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Jargon Buster

This page will assist you in deciphering educational jargon, buzzwords, acronyms and abbreviations.

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A                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

Aboriginal Affairs Victoria
Aboriginal Study Assistance Scheme
Australian Council for Educational Research
Australian Childhood Immunisation Register
Australian Education Union

Australian Government Quality Teacher Program

AIM Achievement Improvement Monitor AQTF Australian Qualifications and Training Framework

Australian Primary Principals’ Association

ATTP Apprenticeship Traineeship Training Program
ASBA Association of School Bursars and Administrators    


C                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

Copyright Agency Limited
Careers Education Association of Victoria
CECV Catholic Education Commission of Victoria CEO Catholic Education Office
CSF Curriculum and Standards Framework  


D                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Victoria)  
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Commonwealth)  
DHS Department of Human Services    


E                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

Education Maintenance Allowance
Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Ranking  
Education Resource Index
English as a Second Language


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FaCSIA (Department of) Families, Community Services
and Indigenous Affairs (Commonwealth)
FFPOS Full Fee Paying Overseas Student


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General Achievement Test (in VCE)  


H                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

HECS Higher Education Contribution Scheme  


I                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

International Baccalaureate
Information and Communication Technology
Independent Education Union of Australia  
Independent schools Victoria
Information Technology


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 JPP Jobs Pathway Program  


K                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

K - 12   Kindergarten through to Year 12   KLA  Key Learning Area  


L                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

LANNA   Literacy and Numeracy National Assessment   LDA   Learning Difficulties Australia  
LNSLN Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs LOTE Language Other than English



N                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

NCEC National Catholic Education Commission NCHRC National Criminal History Record Check


O                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

OSHC Outside School Hours Care


P                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

P - 12 Prep through to Year 12


R                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

RTO Registered Training Organisation


S                                                                                                                                                       Back to Top

SBNA School Based New Apprenticeship SES Socioeconomic Status
SOSE Studies of Society and Environment    


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TAFE Technical and Further Education


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Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority  
VCAL Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning VCE Victorian Certificate of Education
VELS Victorian Essential Learning Standards VET Vocational Education and Training
VIEU Victorian Independent Education Union VISBGA Victorian Independent Schools Block Grant Authority
VRQA Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority VTAC Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre


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WWC Working with Children Checks


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A                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

A government scheme that provides financial assistance to indigenous students in school or university.
Achievement Improvement Monitor (AIM) AIM is a statewide assessment program that tests English (reading, writing and spelling) and mathematics skills in years 3, 5, 7 and 9.
Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC)
The per capita rate of operating a government school.
Australian Government Recurrent Funding (AGRF)
Per capita funding paid to non-government schools by the Australian Government.
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

A unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (TAFEs and private providers) and the higher education sector (mainly universities). It is endorsed by the Australian Government and recognised internationally. AQF qualifications link with each other, creating learning pathways between school, vocational education and training and university.

A government scheme that provides financial assistance to full-time students aged 25 years and over.


C                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

Capital Grants The Australian Government Capital Grants Program provides funding to schools to improve their capital infrastructure, with a particular focus on educationally disadvantaged students. 
Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV)

The CECV is responsible for receiving and distributing Commonwealth and State Government funds to Catholic schools in Victoria.

Catholic Education Office, Melbourne (CEOM)

The CEOM provides a wide range of advice and services to Catholic schools in Melbourne, including teachers and members of the Catholic education community.

Catholic Schools Catholic schools are schools whose philosophy and curriculum is based on the Catholic faith. Catholic schools are generally divided into Catholic systemic schools or Catholic independent schools.
Certificates I–IV A qualification obtained through the VET and TAFE education sectors. The four certificate levels correspond to an increased level of skill. A certificate is generally completed in one year.
Curriculum Curriculum can stand for the aggregate of courses offered by a school or university. However in most instances, curriculum indicates the learning outcomes a student undergoes during the study of a course or subject. A curriculum will outline the subject’s objectives, content and assessment tasks.
Curriculum and Standards Framework (CSF) The CSF describes what students should know and be able to do in eight key learning areas. The CSF model was replaced by the Victorian Essential Learning Standards in 2006.


D                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

Degree A qualification obtained through the university education sector. Degrees can be undertaken in almost any subject matter, but not all offered degrees are available at all universities. Degrees can range from three to six years to complete.
Diploma A qualification obtained through the VET and TAFE education sectors. Generally takes two years to complete.


E                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
The EMA provides assistance to low-income families by helping with the costs associated with the education of their children. For further information talk to your school or visit the EMA Website.
Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Ranking (ENTER) A student’s ENTER score is based on their year 12 study scores and calculated by VTAC. ENTER scores can range from zero to 99.95, and they are used by universities and TAFE institutes to select students for courses.
English as a Second Language (ESL) ESL is a subject offered to those students from non English speaking backgrounds who need assistance with learning to read, write and speak English.
Education Resource Index (ERI) The ERI funding model was replaced by the SES funding model in 2001.


G                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

General Achievement Test (GAT) The GAT is a general knowledge assessment used to test students’ skills in written communication, the humanities, the arts, social sciences, and mathematics, science and technology. Students enrolled in one or more year 12 subject must sit the GAT. GAT results do not count towards a student’s ENTER score or VCE results. Instead, students’ GAT results are used by teachers as a standard for marking assignments and examinations.
Government Schools Government schools are those operated by State or Territory Government education departments. They are also referred to as public or state schools.


I                                                                                                                                                   Back to Glossary

Independent Schools
Independent schools are those owned and operated by a private body, and not by a state or territory government education department. Independent schools come in many shapes and sizes, and are affiliated with a variety of philosophies, cultures and religions, such as non-denominational, Lutheran, Islamic and Steiner schools. Independent schools are also referred to as private schools.
Independent Schools Victoria

Independent Schools Victoria represents Victorian independent schools – speaking for more than 212 Member Schools to governments, the education sector and the Victorian community. Independent Schools Victoria:

  • promotes the contribution independent schools make to the community
  • provides Member Schools with board governance guidance and information on workplace relations and other regulatory and legislative topics
  • manages Australian and Victorian Government education programs covering languages, literacy and numeracy, rural and special education, student well-being, quality teaching and school infrastructure
  • conducts professional development programs
  • promotes quality and best-practice standards
  • helps parents and families choose the right school by providing detailed, unbiased information
  • provides independent schools with co-operative purchasing arrangements.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT is the study of technology used to handle information and aid communication. ICT aims to go beyond the minimum requirements needed to operate computer technology by teaching students about information and communication systems, knowledge structures and accessing and interpreting data.
International Baccalaureate (IB) The IB is an internationally recognised diploma on successful completion of secondary education, and an equivalent to VCE. IB qualifications provide pathways to further study at university and TAFE. Only schools officially approved by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) are authorised to offer the two-year pre-university curriculum for students aged between 16 and 19 years of age.


K                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

Key Learning Area (KLA) The key learning areas are core subjects students must study. The KLAs have been nationally agreed upon and they are: English, mathematics, science, the arts, languages, society/environment, technology and health/physical education.


L                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

Languages Other Than English (LOTE) A term used by most Australian education sectors for language subjects. LOTE in high school aims to introduce students to different languages and subsequently, to different people, cultures and ideas. LOTE learning areas offer students the ability to interact with people and cultures other than their own.
Literacy and Numeracy National Assessment (LANNA) LANNA is an annual assessment designed and developed in Australia by the Australian Council for Education Research. The test measures students’ skill in literacy and numeracy and is undertaken in years 3, 5 and 7.


N                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

Non-Government Schools Non-government is the term used to collectively refer to both independent and Catholic schools. See also government schools.


R                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

RTOs are businesses registered by state and territory training authorities to deliver nationally recognised training that is recognised by all RTOs throughout Australia.  RTOs offer qualifications that are part of the Australian Qualifications Framework. An RTO can be a government department or a private enterprise, and training does not have to be its core business. Panel beaters, schools, TAFE colleges and beauty therapists are all examples of organisations that can be RTOs.


S                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

School-Based New Apprenticeship (SBNA)

SBNAs are open to students 15 years of age or over who are permanent residents of Australia. Students must undertake their VCE as well as being trained and employed in paid work under some form of industrial agreement that endorses part-time apprenticeships. School Based New Apprenticeship programs generally provide the same contribution to the VCE as their related VET in the VCE programs.

Socioeconomic Status (SES) The socioeconomic status (SES) funding model is a way of measuring the ability of a non-government school community to support their school. The SES approach measures the socioeconomic status of the parents whose children are enrolled at a school. Rather than asking parents intrusive questions about their income, education and occupation, the SES model links student addresses with current Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data. An SES Index is then applied to obtain an SES score for each school. Schools which draw students from areas of predominantly high SES will receive lower levels of Commonwealth funding than schools which draw from areas of average or low SES.
Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE) SOSE is one of the eight key learning areas and helps young people to understand the relationships that characterise communities through social, cultural, economic and environmental studies. The SOSE curriculum includes history, geography, politics, sociology, psychology and economics.
Study Assist

Study Assist has replaced HECS and Fee-HELP. Whether you are planning to study at university, TAFE or other approved education provider the new Study Assist website provides a one-stop-shop for all your questions about Australian Government assistance available to help finance your tertiary studies.


T                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

Technical and Further Education (TAFE)

TAFE provides a wide range of training options in such areas as computing, business studies, marketing, tourism and hospitality. Courses provide students with skills, called national industry competency standards that employers have identified as critical to their work needs. These standards form the basis of assessment and students graduate as soon as they demonstrate their achievement.


V                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA)

VCAA is a statutory authority established to: develop curriculum for all Victorian schools, assess student learning and monitor student achievement, and conduct research leading to innovative educational programs.

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

VCAL is a hands-on option for students in Years 11 and 12. VCAL provides practical work-related experience, literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work. VCAL is an accredited secondary certificate.

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)

An internationally-recognised certificate awarded on successful completion of secondary education. VCE qualifications provide pathways to further study at university and TAFE. It is possible to undertake a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship within a VCE.

Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) VELS are a whole-school curriculum planning framework, identifying what students need to achieve at different stages and setting standards. An overview of the Standards are available on the VCAA website.
Victorian Independent Schools Block Grant Authority (VISBGA) VIS BGA administers the Australian Government Capital Grants and Investing in Our Schools Programs, as well as the Victorian Government Interest Subsidy Scheme.
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)

The VRQA is responsible for the regulation of all school education and higher education providers (except established universities). The VRQA incorporates and expands upon the responsibilities of the now defunct Victorian Qualifications Authority (VQA) and Registered Schools Board (RSB).

Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC)

VTAC acts on behalf of participating universities, TAFE institutes and independent tertiary colleges, facilitating and coordinating the joint selection system. Applications and documentation are received from applicants, processed and forwarded on to the chosen institutions. Once course authorities have made offers for course places, VTAC sends an offer letter to the applicant.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

VET courses provide students with specific occupational or work-related knowledge and skills. VET has a practical emphasis and is linked directly to the needs of business and industry. Representatives from business and industry help design and update VET courses to ensure that they are relevant and related to the needs of specific jobs. Students can undertake a VET course in conjunction with VCE or VCAL.


Y                                                                                                                                                  Back to Glossary

Youth Allowance A government scheme that provides financial assistance to people under 25 years of age who are studying, undertaking training or an Australian apprenticeship.



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