A daily dose of decoding

22nd October 2004 at 01:00
Having read Joan Fenton's column about grandiose jargon (TES Scotland Plus, October 1), I began to think about this exclusive educational club to which we all subscribe.

Our secret society seems to have a language of its own, which must take quite a bit of learning for new members to the profession and remain forever a mystery to parents and pupils. So after a busy first term and with the October break upon us, sit back with a cup of coffee and see how well you score on deciphering the abbreviations. TESS will award a packet of MMs to the first 10 correct answers submitted. No expense spared there, then.

This session in our PS, we have an HT and a DHT but no AHT or ST post since TP21 came along. We have lots of CTs, CAs and SEN auxiliaries, although they are now called LAs in our school. (For that part, we mustn't talk of SEN auxiliaries any more but ASN auxiliaries.) The nursery also has NTs and NNs. Most Scottish schools will still have a janny but we have SSOs in our EA. They will always be jannies to me!

All these members of staff benefit from CPD, which used to be called SD.

This is organised following SDR or PR meetings. The choice of topic studied is very varied, from ADHD to IEPs, LAAC or PLPs.

Is it MLPS or LIPS? I'm not sure. EFL begat ESL which begat EAL. What next?

DOs come and go and I even had a shot at being an NDO. HTs must learn about DSM and write DPs and SQ reports.

The whole area of ICT is full of excitement and interest now with NGFL, EGFL, www, http and so much more. We'll never forget NOF training. Will we decide to spend precious money on IiP or CM?

Most pupils are quite familiar with PE. I wonder what they make of RME and PSE, or even PSHE.

And of course there are all the agencies which support and advise us: the GTC, SQA (whatever happened to SEB and ScotVec?), LTS (a splinter of SCCC) and the TEIs from which students emerge with qualifications such as BEd or PGCE.

Parents of secondary school pupils must be totally bewildered with SG at levels C, G and F, Int 1 and 2, H and AH levels. Whatever happened to O levels some employers still wonder; maybe they have been living in the wrong country.

Dare I venture into the world of HMIE with MIs, DIs, LIs, CIs, ACIs, AAs and LMs where HGIOS rules. That reminds me of PIs, now metamorphosed as QIs, and now we have QIOs but sadly no advisers! You know you have to get better but there's no one there to help you.

Do we use abbreviations and acronyms to hold on to some sort of power base, thus keeping out the uninitiated? Why are we so besought with them? Is this the end of language as we know it? It really is sore on the eyes to have to read so many shapeless word forms. May all your TLAs expand and we can all RIP.

Decode the abbreviations and send your list to scotlandplus@tes.co.ukSheilah Jackson is headteacher of Queensferry Primary in Edinburgh

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