Jargon Buster

The Further Education sector is full of acronyms and other terms that a newly elected learner representative might not have come across.

This table will attempt to bust some of the jargon that is used within the sector to make the role and the language more accessible.

Jargon Definition What is this?
ACL Adult & Community Learning A term used for a range of courses for adults delivered in mainstream institutions but also in museums, libraries and voluntary other locations
AELP Association of Employment & Learning Providers A trade association for vocational learning and employment providers
AoC Association of College Representative body for colleges
ALW Adult Learners Week A celebration of lifelong learning activities which takes place during May each year - coordinated by NIACE
APL Accreditation of Prior Learning A process by which individuals can gain credit towards qualifications based on past achievements
BME Black & Minority Ethnic A term used to describe people of non-white descent
(D)BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Responsible for economic growth which invests in skills and education
CIF Common Inspection Framework (Ofsted) Sets out the principles of inspections in post-16-non-higher education and training. Inspections are carried out by OfSTED
Collectivism By working and making decisions together we find solutions that are better for everyone
CPD Continuing Professional Development Term used to describe the professional development of staff
Delegates Individuals chosen to represent their organisation at an event
Democracy/Democratic A way of making decisions that gives everyone a voice
DfE Department for Education Responsible for education and children's services in England
E&D Equality & Diversity A term used to define and champion equality, diversity and human rights as defining values of society
EMA Education Maintenance Allowance A weekly payment once made to help students from low income households meet the costs of studying
ESOL English for Speakers of Other Languages Courses to help people improve their English skills if it isn't their first language
ETF Education & Training Foundation Sector body which aims to enhance the status of FE by setting professional standards and codes of behaviour whilst developing qualifications
FE Further Education Provides education, training and lifelong learning, at all levels, for young people and adults
FECs Further Education Colleges Centres of provision of further education
FEChoices FE Choices Online website that collates various pieces of data to inform the choices of prospective learners about what and where to study
Fringe A discussion or workshop that takes place alongside a Conference or event
GTA Group Training Association A type of training provider
HE Higher Education Qualifications at level 4 or above such as Foundation, Bachelors & Masters degrees & NVQ 4 and above
HEFCE Higher Education Funding Council for England Organisation which funds Higher Education provision
I&A Instrument & Articles of Government Basically, the rules which colleges have to work to
IAG Information, Advice & Guidance Term used to describe advise given to people about education, training and employment opportunities
IfL Institute for Learning Organisation which represents the professional interests of teachers, trainers & lecturers on issues like professionalisation and CPD
ILR Individualised Learner Record Government database of students and their performance
Inclusive/Inclusivity Thinking of ways to make sure different types of people can be involved in activities and decision making
ISC Independent Specialist Colleges Colleges who provide specialist support to learner with learning difficulties and disabilities
KPI Key Performance Indicator Shows performance against targets. Usually colour coded on a massive spreadsheet.
LA Local Authority Administrative body within local government
Landex Land-based College Aspiring to Excellence 36 member organisation representing providers who deliver significant volumes of education and training in land based occupational areas
Learner Voice The idea that learners should be involved in discussions and decisions about their learning
LE/IS Learner Engagement (or Involvement) Strategy College strategy which defines how students will be involved in college decision-making
LLDD Learners with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities Term used to describe those learners who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities
LSBF Learner Support Bursary Fund Replaced EMA - a discretional financial support scheme for FE students
LSS Learner Satisfaction Survey Annual survey used to gather information relating to the satisfaction of FE students run by the SFA
LVP Learner Voice Practitioner Lead staff member for student engagement work, usually known as Student Liaison Officers
MIS Management Information Systems The central database managed by your college to record and report on staff and student performance
NAS National Apprenticeship Service Has responsibility for apprenticeships in England, including recruitment and bringing together employers and providers.
NATSPEC The Association of National Specialist Colleges Organisation representing and supporting ISCs
NCN National Clerks Network National network of College Clerks
NEET Not in Education, Employment or Training A term used to describe someone, usually a young person, who is not in employment, education or training
NIACE National Institute for Adults Continuing Education Organisation which aims to encourage all adults to engage in learning of all kinds
NUS National Union of Students Representative body for Students and Students' Unions in FE and HE
NSoA National Society of Apprentices Recently launched national society which represents the views of apprentices
NVQ National Vocational Qualification Awarded at level 1 - 5 to demonstrate competency at your job against national standards.
Ofsted Office for Standards in Education Independent and impartial inspectors of providers offering education and skills training for learners of all ages
Policy What someone thinks about a topic and what it plans to do about it
QIP Quality Improvement Plan Plan of changes to be made based on recommendations from the SAR
Quorate The number of people you need to make a decision
Representative People chosen to speak on behalf of others. The way they are chosen should fit with your values
SAR Self-Assessment Report Reports where courses/departments/colleges reflect on their performance based on pre-determined criteria and targets
SFA Skills Funding Agency Distributes government money to learning providers for all provision for people aged 19+
SGSP Student Governor Support Programme An annual pathway of student governor support encompassing local, regional and national support available for student governors - run by NUS
SMT Senior Management Team The team of senior managers within a college - usually the Principal and Deputy/Vice Principals
STEM Science, Technology,Engineering & Maths Subjects considered most economically valuable by some organisations.
TUC Trade Union Congress Umbrella body representing over 6million working people
Trade Union A democratic organisation that represents people in the workplace
UKPRN UK Provider Reference Number A unique number given to each individual college/provider
UNISON Largest Public Sector Union
UCU University & College Union Trade Union representing teaching staff in FE & HE. Lecturers pay a small fee to become members.
WBL Work Based Learning Courses where the majority of the learning takes place in the workplace. Some learning may take place in a classroom environment but this will be minimal
YPLA Young People's Learning Agency Distributes government money to providers for courses for 16-19 year olds and young people with learning difficulties up to 25. Takes direction from local authorities.

Source: NUS FE Jargon Buster Leaflet.

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