupils.



English as an Additional Language (EAL) refers to pupils whose first language is not English.

Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT)

Early years initial teacher training (EYITT) provides specialist training covering the education and care of children from birth to the age of five and is distinct from primary education. Successful EYITT trainees are awarded early years teacher status (EYTS). Training is delivered by accredited ITT providers.

Early Years Teaching Status (EYTS)

Successful EYITT trainees are awarded early years teacher status (EYTS). They are not eligible for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and are therefore not qualified to lead classes in a maintained nursery or school, unless they also hold QTS. Early years teachers can lead teaching in all other early years settings in the private, voluntary and independent (PVI) sector.

Education Supervision Orders

Local authorities must consider applying for an Education Supervision Order (ESO) before prosecuting parents. A local authority may apply for an ESO instead of or as well as prosecuting parents. The order is made in respect of the child and the local authority is appointed by the court to supervise that child’s education, either at a school or at home, for a specified period of time.

Education, health and care plan

For children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

The EBacc is a set of subjects at GCSE that keeps young people’s options open for further study and future careers. The EBacc is:

  • English language and literature
  • maths
  • the sciences
  • geography or history
  • a language

Further information on the EBacc is available here

English devolved area

Used to refer to combined authorities, mayoral combined authorities, and the Greater London Authority. Full list of authorities included below:

Mayoral combined authorities

  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Greater Manchester
  • Liverpool City Region
  • North of Tyne
  • Sheffield City Region
  • Tees Valley
  • West Midlands
  • West of England

Non-mayoral combined authorities

  • Great London Authority
  • North East
  • West Yorkshire


Students in their first year of study. Defined as those starting a course in the academic year who have not been active at the same broad level of study at the same provider in either of the two previous academic years.

EU Countries

The EU countries are:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

European Economic Area (EEA)

The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU’s single market. Switzerland is not an EU or EEA member but is part of the single market. This means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.


When a pupil is not allowed to attend (or is excluded from) a school.

There are 2 types of exclusion:

Exclusion rate

The number of exclusions as a percentage of the overall school population.

Exclusion review panel

The process by which parents (and pupils aged over 18 years) can request a review of a permanent exclusion.

Experimental statistics

Experimental statistics are newly developed or innovative official statistics that are undergoing evaluation. They are published to involve users and stakeholders in the assessment of their suitability and quality at an early stage. These statistics will reach a point where the label, experimental statistics, can be removed, or should be discontinued.


Face value of loan book

The total outstanding balance on student loans. This will include all previous loan outlay and accrued interest, less any repayments or loan cancellations.

Financial year

The year from 1 April to 31 March. Throughout the service this is shown in the format ‘2012-13’ to describe the year from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013.

First preference rate

The proportion of applicants to which a local authority were able to make an offer of their first preference school.

Fixed-period exclusion

When a pupil is not allowed to attend (or is excluded from) a school for a set period of time.

This can be for part of a school day and does not have to be for a continuous period.

A pupil can be excluded for 1 or more fixed periods up to a maximum of 45 school days in a single academic year.

This total includes exclusions from previous schools covered by the exclusion legislation so pupils with repeat exclusions can inflate fixed-period exclusion rates.

Free school meals

Free lunchtime meals provided to full-time pupils who are eligible by virtue of benefits their family claims and/or household income.


Pupil eligibility for free school meals at any point during the preceding six academic years.

Fully repaid loan

The borrower has repaid the loan in full during their repayment term without it being cancelled.

Future Teaching Scholars Programme

A six-year, full-time programme for outstanding A level students with a passion for maths or physics. It offers financial support during a student’s undergraduate years, as well as employment-based teacher training after graduation. This programme is included within School Direct salaried.


There are currently no entries under this section.


Heard appeals

The number of appeals which were heard by an appeals panel.

High Potential Initial Teacher Training (HPITT)

High Potential ITT was formerly reported as Teach First. The programme is a route into teaching that attracts high performing graduates and career changers who are unlikely to have otherwise joined the profession. Trainees are placed in challenging schools serving low-income communities with high numbers of disadvantaged and low attaining pupils. It is an employment-based route with trainees completing a two-year Leadership Development Programme, with the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at the end of year one and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) at the end of year two.

Higher education full-time loan

Loans available to students on full-time higher education courses, including first degrees, sub-degrees and certain postgraduate courses (e.g. Postgraduate Certificate in Education or PGCEs) that are eligible for the undergraduate loan system.

Higher Education Institution (HEI) route - postgraduates

The ITT Census and profiles publications define the HEI route as a provider-led course where the provider is a higher education institution. Within initial teacher training (ITT), the HEI route is one of the pathways of becoming a teacher as a postgraduate trainee. All trainees are postgraduates and working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) alongside either a PGCE or a PGDE (or a very small number of trainees are awarded QTS with a Professional GCE which is slightly different to the regular PGCE).

Higher education part-time loan

Loans available to students on part-time higher education courses with an intensity of 25% or higher.

Household Residual Income

The household gross income minus payments to private pension schemes, additional voluntary contributions and employment related costs as well as allowances for dependents and students.


Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) loan

Loans for which the required repayments are based on the borrower’s income. The type of student loan that has been available to students since 1998.

Independent review panel

Parents (and pupils if aged over 18 years) can request a review of a permanent exclusion.

An independent review panel’s role is to review the decision of the governing body not to reinstate a permanently excluded pupil.

It must consider the interests and circumstances of the excluded pupil, including the circumstances in which the pupil was excluded, and have regard to the interests of other pupils and people working at the school.

Infant class size appeals

An appeal against being a refusal to offer a school place because the infant class size limit has been reached.

Infant class size limit

A law which limits the size of an infant class (receptions R, 1 and 2) to a maximum of 30 pupils per teacher (with some very limited exceptions).

Initial Teacher Training (ITT)

To become a qualified teacher in England, trainees typically complete a programme of Initial Teacher Training (ITT). This provides them with training, mentoring and teaching practice in schools, and leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for successful trainees.

Initial Teacher Training statistics (ITT)

Statistics on initial teacher training (ITT) recruitment, subject allocations and performance data. This is published here

ITT training year

The ITT training year is deemed to run from 1st August to 31st July in any year.


There are currently no entries under this section.


There are currently no entries under this section.



Local authority establishment, a 7 digit code created by Department for Education. Consists of a 3-digit local authority code, followed by a 4-digit establishment code.

Liable to make repayments

The borrower has a remaining loan balance and has reached their Statutory Repayment Due Date (SRDD).

Lodged appeals

The number of appeals lodged with the local authority.


Under the Children Act 1989, a child is looked-after by a local authority if he or she falls into one of the following:

  • is provided with accommodation, for a continuous period of more than 24 hours [Children Act 1989, Section 20 and 21]
  • is subject to a care order [Children Act 1989, Part IV]
  • is subject to a placement order

Lunchtime exclusion

When a pupil is not allowed to attend (or is excluded from) a school for the duration of the school's lunchtime period.

A pupil is excluded in this way when their lunchtime behaviour has been disruptive.


Maintenance loan

Maintenance loans are loans to cover living costs, paid directly to the student.

Management Information (MI)

Management information describes aggregate information collated and used in the normal course of business to inform operational delivery, policy development or the management of organisational performance. It is usually based on administrative data but can also be a product of survey data. The terms administrative data and management information are sometimes used interchangeably.

Master's loan

Loans issued to students on master’s courses, on the Plan 3 repayment system. They are paid directly to students and can be used to cover fees or living costs.

Missing from care

A looked-after child who is not at their placement or the place they are expected to be (for example school) and their whereabouts is not known.


National Offer Day

The day when councils send parents confirmations of their child's place at school.

Primary school places are confirmed on 16 April each year - known as National Primary Offer Day.

Secondary school places are confirmed on 1 March each year - known as National Secondary Offer Day.

If either date falls on a weekend, confirmations are sent the next working day.

National pupil projections

England level figures projecting the number of pupils estimated to be attending school in the future.

National Statistician

Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) and the Head of the UK Government Statistical Service (GSS).

More information on the current National Statistician can be found on the GSS website

National statistics

National statistics are official statistics that have been assessed by the Office for Statistics Regulation as fully compliant with the Code of Practice for Statistics, i.e., they meet the highest standards for trustworthiness, quality and value.

Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT)

Newly qualified teacher is a category of teacher in the United Kingdom. Newly qualified teachers are those who have gained Qualified Teacher Status but have not yet completed the statutory twelve-month programme known as the "induction for newly qualified teachers”.

Non-maintained special school

Special schools not maintained by the state, which charge the state fees on a non-profit-making basis, mainly run by charities or charitable trusts.


Official statistics

Official statistics are regular statistics produced by the UK Statistics Authority, government departments (including executive agencies), the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, any other person acting on behalf of the Crown or any other organisation named on an Official Statistics Order.

Under Section 6.1 of the 2007 Statistics and Registration Service Act (, official statistics should comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics and fall within the scope of the Office for Statistics Regulation (, which assess their compliance against the Code of Practice.

One or more fixed-period exclusion

Pupils who have had at least 1 fixed-period exclusions across a full academic year.

Includes those with repeated fixed-period exclusions.

Open data

Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share.

All of our data files are released under the terms of the Open Government License and are designed to meet at least 3 stars for Government Open Data.

Otherwise vulnerable

Children and young people might be identified as ‘otherwise vulnerable’, falling in to the category of vulnerable children and young people, if education providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services) identify them as such. These groups of students could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance during the coronavirus pandemic.

Examples of why a student might be identified as otherwise vulnerable include:

  • children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services or in the process of being referred to children’s services
  • adopted children or children on a special guardianship order
  • those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’)
  • those living in temporary accommodation
  • those who are young carers
  • those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)
  • care leavers
  • others at the provider and local authority’s discretion including pupils and students who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health
  • those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example, due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)

Further guidance can be found in the document: Guidance - children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings.

Overall absence

The total number of all authorised and unauthorised absences from possible school sessions for all pupils.

Expressed as a percentage of the total number of possible school sessions for all pupils.

Counted in sessions, where 1 session is equivalent to half-a-day.


Parenting contracts

Parenting contracts are voluntary but formal written agreements between parents and the local authority or the governing body of a school. They contain a statement by the parents agreeing to comply with the requirements of the contract, and a statement by the local authority or governing body agreeing to provide support to parents for the purpose of complying with the contract.

Parenting orders

Parenting orders are issued by courts following prosecution for unauthorised absence. They include a requirement for parents to attend counselling or guidance sessions and to comply with specified requirements.

Permanent exclusion

When a pupil is not allowed to attend (or is excluded from) a school and cannot go back to that specific school unless their exclusion is overturned.

Persistent absence

When a pupil misses (or is absent from) 10% or more possible school sessions.

Counted in sessions, where 1 session is equivalent to half-a-day.

This definition changed at the start of the 2015/16 academic year.

For further information on this change read our Pupil absence statistics: methodology guidance.

Plans 1, 2 and 3

The ICR loan scheme has been separated into different repayment arrangements called Plans 1, 2 and 3. While they operate in a similar manner, they differ in some ways such as the repayment thresholds, interest rates and the length of borrowers’ repayment terms.

Plan 1 is the loan system for undergraduate students that started courses before September 2012, Plan 2 the system for undergraduates since September 2012 and for Advanced Learner Loans, and Plan 3 the system for postgraduate loans introduced in 2016.

Possible school session

Schools are required to provide 2 possible sessions per day - 1 session in the morning and 1 in the afternoon.

This is why a session is equivalent to half-a-day.

Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship (PGTA)

The postgraduate teacher apprenticeship (PGTA) is a 12-month, employment-based, initial teacher training (ITT) route leading to qualified teacher status (QTS). PGTA standards are industry-led and providers can access up to £9,000 from the apprenticeship levy to fund training and assessment costs.


The schools listed on each application for a school place. These are listed in choice order: so the top listed school is their first preference.

Preferred offer rate

The proportion of applicants to which a local authority were able to make an offer of any one of their preferred schools.

Provider median

This is defined as the median earnings across the graduates who studied at the provider. This median is obtained by ranking all graduates annualised earnings and taking the value at which half of graduates fall below and half above.

Provisional employment rates

Departmental analysis has found that matching ITT trainee data to school workforce census from the year following qualification does not fully capture how many trainees go onto employment because some teachers do not start in time to be recorded in that SWC. We account for these “missing teachers” by applying an uplift to the latest year’s employment data to estimate a provisional employment rate.
Provisional employment rates are based on estimating the number of postgraduate trainees awarded QTS that will be employed as a teacher in a state-funded school in England, within sixteen months of qualification. Provider-level data is not published for provisional data provisional employment rates.
Further information is available from our methodology

Pupil enrolment

A way to refer to a 'pupil' at a school. The number of pupil enrolments presented includes pupils on the school roll for at least 1 session who are aged between 5 and 15 years, excluding boarders.

Some pupils may be counted more than once. For example, if they moved schools during the academic year or are registered in more than 1 school.

Pupil referral unit (PRUs)

An alternative education provision specifically organised to provide education for children who are not able to attend school and may not otherwise receive a suitable education.

This could be because they have a short- or long-term illness, have been excluded from school or are a new starter waiting for a mainstream school place.

Under section 19 of the Education Act 1996, each local education authority (LEA) has a duty to provide suitable education for children of compulsory school age who cannot attend school.

Placing pupils in PRUs is one of the ways in which LEAs can make sure they can comply with this duty.

PRUs are a mixture of public units and privately managed companies.

Pupils with one or more fixed-period exclusion

Pupil who have had at least one fixed-period exclusion across a full academic year.


Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Qualified teacher status (QTS) is a legal requirement to teach in many English schools, and considered desirable for teachers in the majority of schools in England. Schools where QTS is a legal requirement are referred to as maintained schools. Maintained schools are part of the state-funded schools system in England – funding and oversight are generally provided by the local authority.
Further information is available here


Refused appeals

The number of appeals that were refused.

Repayment term

The period for which a loan borrower is liable to make repayments based on their income. At the end of a borrowers’ repayment term any remaining loan balance is cancelled.

Repayment threshold

The annual income threshold above which borrowers are required to make repayments on any eligible income. Plan 1 and Plan 2 loan borrowers are required to pay 9% of any earnings above the threshold and Plan 3 borrowers will be required to repay 6%.

Resource Account Budgeting (RAB) charge

Used in the DfE annual accounts, this is the proportion of loan outlay that is expected to not be repaid when future repayments are valued in present terms.

Respite care

Short-term break agreements, which are short periods of care for a child provided by the local authority in order to give the parents or guardians some respite from the normal duties of looking after the child. Each break must include at least one night away from home but cannot exceed 17 days of continuous care. Also referred to as shared care; or family link placements.


School admissions appeals code

Statutory guidance that all state-funded schools must follow on how to organise and run their pupil admissions appeals.

School admissions code

Statutory guidance that all state-funded schools must follow when setting their admissions criteria and carrying out all duties relating to school admissions.

School census

Statutory termly data collection for all of the following educational organisations in England:

  • academies - including free schools and studio schools
  • colleges - including city technology and university technical colleges
  • maintained schools - including nurseries, middle-deemed primary and secondary schools, primary schools and secondary schools
  • special schools - including local authority maintained and non-maintained special schools

School Centred Initial teacher training (SCITT)

The name of a route into teaching in England via initial teacher Training (ITT). School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programmes are run by accredited ITT providers in partnership with schools or groups of schools. Schools work in close partnerships with universities, enabling students to gain an undergraduate degree alongside working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

School Direct

School Direct is a school-led route into initial teacher training (ITT). It is run by a partnership between a lead school, other schools and an accredited teacher training provider. Training places are allocated to the lead school on behalf of the partnership, usually for one year. The lead school has overall responsibility for requesting places from the Department for Education (DfE) and for ensuring that the criteria for School Direct are met. Further information available here

School Direct fee-funded

School Direct fee-funded is part of School Direct, which is a school-led route into initial teacher training (ITT). This is open to all graduates and is funded by tuition fees paid by the trainee. Trainees may be eligible for a training bursary or scholarship. Further information available here

School Direct salaried

School Direct salaried is part of School Direct, which is a school-led route into initial teacher training (ITT).
These training places are aimed mainly at graduates with 3 or more years’ work experience. However, schools can decide to accept applications from people with less work experience to attract high quality candidates in hard to fill subjects. Prospective candidates are expected to be career changers who can bring valuable skills and experience to the teaching profession. This experience does not have to be from an educational setting. For example, experience could have been gained in the financial, engineering or manufacturing sectors.

School session

School Workforce Census (SWC)

Statistics on the size and characteristics of the school workforce in state-funded schools. The SWC is a snapshot of everyone working in a state-funded school in England taken in November each year. This information is used to calculate employment rates for the ITT performance profiles publication. This is published here

School year

School-led routes

Within initial teacher training (ITT), a school-led route is a collection of the different pathways into teaching in England. School-led routes are comprised of the school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) programme, the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship (PGTA), the School Direct training programme (salaried and fee-paying routes), and the Teach First Leadership Development Programme.

Secure children's home

Children's homes which provide a locked environment and restrict a child or young person's liberty.

They provide care and accommodation to children and young people who have been detained or sentenced by the criminal courts and those who have been remanded to secure local authority accommodation. They also accommodate and care for children and young people who have been placed there on welfare grounds by local authorities and the courts.

Secure Training Centres (STCs)

Secure Training Centres (STCs) are available to place those young people who are a little older and perhaps more independent and more motivated to attend school, or have risk factors which would make a placement in a Young Offender Institution inappropriate. There are three purpose built STCs in England offering secure provision to sentenced or remanded young people aged 12 to 17 years.

Selective schools

Schools that select some or all of their pupils via a test. These include grammar schools, for which every child who wishes to apply must take a selection (commonly called 11+) test. Other schools select a percentage of their intake via a test which children can choose to take (for example, music or language aptitude places)

Self-isolating pupils

Pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus inside or outside the school.

SEN support

Support given in school. It can include, for example, a special learning programme, extra help from a teacher or assistant, to work in a small group, observation in class or at break, help taking part in class activities etc.


An annual statutory data collection from local authorities which collects information every January on Education, Health and Care plans and assessments.

Sole registered pupils

Pupils who are on the roll of only 1 school.

Special educational needs (SEN)

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

Special guardianship order

A private law order made under the Children Act 1989 appointing one or more individuals to be a child's "special guardian". It is intended for those children who cannot live with their birth parents and who would benefit from a legally secure placement.

Special school

Schools which provide an education for children with a special educational need or disability whose needs cannot be met within a mainstream setting.


The annual child level data collection returned by local authorities in England, covering children looked after. Also referred to as the CLA data collection.

State-funded schools

Includes primary, secondary, special schools and alternative provision. Further education colleges, post-16 special institutions and independent schools are not included in these figures.

Statement of special educational needs

Document which set out a child or young person’s special educational needs, the provision they required and the educational placement they should attend. In England these have been replaced by Education, Health and Care plans.

Statutory Repayment Due Date (SRDD)

The point a borrower becomes liable to begin repaying a loan, normally the start of the tax year (6 April) after graduating or otherwise leaving their course. After the SRDD borrowers are required to make repayments if their income is above the repayment threshold.

Stock charge

This is the proportion of the total outstanding face value of loans that is expected to not be repaid when future repayments are valued in present terms.

Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) scores

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a short behavioural screening questionnaire. Its primary purpose is to give social workers and health professionals information about a child’s wellbeing. A score of 0 to 13 is considered normal, 14 to 16 is borderline, and 17 to 40 is a cause for concern. Statutory guidance on promoting the health and well-being of looked-after children issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 sets out that all local authorities are required (paragraphs 14, 47 and Annex B) to make sure that a strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) is completed for each of their looked-after children aged between 4-16 inclusive.


Previously referred to as fixed period exclusions

When a pupil is not allowed to attend (or is excluded from) a school for a set period of time. This can be for part of a school day and does not have to be for a continuous period. A pupil can be suspended for 1 or more periods up to a maximum of 45 school days in a single academic year. This total includes exclusions from previous schools covered by the exclusion legislation so pupils with repeat exclusions can inflate suspension rates.


Tax year

The 12-month period starting on 6 April.

Teacher Workforce Model

As of the 2021/22 training year (ITT2021), the Teacher Workforce Model (TWM) is used by DfE to set postgraduate ITT targets. The TWM models the future teacher workforce in state-funded primary and secondary schools in England and analysis from the model underpins the setting of targets. DfE uses the TWM to test the impacts of different target strategies and annual postgraduate ITT targets are set to provide sufficient numbers of qualified teachers in the future.

Teachers’ standards

These standards set the minimum requirements for teachers’ practice and conduct. Further information is available here

Tuition fee loan

Tuition fee loans are loans to cover all or part of the cost of tuition. They are paid directly to the learning provider.



United Kingdom provider reference number. A unique reference number issued by the UK Register of Learning Providers after a successful registration. This is an 8-digit number that always starts with a 1.

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking child (UASC)

Children aged under 18, who have applied for asylum in their own right and are separated from both parents and/or any other responsible adult. Local authorities have a legal duty to provide accommodation for these children.

Unauthorised absence

When a pupil misses at least 1 possible school session without the permission of a teacher or other authorised school representative.

Includes all unexplained or unjustified absences and late arrivals.

Counted in sessions, where 1 session is equivalent to half-a-day.

Undergraduate Opt-in

Undergraduate students now have the option to "opt-in" to an ITT course leading to QTS in their final (or penultimate and final) year of an undergraduate course. DfE will be funding these students in their ITT year(s), and Office for Students will not. Therefore, HEPs will be required to record these students from the first year of the commencement of their ITT courses.
The above "Opt-in" scheme should NOT be confused with another ITT Undergraduate bursary which is available for trainees on courses in secondary mathematics and physics that lead to QTS. That bursary is available to undergraduate trainees who enrol on a QTS course beginning in the 2016 to 2017 academic year (as opposed to those who "opt-in" part way through their undergraduate study) and is payable in the final year of their course.

Undergraduate route

Within initial teacher training (ITT), one of the pathways of becoming a teacher is as an undergraduate. Trainees work towards a Bachelor of Education (BEd) which is an undergraduate route for those who would like to follow a career in teaching, and graduate with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Universal infant free school meals (UIFSM)

Free lunchtime meals provided to all pupils in reception or Key Stage 1 in state-funded schools.

Upheld appeals

The number of appeals which were successful.


The URN is a sequential and unique number automatically assigned by the DfE’s Get Information about Schools (GIAS) system when a record is created.

For Children centres these are 5 digits long and start with a 2. Welsh establishments are 6 digits long and start with a 4. All other establishments are 6 digits long and start with a 1.


Voluntary repayment

A borrower can at any time choose to repay some or all of their loan balance early, in addition to any repayments they are liable to make based on their income.


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Young Offender Institutions (YOIs)

Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) can accommodate young people from aged 15 to 21 years. However, the Youth Custody Service is only responsibly for commissioning YOIs which hold young males aged from 15 to 18 years. YOIs tend to be larger than secure children’s homes and secure training centres, with lower ratios of staff to young people. Consequently, young people who are more resilient and older may be placed in a YOI. Also, young people who predominantly externalise their risk may be placed within a YOI.


There are currently no entries under this section.