With the help of this list, you’ll have the information you need to define some of the tricky words and phrases (also known as jargon) you may come across during your Transition.

This list is designed around you. But, if there is a word or phrase that doesn’t appear that you think should, email hello@myfamilyourneeds.co.uk and let us know.


Additional Learning Support: a service designed to support your Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in further education.

Advocate: an independent person or organisation who can support you to express your views and make your own decisions.

Alternative providers: organisations that might support you but do not receive money from the Government to help them do this. This could be private care organisations.

Annual review: the review of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This must be completed within 12 months of making the plan and then on an annual basis. An interim review will be held every six months for children in early years.

Appeal: the legal process of arguing against something or questioning a decision you don’t agree with.

Assessments: usually a conversation with someone but may be carried out independently online, you’ll talk about or note down the things you can and can’t do in everyday life. You’ll also look at the support available to help you do these things.

Autonomy: making decisions about things in your life independently.


Brokerage: a person or organisation that helps you to organise and arrange support.


CAMHS: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

Case studies: a real-life example of someone’s experience of a service, designed to help you.

Children and Families Act: laws introduced by the Government in September 2014 which changed how disabled children, young people and families get the help they need.

Confidential: information that is kept privately and only known by certain people.

Co-production: services working with individuals or communities who use services to co-design and shape them to reflect user experience and need.

Curriculum: a list of topics within a subject that you will be taught in an education setting.


Direct payments: money paid to you directly by your local authority, allowing you to organise your care and support independently.


Education, Health and Care Assessment (EHC): an assessment of your education, health and care needs.

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP): a document that describes what support you should get in school based on your EHC assessment.


Further education: when you choose to stay in education after you’ve left school by going to college or university. You could also do an apprenticeship or supported internship.


Health and Wellbeing Boards: key people from the local health and care system working together to improve the health and wellbeing of their local population.

Healthwatch: an organisation that can support you to help public health organisations improve their services in your local area.

Higher education: when you choose to stay in education after you’ve left school, usually to go to university or college.


Impartial: factual information free from personal opinion that allows you to make your own decision about something.

Independent supporters: people that can support you and your family when it’s time to action your EHCP for the first time.

Indicative draft: the first version of a document that will be changed before it’s final, describing a draft structure and ideas.

Information advice and support services (IASS): an impartial and confidential service which gives free information, advice and support about matters relating to SEND.


Joined-up: at least two organisations coming together to plan services in your local area.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA): describes the current and future health, care and wellbeing needs of your local area, helping the local Health and Wellbeing Board.


Key worker: someone who works with you and your family to help you get the most out of your education and social care services.


Legal document: a document with information that has been written according to the law.

Local agency: local organisations working on behalf of the Government, including local councils but also local health services, charities and other service providers.

Local authority: the council operating in your local area on behalf of the Government.

Local offer: information describing the services and support available in your local area for disabled children, young people and families.


Mainstream: the activities, services and education settings that are available to all children and young people.

Mediation: the process of finding common ground when two people or groups disagree about something.


Outcomes: targets that you or others may set based on what you want to achieve in life.


Parent/carer forum: a place where your parents and/or carers can talk about issues relating your care and support with other local parents and carers.

Participation: taking part in something, such as an activity you like.

Person-centred planning: making sure the services you receive are benefitting your needs.

Personal assistant: someone who can support you at home or to go out in the community.

Personal budget: how much your local council will pay towards your social care and support.

Personal health budgets: money to support your health and wellbeing needs, planned and agreed between you (or someone who represents you), and your local doctors.

Provisions: something that is offered to you by an organisation as part of their service.


Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND): something that can affect your ability to learn, your behaviour or your ability to socialise.

Specialist support: services for children and young people with SEND.

Statutory: required by law.

Statutory services: services required by law that the Government provide.

Supported internships: opportunities for people aged 16-24 with learning difficulties or learning disabilities, who want to get a job and need extra support.


Therapies: medical treatments designed to help you live with the symptoms of your condition.

Transition: what it’s called when you move from children’s to adult services.

Tribunal: you and the other people involved in a disagreement will talk in front of a group of experts who are not aware of the problem but will have the final say on what happens.


Voluntary organisations: a group of individuals who enter into an agreement, usually as volunteers, to form an organisation designed to help people or an issue.