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Education is full of confusing terms and language.  In this section we hope to explain them in ‘plain English’ that everyone can understand.


  • the provision of an appropriate range and number of school places;
  • admissions to schools;
  • home-school transport; and
  • the management of the condition and suitability of all school buildings.

Active learning

This term relates to pupils being active and involved in their learning rather than as passive recipients of information and knowledge. It emphasises a first-hand experience that motivates, stimulates and supports pupils in the development of skills and concepts, including language acquisition.    

Active Young People (AYP)

Dragon Sport, the Physical Education and School Sport (PESS) initiative and the 5x60 initiative operate under the ‘Active Young People’ initiative    


Inspectors judge achievement by how well learners are doing in relation to their ability and by the progress they make. (See also attainment.)    

Additional learning needs (ALN)

This term covers a very wide range of needs. We use the term ALN in relation to learners who have needs besides those of most of their classmates, for a number of different reasons, including learners who:

  • have special educational needs (SEN), as defined within the SEN Code of Practice for Wales (2002);
  • are disabled, as defined within the Disability Discrimination Act 1995;
  • have medical needs;
  • have emotional, social and behavioural difficulties; and
  • are learning English as an additional language.

Aiming for Excellence Programme

A Welsh Government initiative to improve transition and the levels of progress pupils make when they move from primary to secondary school.    

Advanced Level (A level)

General Certificate of Education at Advanced Level    

All-Wales Core Data Sets

The core data sets contain a range of graphs, charts and tables illustrating:

  • a school’s results against local and national performance;
  • the difference in performance between girls and boys and between those pupils who receive free school meals and those who do not;
  • comparisons with performance of similar schools on the free-school-meal benchmarks; and
  • comparisons with performance of similar schools within the ‘family of schools’

The ‘families’ are created by initially grouping schools according to whether the language used in the school is mainly English or Welsh. Schools are then grouped according to their score on an ‘index of challenge’. This index is derived from a number of contextual factors, including:

  • the percentage of pupils entitled to free school meals and other socio-economic factors;
  • the percentage of pupils with school action plus support or special educational needs statements; and
  • the proportion of pupils of statutory school age who are either new to the English language or Welsh where relevant, at an early  acquisition stage or developing competence.


The additional learning needs co-ordinator co-ordinates the work of a school to support pupils with additional learning needs. (See SENCO below)

Appetite for Life

This is Welsh Government initiative designed to promote a balanced diet as part of a healthy lifestyle and to improve the nutritional standards of food and drink in schools.    

Areas of Learning

These are the seven areas that make up the Foundation Phase curriculum in English-medium settings.
(Welsh-medium settings are not required to teach Welsh language development as this is already the language of the setting.) The Areas of Learning are as follows:

  • personal and social development, wellbeing and cultural diversity;
  • language, literacy and communications skills;
  • mathematical development;
  • Welsh language development;
  • knowledge and understanding of the world;
  • physical development; and
  • creative development.

ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network)

The network’s qualifications and awards are used by schools and colleges to provide opportunities for learners aged 14-19 to develop personal, social and active citizenship skills, work-related skills, key skills and wider key skills. The qualifications and awards are approved and funded by the Department for Education and Skills.

AS level (Advanced subsidiary level)

An exam taken between GCSE and A level.    


How well learners are doing as measured in national tests and in the qualifications or credits they gain.

Attainment rates

These indicate the number of learners who achieve a qualification as a percentage of those who completed the course.    

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)

This term describes the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. These individuals will use gestures, communications boards, pictures, symbols, drawings or a combination of all of these.


Pupils with autism have difficulties with social relationships, social communication and imaginative thinking. Pupils cover the full range of ability and some may have other learning difficulties or disabilities as well. Autism is part of the range of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)

The term Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is used to describe the group of pervasive developmental disorders characterised by difficulties in social interaction and communication and by a restricted range of repetitive behaviour and interests.    

Basic skills

The ability to speak, read and write in Welsh or English and to use mathematics at a level needed to function at work and in society.

Basic Skills Agency

The Basic Skills Agency (Wales), which has merged with the Welsh Government, implements the National Basic Skills Strategy for Wales.

Basic Skills Cymru

The Welsh Government strategy to help children and adults in Wales who have difficulties with basic literacy and numeracy through implementing ‘Words Talk, Numbers Count’; the Basic Skills Strategy for Wales.     

Basic Skills Quality Mark

The award by the Basic Skills Agency to schools and post-16 providers who provide evidence that they meet specifications in ten defined elements for teaching and developing basic skills.

Behavioural difficulties

Disruptive and disturbing behaviour that can include hyperactivity and a lack of concentration.

Benchmark data

This refers to the assessment information that schools use to compare their performance with that of other schools.  

Better Schools Fund (BSF)

Better Schools Fund provides targeted grant support for local authorities to help them to be innovative, share good practice and develop new initiatives to improve teaching, learning and the breadth of the curriculum.

Careers Wales Association

An umbrella organisation for Careers Wales companies.  


CATs are the Cognitive Abilities Tests published by Granada Learning (GL) Assessment (formerly NFERNelson) and assess a pupil’s ability for verbal, quantitative and non-verbal reasoning. They are designed to minimise the role of prior learning and can therefore provide an indication of potential. 

Challenge adviser

The role of challenge advisers is to provide schools with monitoring, challenge, intervention and support to ensure that head teachers and governors evaluate their performance, identify priorities for improvement, and secure positive change in school performance. Challenge advisers will be drawn from either a local authority or school background, including current serving school leaders.

Childcare Strategy for Wales

The strategy is a result of the recommendations made in a report by the Childcare Working Group. It states that childcare can come from the state, private provision or voluntary commitment and suggests that these three areas should work to support each other. The three main aims of the strategy are to:

  • make sure that childcare supports the developmental needs of children in Wales;
  • make sure that childcare is widely available and affordable; and
  • provide childcare so that parents can balance work, family and other commitments.

Children and Young People’s Plans

Local education authorities have to produce a Children and Young People’s Plan. These are to co-ordinate the education and training for children and young people from birth to the age of 25.

Collective worship

By law, schools must hold a daily act of collective worship. The law states that most acts of collective worship in each term should be ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian nature’. For further guidance, see Estyn’s supplementary guidance on inspecting collective worship.

Communities First

Communities First is the Welsh Government's programme to improve the living conditions and prospects for people in the most disadvantaged communities across Wales.

Community development and learning

This learning covers courses and activities that help learners to gain knowledge and skills. They use what they learn to make positive contributions to the life of their communities.

Community-focused schools

Community-focused schools provide a range of services and activities, often beyond the school day, to help meet the needs of its pupils, their families and the wider community. 

Compulsory school age

Compulsory school age covers the period when children have to receive a suitable education. It starts when a child reaches the age of five and they must start school in the term following their fifth birthday. It finishes on the last Friday in June in the school year in which the child reaches the age of 16.

Core curriculum

The ESOL core curriculum sets out the national standards and levels for ESOL learners linked to the qualifications framework.

Core subjects

There are four core subjects in the National Curriculum. These are English, Welsh (first language), mathematics and science. 

Core subject indicator (CSI)

This indicator shows the percentage of pupils who attain the level expected of them (level 4 or above) in mathematics, science and either English or Welsh as a first language.

Cwricwlwm Cymreig

Part of the National Curriculum that helps pupils to develop and use their knowledge and understanding of the cultural, economic, environmental, historical and linguistic characteristics of Wales. Also known as the ‘Welsh dimension’.

Duke of Edinburgh's Award

A voluntary, non-competitive and flexible programme of cultural and adventurous activities for young people. The award has four sections with three levels of achievement:

  • Bronze (for those aged 14 and over);
  • Silver (for those aged 15 and over); and
  • Gold (for those aged 16 and over).

Education for sustainable development and global citizenship (ESDGC)

ESDGC enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions about the way we do things individually and together, both locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future.

Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

The Education Maintenance Allowance is a scheme providing young people who wish to continue in education after school leaving age with an incentive to earn awards through good attendance.

Education other than at school (EOTAS)

Education that is provided for pupils who, for a variety of reasons, cannot go to school. Often, these are pupils whose social, emotional and behavioural needs have led to them being excluded from school. Other examples include pupils who are unable to go to school for health reasons. The educational provision outside the school setting includes:

  • registered pupil referral units (see later in this glossary);
  • education at home by the local authority home tuition service; and
  •  education and training provided by external agencies, such as the youth offending team, voluntary agencies or work based providers.    

Education welfare officer

Education welfare officers work with schools, pupils and families to deal with issues of poor attendance.

Educational psychologists

Professionals who help children and young people who are experiencing problems in an educational setting to enhance their learning.


Using electronic technology (such as computers) to support or deliver education or training.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence includes being self-aware, persistent, and showing empathy and motivation. These are qualities that people who relate well to others display.

End-of-key-stage assessments

The assessment of children’s attainment at ages 7, 11 and 14 against Foundation Phase / National Curriculum assessment criteria and outcomes or levels.

English as an additional language (EAL)

This refers to pupils learning English who have a different first language (not including Welsh). It is the term used to describe provision for these pupils in schools.

English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)

Courses for adults whose first language is not English. They take these courses to improve their
English-language skills.

e-progress file

An internet or web-based version of a learner’s record of achievement.

Essential Skills Wales

Essential Skills Wales is a suite of skills qualifications which replaced the previous Key Skills Qualifications. The new suite of skills qualifications was implemented from the 1 September 2010. Qualifications are available from entry level 1 through to level 4 in:

  • Communication;

  • Application of Number and;

  • Information Communication Technology.


A Crown body, established under the Education Act 1992. Estyn is independent of the National Assembly for Wales but receives its funding from the Welsh Government under Section 104 of the Government of Wales Act 1998.

The word Estyn is a Welsh word meaning 'to reach out' and 'to stretch'.

Every Child Matters

An approach to the wellbeing of children and young people in England. Organisations providing services to children team up in new ways, share information and work together to protect children and young people from harm and help them achieve what they want in life. The Welsh approach is outlined in the document ‘Children and Young People; Rights to Action’.


When a learner is told not to come to school either for a fixed term (for example, for one week) or permanently.

 (fischer family trust)

Fischer Family Trust provides analyses and data which help local authorities and schools to make more effective use of pupil performance data for self-evaluation and target-setting.

Families of schools

Families of schools have been created to enable schools to compare their performance to that of similar schools across Wales. Families include schools with similar proportions of pupils entitled to free school meals, living in 20% most deprived areas of Wales, having special education needs at school action plus or statemented and with English as an additional language acquisition less than competent.

Flexible learning

This may include open or distance learning, often self-directed and done at a time to suit the learners.

Flexible learning pathways

A menu of courses from different educational providers that allows a wider choice of options for learners aged
14 to 19.

Flying Start

Services that deliver free, part-time childcare for two-year-olds to help prepare them for school. They also provide increased levels of support from health visitors and parenting programmes to give young children the best possible start in life. These programmes have been running since January 2007.

Foundation Phase

This is a Welsh Government initiative covering the early years and key stage 1 (children aged between three and seven). The initiative aims to provide a broad, balanced and varied curriculum in seven areas of learning to meet the different developmental needs of young children. The seven areas of learning are:

  • personal and social development and wellbeing;
  • language, literacy and communication;
  • mathematical development;
  • bilingual and multicultural understanding;
  • knowledge and understanding of the world;
  • physical development; and
  • creative development.

Free School Meals (FSM)

The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is used as one of the main indicators of pupils’ relative socio-economic disadvantage.

Future Skills Wales

Future Skills Wales is the title given to a research programme that looks at the skills needed by the workforce in Wales. The project identifies the current skills needed and also identifies likely future skills needs.

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)

This qualification is taken by most young people aged 16.

Global citizenship

Learning about how activities and events across the world affect our lives, and how our lives can affect other people.


The General Teaching Council for Wales is the statutory self-regulating professional body for the teaching profession in Wales. It aims to contribute to improving standards of teaching and the quality of learning and to maintain and improve standards of professional conduct amongst teachers.

Healthy School

A healthy school is one which is following the Welsh Government’s five year Food and Fitness Plan and Appetite for Life Action Plan. These plans outline actions to improve nutrition and physical activity amongst children and young people and help promote healthy living in school.


Information and communication technology.

Inclusion and Pupil Support

Inclusion and Pupil Support provides guidance for the inclusion and support of learners of compulsory school age (although some elements will apply to all learners).
It provides advice and sets out responsibilities for maintaining high levels of attendance and positive behaviour in schools and the need to support pupils with additional needs to ensure they receive suitable education and avoid becoming disengaged from education. It also covers education provided outside the school setting.

Independent school

A school that is not maintained by a local authority and, under section 172 of the Education Act 2002, including any school providing full-time education for five or more pupils of compulsory school age or at least one pupil with a statement of special educational needs or who is ‘looked after’ (see ‘looked-after children’ later in this glossary).

Individual educational plan

A plan, often called an ‘IEP’, which contains measurable targets for pupils’ learning, dates for review of progress and space to record achievement against the learning targets. These plans are gradually being replaced by person specific plans (PSPs).    

Individual learning plan

A plan which contains the results of initial and diagnostic assessment, long-term aims, measurable goals for the learning programme, other personal or social goals, targets, dates for review of progress, space to record achievement against the learning goals and targets, and qualifications or units of accreditation.

Key skills

Key skills are the skills that are commonly needed for success in a range of activities in education, training, work and life in general.

Key Skills Professional Development Certificate

This level 5 qualification develops critical awareness of the national key skills standards for teaching, learning and assessing key skills. The certificate has been modified for use in Wales and includes a specific unit in Key Skills and the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Key stages

The National Curriculum divides the period of compulsory education into the following four key stages:

  • key stage 1 for pupils aged five to seven;
  • key stage 2 for pupils aged seven to 11;
  • key stage 3 for pupils aged 11 to 14; and
  • key stage 4 for pupils aged 14 to 16.

From September 2011, key stage 1 was replaced by the Foundation Phase.

Key stage 4 capped points score

This score comprises all qualifications approved for use in Wales and is calculated by using the best 8 results for each pupil.

Learning area

This means something different in different sectors. In further education and work-based learning, subjects are grouped together into recognised ‘learning areas’. Offender learning and adult community-based learning also use the term learning areas to group different subjects. In prisons, there are three learning areas: literacy, language and numeracy, employability and vocational training, and personal and social development.

Learning core

The learning core is one of the six parts of Learning Pathways 14-19. It is concerned with the skills, knowledge, understanding, values and experiences that all young people need to prepare them for life.

Learning coaches

Learning coaches provide learners with an opportunity to discuss learning and progress on a regular basis. They help learners develop learning skills, make best use of and develop their learning styles and maximise their development.

Learning Pathways 14-19

The Welsh Government’s strategies for developing and improving education and training opportunities for 14 to 19-year-olds referred to in ‘The Learning Country’ (2001) and ‘Learning Country: Learning Pathways 14-19’ (2002).   

Level 2 threshold

This includes GCSE qualifications and a range of equivalent non-GCSE qualifications, including vocational qualifications, and represents a volume of qualifications at level 2 equivalent to the volume of five GCSEs at grades A*-C.

Level 2 inclusive threshold or level 2 threshold including a GCSE A*-C in English or Welsh first language and mathematics

This includes GCSE qualifications and a range of equivalent non-GCSE qualifications, including vocational qualifications. It represents a volume of qualifications at level 2 equivalent to the volume of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, but also includes GCSEs in English or Welsh first language and mathematics at grades A*-C.

Level 3 threshold

This includes A level outcomes and the full range of approved level 3 qualifications and represents a volume of qualifications at level 3 equivalent to the volume of two levels at grades A-E. 

Looked-after children

Children whom the local authority has legal parental responsibility for. The term is used to describe all children who are named in a care order, or who are provided with accommodation on a voluntary basis for more than 24 hours. Used to be called ‘in care’.

Maintained schools

Schools that a local authority has a duty to maintain, which include:

  • any county or voluntary school;
  • community schools and community special schools;
  • foundation schools and foundation special schools;
  • and any maintained special school not set up as a hospital.      


Middle Years Information System. ALIS, YELLIS and Mid-YIS are monitoring systems produced by the University of Durham. They use data from tests and questionnaires completed by students to provide an external comparative analysis of the data as well as data on pupil progress (value added).    

Modern Apprenticeship

These give employed learners training to National Vocational Qualification level 3 or higher. The learners also need to complete key skills and technical certificates.

National Curriculum

The National Curriculum is a framework used by all maintained schools to ensure that pupils follow a consistent programme for developing their knowledge, skills and understanding of curriculum subjects as they move through school.    

National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)

A National Vocational Qualification is a work-related qualification that reflects the skills and knowledge needed to do a job effectively. These qualifications are organised into five levels based on the knowledge and skills needed for a particular job.    


Young people aged 16 and over who are not in education, employment or training.

Non-core subjects

Non-core subjects of the National Curriculum are Welsh (second language), design technology, information technology, history, geography, art, music and physical education.


Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Ofsted only inspects schools and providers based in England.     

P scales

The P scales are assessment criteria for progress below level one in the national curriculum programmes of study. These programmes are designed for pupils aged 5-16. They were developed to support target setting through the use of summative assessment to be used at the end of key stages and, for those pupils making more rapid progress, possibly once a year.


The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a form of augmentative and alternative communication. It is typically used as an aid in communication for children with autism and other special needs.    

Pathways to Success

The term used to describe the schools involved in Schools Challenge Cymru which was launched by the Welsh Government in May 2014 to improve the quality of teaching and learning by sharing expertise and teachers with high-performing schools.

Peer inspector

This is someone who joins an inspection team and is currently working in the sector inspected. They take responsibility for inspecting a quality indicator, aspect or
key question. They are able to contribute their own experience of current working practices. Peer inspectors need to meet certain conditions before they complete a relevant training and assessment programme.

Performance data

Performance data means data on the outcomes achieved by individual pupils, classes, year groups and schools. Performance data includes data on performance in different national curriculum subjects as well as comparative data which helps a school to compare its performance with other schools.          

Performance management

A system of compulsory appraisals for teachers which is designed to help schools to improve by supporting and improving the work of teachers.    

Personal and social education (PSE)

Personal and social education (PSE) includes all that a school carries out to promote the personal and social development of its pupils. This includes all the planned learning experiences and opportunities that take place not only in the classroom but also in other areas of school experience which are features of the values and community life of the school. 


The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in member and non-member nations of 15-year-old school pupils' performance in reading, mathematics and science. It was first performed in 2000 and is repeated every three years. It is done with a view to improving education policies and outcomes.          

Profound learning difficulties

Pupils with profound learning difficulties have a serious learning difficulty, leading to significant delay in reaching developmental milestones. They also display significant motor (movement or mobility) difficulties, significant sensory (such as hearing or sight) difficulties or have complicated health-care needs.    


A general term used to describe any organisation or partnership that provides education and training, such as a school, college, work-based learning provider, youth work provider, youth support service provider, local authority, voluntary organisation, careers company or higher education institution.

Pupil referral unit (PRU)

Set up and maintained by the local authority for pupils of compulsory school age. Pupils usually go to pupil referral units because they have been excluded or are repeatedly off school, or because they might otherwise not receive a suitable education in a mainstream school.    

Qualification framework

In work-based learning, a qualification framework is the National Vocational Qualification, specified key skills and technical certificates that the occupational sector requires. In work-based learning, to meet the requirements of the Sector Skills Council for each learning sector. Learners must gain one or more key skills qualifications or technical certificates as well as a National Qualification to achieve a full qualification framework.

Quality and Effectiveness Framework

The Welsh Government’s Quality and Effectiveness Framework supports continued improvements in the quality of post-16 learning and is aligned with Estyn’s inspection framework. 

Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults

Statutory duty placed on education and training providers to keep children and vulnerable adults safe under section 11 of the Children Act 2004.

School Action

When a class or subject teacher identifies that a pupil has additional learning needs they provide interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum offer and strategies. 

School Action Plus

When a class or subject teacher and the ALNCO are provided with advice or support from outside specialists, so that alternative interventions additional or different strategies to those provided for the pupil through school action can be put in place. The ALNCO usually takes the lead although day-to-day provision continues to be the responsibility of the class or subject teacher.

School council

A representative group of pupils elected by other pupils to discuss matters about their education and raise concerns with the senior managers and governors of their school. The Welsh Government wants all children and young people in Wales to enjoy their education and to feel that their school responds to their needs. Pupils should have the opportunity to let adults know their feelings and opinions about things that affect them. They should also be able to have a say about decisions and to play an active role in making their school a better place.         

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Special educational needs are defined within the SEN Code of Practice for Wales (2002) and can include disability, learning difficulties or emotional, social and behavioural difficulties.    


The special educational needs co-ordinator co-ordinates the work of a school to support pupils with special educational needs. (See ALNCO.)    

Severe and profound learning difficulties

Pupils with severe learning difficulties have significant intellectual or cognitive difficulties. (Cognitive difficulties include conditions such as short-term or long-term memory problems, and finding it difficult to make decisions or to plan and organise even the simplest daily tasks. They may also have associated difficulties in mobility and co-ordination, communication and understanding, and learning self-help skills.)    


This stands for ‘School Information Management System’. It is a tool aimed at helping schools to manage information about their pupils and staff.    

Skill Build

These programmes give learners an opportunity to try different kinds of jobs to find out which one suits them best. The programmes also support learners to develop the skills they need to progress to further training or to work.    

Skills for Life

This is a general term used to refer to the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), literacy and numeracy curriculum in England, including qualifications. The term is now used in Wales and it particularly relates to the suite of ESOL qualifications offered by providers in Wales.

Skills framework

The Skills framework for three to 19-year-olds (2008) is a non-statutory framework designed to underpin the planning for the Foundation Phase, all National Curriculum Subject Orders, and the frameworks for personal and social education, careers and the world of work, and religious education. It identifies four main skill areas: communication, application of number, information and communication technology and thinking skills. The communication and application of number elements have been superseded in January 2013 by the national Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF). This framework is compulsory for 5 to 14 year-olds from September 2013.    

Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties

Pupils with these difficulties may display behaviour that is withdrawn, isolated, disruptive, hyperactive, inattentive, socially immature or challenging. Some of these pupils have associated difficulties in mental or physical health, communication and learning.

Speaking and writing frames

A teaching approach which enables pupils to work to a framework in order to sequence their ideas for work on topics so that they can develop more extended oral and written contributions.        

Sure Start

Sure Start is a Welsh Government programme which aims to deliver the best start in life for every child and brings together early education, childcare, health and family support.

Sustainable development

This is about improving the quality of life without putting it at risk for the future, for example by reusing and recycling.


This is the Summary of Secondary School Performance which contains summary examination information, specific to each school, compiled by the WJEC on behalf of the Welsh Government. By adding data from all the main examination boards in England and Wales each year, a cumulative record of achievement of each pupil in Wales is created. These pupil level results are then aggregated to school level to provide the information on the form.

Technical certificate

A technical certificate is a written paper which focuses on the knowledge and understanding needed to complete the qualification framework for a foundation apprenticeship or a modern apprenticeship.


This term includes people such as speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists who assess, and provide support for, children and young people with additional learning needs.    


Indicators showing threshold equivalencies were published (as provisional indicators) for the first time in 2007 and are now the headline indicators of performance in secondary schools. Thresholds represent a volume, or ‘size’, of qualifications at a specific level on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Three thresholds have been established:

  • Level 1 – a volume of qualifications at Level 1 equivalent to the volume of five GCSEs at grades D-G;
  • Level 2 – a volume of qualifications at Level 2 equivalent to the volume of five GCSEs at grades A*-C; and
  • Level 3 – a volume of qualifications at Level 3 equivalent to the volume of two A levels at grades A-E.

Traineeships programmes

Traineeship programmes are designed for young people up to the age of 18. They are programmes focusing on the early engagement of young people, using a flexible learning approach to encourage continued participation in education and training. The main focus is to get people into employment. There are three Traineeship programmes provided to meet the individual needs of learners. These are Engagement, Level 1 and Bridge-2-Employment. 


A Unique Pupil Number is an identifier for use in the educational context during a child's school career only and subject to Data Protection restrictions.

Value-added data

This is a measurement of the amount of improvement that a school has brought about in a pupil over time. It is the relative advantage that a school gives a pupil, after taking into account the pupil’s ability.

Vocational area

Vocational areas are those activities and experiences that lead to understandings of and/or skills relevant to a range of (voluntary and paid) work environments.   

Vocational courses

Courses which are based on an occupational area. They often include a high level of practical work and direct applications, such as work experience, to the occupations in question.

Vocational training

Where learners are engaged in activities which provide an environment for developing employment related skills and achieving qualifications.


The Welsh Government introduced the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification in 2003 as a three-year pilot for learners aged 16 and over. During the first three years, the pilot qualification was available only at level 2 and level 3 (Intermediate and Advanced diplomas). In September 2006, the level 2 (Intermediate level) pilot qualification became available to all pupils in key stage 4 in schools. At the same time, a pilot level 1 qualification (Foundation diploma) was introduced for learners aged 16 and under, and those over 16.
In October 2006, after the level 2 and level 3 pilot projects had been successfully completed, the Minister for Education, Learning and Skills announced the full roll-out of the WBQ from September 2007 onwards.

Welsh-medium education

A Welsh-medium school is a school that teaches more than half the subjects in Welsh.

Welsh-medium school

A Welsh-medium school is a school that teaches more than half the subjects in Welsh.

Wider points score for post-16 learners in schools

This score comprises all qualifications approved for use in Wales.


The examination body for Wales

Welsh dimension

Part of the National Curriculum that helps pupils to develop and use their knowledge and understanding of the cultural, economic, environmental, historical and linguistic characteristics of Wales. Also known as Y Cwricwlwm Cymreig

Y Cwricwlwm Cymreig

Part of the National Curriculum that helps pupils to develop and use their knowledge and understanding of the cultural, economic, environmental, historical and linguistic characteristics of Wales. Also known as the Welsh Dimension.


Year 11 Information System is a value-added monitoring system that provides a wide range of performance indicators and attitudinal measures for students in the last two years of compulsory schooling (ie aged 14-16). It is part of the family of information systems offered by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University.

Young People’s Partnership

They deliver youth support services to young people in Wales. The partnerships have to make sure that youth support services are provided across a local authority area and they have to consult young people about the services they need. The partnerships are co-ordinated by the local authority.

Youth Gateway

Youth Gateway is a programme run by careers companies to support young people as they move into the job market, training or further education.


The 5x60 programme is managed by the Sports Council for Wales and funded by the Welsh Government. It aims to encourage school pupils to be more active.

14-19 learning core

The learning core of 14-19 includes:

  • key skills;
  • Welsh language skills;
  • work-related skills;
  • Wales, Europe and world;
  • personal, social, sustainability and health matters;
  • careers matters;
  • attitudes and values;
  • work-focused experience;
  • community participation opportunities; and
  • cultural/sporting/aesthetic/creative experiences.      

14-19 Learning Networks

A strategic group of providers of education and training in a local area, set up as part of ‘Learning Country: Learning Pathways 14-19’

14-19 Learning Pathways

The National Assembly’s strategies for developing and improving education and training opportunities for 14-19 year olds referred to in ‘Learning Country’ (2001) and ‘Learning Country: Learning Pathways 14-19’ (2002).

14-19 Network

A strategic group of providers of education and training in a local area, set up as part of ‘Learning Pathways 14-19’ (see above).