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IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.

IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The residential schools investigation report


Annex 2: Glossary

Academy schools
Schools established under section 1 of the Academies Act 2010. These are state-funded schools which are governed by a contract signed between the school and the Department for Education. Supervision and oversight of such schools lies directly with the Department for Education, and they are regulated against the Independent School Standards.
Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings
Guidance issued by the Ministry of Justice on interviewing vulnerable witnesses and victims and on using special measures in criminal court proceedings. Children are automatically entitled to provide evidence by way of a video-recorded interview with a trained police officer, as are complainants in allegations of sexual offences.
Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) interview
Video-recorded interviews with witnesses or complainants are often referred to as ABE interviews.
Additional learning needs (ALN)
A person has additional learning needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for additional learning provision (section 2 of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018).
Advocacy services
The provision of representation or advice to assist people to make their wishes and feelings known. Frequently appointed or available when young or vulnerable people interact with statutory agencies involved in their care or the courts.
Allegation management strategy discussion (AMSD), also known as strategy meeting
A meeting organised by the local authority designated officer (LADO) with relevant persons (such as the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) or the police) to discuss and share information relevant to an allegation made to the LADO and to plan any investigations which are necessary.
Approved school
A residential institution for young people either convicted of criminal offences or deemed beyond parental control, known for strict discipline and corporal punishment. Approved schools operated in the UK between 1933 and 1969, and then became Community Homes with Education, under the Children and Young Persons Act 1969.
'Association' independent schools
Schools which are a member of an association that is affiliated to the Independent Schools Council (the Girls' Schools Association, Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, Independent Association of Prep Schools, Independent Schools Association, and the Society of Heads). Association schools are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate rather than Ofsted.
Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS)
Membership body affiliated to the Independent Schools Council, which supports and provides advice to governing bodies in the independent sector on all aspects of school governance.
Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)
A professional association and trade union for school, college and academy trust leaders.
Autistic spectrum disorder (medical name)

Autistic spectrum condition (alternative name often used by local authorities or schools)

Autism (in common usage)

A diverse group of conditions, characterised by some degree of difficulty with social communication and interaction with other people, atypical patterns of activities and behaviours, including repetitive behaviours, problems transitioning from one activity to another, a focus on details, and unusual reactions to sensations.

The broad range of the autistic spectrum means that each person's needs can vary and evolve over time. The level of intellectual functioning varies widely.

Barred list
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) maintains the Children's Barred List and the Vulnerable Adults' Barred List which are records of people prohibited from working with children or from working with vulnerable adults.
Boarding school
A school which provides overnight accommodation for its pupils.
Boarding Schools' Association (BSA)
Membership organisation representing boarding schools. Provides training and advice to schools in the independent and state sector in the UK and other countries.
Prior to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which created the offence of anal rape, offences of anal penetration were referred to and charged as the offence of buggery.
A person under the age of 18.
Child protection (see also 'Safeguarding')

Activity to protect a child or children who are identified as suffering, having suffered or likely to suffer significant harm.

Often used by practitioners interchangeably with safeguarding, child protection refers to activity in relation to a specific child who has been identified as being at risk, whereas safeguarding is used to refer to measures to keep all children safe.

Child sexual abuse
Sexual abuse of children involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activity. The activity may involve physical contact or may be non-contact, including via the internet, such as involving children in looking at or in the production of sexual images and watching sexual activity, or encouraging children to engage in sexual activity with other children. Child sexual abuse includes child sexual exploitation.
Child sexual exploitation
A form of child sexual abuse. It involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where a child receives something as a result of them engaging in sexual acts. It can occur through the use of technology without the child's immediate recognition; for example, being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain.
Civil claim
A legal claim by an individual or group of individuals for damages for the abuse they have suffered, undertaken through the civil rather than the criminal justice system.
Common inspection framework (CIF)
Document issued by Ofsted from 2015 to 2019 to provide details as to how it will inspect schools and other educational settings. Now replaced by the Education inspection framework (EIF).
Compliance notice
  1. (1) Notice issued by regional schools commissioners or the local authority to indicate that the school is failing in a significant way; also called a statutory warning notice.
  2. (2) Notice issued by the Department for Education if it considers that steps need to be taken for the school to improve (also called a statutory notice).
  3. (3) Notice issued by the Charity Commission where it considers that steps need to be taken for trustees to improve the charity.
Conditional discharge
A disposal available to a criminal court upon conviction of a defendant. A conditional discharge means that the offender is discharged from the court with no sentence imposed for the offence unless they commit a further offence within a time decided by the court (no more than three years).
Criminal justice system
The system which investigates, prosecutes, tries and sentences individuals who are suspected of committing a criminal offence. This also encompasses institutions responsible for imprisonment, probation and sentences served in the community.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
Independent agency headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions that is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases that have been investigated by the police.
Dark web
Part of the world wide web that is only accessible by means of specialist software and cannot be accessed through well-known search engines.
Department for Education (DfE)
The Department for Education is a ministerial department of the government, supported by 17 agencies and public bodies. It is responsible for children's services and education in England.
Designated safeguarding lead (DSL)
Each school in England should appoint a senior member of staff as DSL, with lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection at the school, including the provision of advice to other staff, supporting staff and attending meetings with statutory agencies. The role is set out in full at Annex C of Keeping Children Safe in Education.
Designated safeguarding person (DSP) (Wales)
In Wales, the senior member of staff from the leadership team of the school with lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection at the school. Full details and responsibilities are set out in Keeping Learners Safe.
A physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on a person's ability to undertake normal daily activities.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
An executive non-departmental public body that processes and issues criminal records checks for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It also maintains the adults' and children's barred lists and makes decisions as to whether an individual should be included on one or both of these lists. It replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (for disclosure of criminal records) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (which previously operated the barred lists).
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly CRB checks)
A check carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service of an individual's criminal record, which may also include police information. An employer must obtain a DBS check before engaging a person to work with children, as part of safer recruitment procedures.
Education, health and care plan (EHC plan)

A 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. With some minor exceptions, only children with EHC plans can attend a special school.

Education Workforce Council (EWC)
Independent regulator in Wales for the education workforce, covering teachers, learning support staff in schools and further education, qualified youth workers and work-based learning practitioners. Came into being in April 2015.
Educational guardian
A person appointed by a parent/carer, who lives outside the UK, to look after a child being educated in the UK. This includes the provision of support, guidance and accommodation to the young person if required.
Ex gratia payment
A payment for damages, made voluntarily but without any admission of liability or guilt.
Extradition is the formal process for requesting the surrender of a person from one country to another for the following purposes: to be prosecuted; to be sentenced for an offence for which the person has already been convicted; or to carry out a sentence that has already been imposed.
First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability)
Specialist tribunal established to hear appeals by parents/carers against decisions of local authorities regarding a child's special educational needs. Also hears cases of disability discrimination by schools under the Equality Act 2010.
  1. (1) The offer of accommodation on fewer than four nights a week at a school.
  2. (2) In some schools, where students stay after the end of the school day, eat dinner and do their homework with others, and can stay until bedtime.
General Teaching Council for England (GTCE)
Between 2000 and 2012, the regulatory body for registered teachers which maintained the register of teachers with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), heard professional misconduct allegations regarding teachers with QTS, and gave advice to government on a wide range of policy issues affecting the teaching profession.
General Teaching Council of Wales (GTCW)
In Wales, the body which between 2004 and 2015 operated the register of teachers and regulated their professional conduct, as well as gave advice to the Welsh Government. Replaced by the Education Workforce Council.
Governing body
A group of individuals appointed to provide oversight of a maintained school. There can also be governing bodies of academies and independent schools but this is not a mandatory requirement. Governing bodies of schools have strategic responsibility for safeguarding and child protection.
Members of a governing body. Their appointment depends upon the Instruments of Government upon which the school was founded.
Building a relationship with a child in order to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation. The process by which a perpetrator communicates with a child with the intention of committing sexual abuse or exploitation, and by which the perpetrator seeks to minimise the likelihood of disclosure by the child. Includes manipulating or enticing a child to engage in sexual activity, or normalising sexual behaviour between adults and children.
Gross misconduct
Misconduct by an employee which is so serious as to legally permit dismissal by the employer.
Harmful sexual behaviour
Sexual abuse between children, whether children of different ages or children of a similar age. It may also be referred to as sexually harmful behaviour or sexualised behaviour.
Home schooling
The education of school-aged children at home or places other than school.
Independent school
A school which can charge fees for students to attend. All such schools have to be registered with the Department for Education. Sometimes known as private schools.
Independent Schools Council (ISC)
Membership organisation representing the views of 'Association' independent schools (see above), providing guidance and training to them.
Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI)
An independent, government-approved body which provides objective inspections to safeguard the quality and effectiveness of education, care and welfare of children in independent schools in England which are members of the Associations of the Independent Schools Council.
Independent School Standards (ISS)
Set of mandatory requirements in respect of education, welfare and pastoral care as well as accommodation and facilities, against which independent schools in England and Wales are inspected and which they have to follow. Set out in The Independent School Standards (Wales) Regulations 2003 and, in England, The Education (Independent Schools Standards) Regulations 2014.
Interagency reporting
Sharing of information between different statutory bodies with responsibilities for child protection/safeguarding, eg the police, health service, social services.
Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE)
Statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education for all schools and colleges in England concerning the management of child protection and safeguarding issues. All schools and colleges must have regard to it when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Latest version issued September 2021.
Keeping Learners Safe (KLS)
Statutory guidance issued by the Welsh Government which must be read and followed by local authorities and all schools and colleges, and is recommended as relevant for other youth and children's services or education-related provision. Latest version issued April 2021.
List 99
List maintained by the Department for Education from the 1920s to 2009 of those unsuitable to work with children. Replaced by the Protection of Children Act (PoCA) list and subsequently by the Children's Barred List, now operated by the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Local authority designated officer (LADO)
Officer working within the children's services department of a local authority designated to receive allegations that an adult working with children may have abused or may pose a risk to a child. The LADO is responsible, under statute, for investigating such complaints.
Local safeguarding children board (LSCB)
The Children Act 2004 required each local authority to have a local safeguarding children board as the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant agencies in each local area will cooperate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in that locality, and for ensuring the effectiveness of what they do. Replaced in England in 2019 by local safeguarding partnerships. LSCBs still operate in Wales.
Low-level concern
A concern about an adult working with children which is below the threshold for referral to the local authority designated officer (LADO). Since the revision of Keeping Children Safe in Education in September 2021, low-level concerns about staff have to be recorded by schools.
Mainstream school
Any school that is not a special school, ie that does not cater exclusively for children with special educational needs.
Maintained schools
Schools operated and funded by a local authority.
Multi-agency working
Commonly used in public services to mean working across public bodies, eg the police, education and social services. Local safeguarding children boards (LCSBs) are an example.
Multi-agency strategy meeting
Formal meeting called by social services where there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child/young person may be suffering or have suffered significant harm. It will involve social services, the police and other bodies. Sometimes called a s47 meeting. There may be a single meeting or a series of meetings to reach an outcome in a case.
Music and Dance Scheme (MDS)
A scheme operated by the Department for Education which provides means-tested bursaries to fund children to attend the specialist dance or music schools in England.
National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)
Union and professional association representing those in leadership positions in sectors from early years to further education colleges and pupil referral units and other educational settings.
National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT)
Union representing teachers in all sectors from early years to further education. Second largest education union in the UK.
National Association of Special Schools (NASS)
A membership organisation for non-maintained and independent special schools in the independent, voluntary and private sectors in the United Kingdom.
National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL)
Executive agency of the Department for Education operating in England between 2013 and 2018, which:
  1. (a) provided the award of qualified teacher status;
  2. (b) oversaw teaching induction; and
  3. (c) dealt with cases of professional misconduct and could issue prohibition orders.
National Education Union (NEU)
Trade union operating across the United Kingdom for teachers, further education lecturers, support staff and teaching assistants.
National Governance Association
A membership organisation for governors, trustees and clerks of state-funded schools in England. Provides advice, guidance and support.
National LADO Network
Membership association formed in 2016 to support local authority designated officers (LADOs) in developing robust systems for managing allegations against people who work with children and young people, to operate as a forum for discussion of the LADO role and service, and to share information and practice.
National minimum standards (NMS)
Standards issued by the Department for Education (England) and Welsh Assembly (Wales) against which boarding provision is inspected. There are separate NMS for mainstream boarding schools and for residential special schools.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
A charity campaigning and working in child protection in the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands.
Neutral notification
A system of reporting and recording low-level concerns about staff and students (ie those which would not warrant a referral to a local authority designated officer and/or dismissal/serious disciplinary action) but which cause concern or anxiety.
Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted)
A non-ministerial department that inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills.
Operation Hydrant
A hub established by the National Police Chiefs' Council in 2014 to provide national coordination, oversight and guidance to police forces on allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse concerning persons of public prominence, or which took place within institutional settings.
Operation Kiso
Police investigation by Greater Manchester Police begun in 2014 into allegations of sexual abuse connected to Chetham's School of Music and/or the Royal Northern College of Music.
Order of the British Empire (OBE)
A British order of chivalry given by the monarch to people who demonstrate prominent achievements in service to their country or community.
Personal and social education (PSE)
A compulsory component of the state school curriculum in Wales for those aged between 5 and 16. Includes sex and relationships education.
Personal, social and health education (PSHE)
A compulsory component of the school curriculum in England. It includes relationships and sex education (RSE).
Private school
See 'independent school'.
Profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD)
Severe learning disabilities and other disabilities that significantly affect a person's ability to communicate and be independent. May include severe sensory and mobility impairments.
Progress monitoring inspection (PMI)
Inspection by an inspectorate to monitor action against a plan after a school has been issued with a notice requiring them to comply with certain actions.
Prohibition orders
An order imposed by the Teaching Regulation Agency (in England) or the Education Workforce Council (in Wales) prohibiting an individual from undertaking teaching work in schools/colleges in the United Kingdom.
People who own independent schools. These can be individuals, trusts or companies.
Quality standards
Set of mandatory requirements issued by the Department for Education against which children's homes are inspected, which relate to the accommodation, health, safety and welfare of children in those settings.
Residential school
A school that provides overnight accommodation for pupils, as well as education.
Relationships and sex education (RSE)
In England, it became a mandatory obligation to teach relationships and sex education in all schools from September 2020. Relationships education must be taught from 5 to 16. Sex education is compulsory from 11 to 16, but can be taught in primary settings. Statutory guidance sets out the core content to be taught at each age. In Wales, it will become mandatory from 2022.
Relationships, sex and health education (RSHE)
In England, it is a mandatory obligation to teach relationships, sex and health education (see RSE). Health education must be taught in all state-funded schools from September 2020.
Risk of sexual harm order
A civil order which could be imposed by the court on a person who was thought to pose a risk of sexual harm to a child under the age of 16. In 2014, risk of sexual harm orders were replaced by
  1. (a) sexual harm prevention orders (SHPOs) and
  2. (b) sexual risk orders (SROs).
Safeguarding (see also 'Child protection')
Protecting children from maltreatment; preventing impairment of children's health or development; ensuring that children have safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.
Safeguarding policy (see also 'Safeguarding')
Guidance, rules and procedures put in place by an organisation in order to safeguard children.
Secretary of State for Education
Minister responsible for the work of the Department for Education, including: early years, children's social care, teacher recruitment and retention, the school curriculum, school improvement, academies and free schools, further education, apprenticeships and skills, higher education, and oversight of the departmental coronavirus (COVID-19) response.
Serious incident reports
If there has been a serious incident in a charity it must be reported to the Charity Commission. A serious incident is an adverse event, whether actual or alleged, which results in or risks significant harm to the charity's beneficiaries, staff, volunteers or others who come into contact with the charity through its work; loss of the charity's money or assets; damage to the charity's property; or harm to the charity's work or reputation.
Single central record (SCR)
Register which should be maintained by every school that sets out the recruitment checks undertaken prior to permitting a person to start work and when such checks need to be updated.
Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF)
Guidance issued by Ofsted as to how it inspects children's homes. Published 2017 and updated in 2021.
Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties
A type of special educational need where children and young people have severe difficulties in managing their emotions and behaviour.
Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
Learning difficulties or a disability that affect a child's ability to learn.
Special school
A state-funded or independent school specially organised to make provision for pupils with special educational needs. It may be maintained by a local authority or academy, or be a non-maintained special school.
State-funded schools
Schools that are paid for by national taxes and provide free education to children between the ages of 3 and 18.
Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA)
Executive agency of the Department for Education which regulates the teaching profession and maintains a record of those with qualified teacher status (QTS).
A person, usually a worker, who exposes information or activity within a private, public or government organisation which is illegal, endangers someone's health and safety, damages the environment, is an abuse of power, or involves covering up wrongdoing in any of these categories.
Working Together to Safeguard Children
Statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education (and prior to that the Department of Health) since 1991 which provides advice on child protection practices and processes for those working with children across all sectors.
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