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Glossary: O


The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills. Ofsted regulates and inspects childcare and children's social care. They inspect schools and colleges and assess children's services in local areas.  


Considers complaints against Local Authorities and other organisations such as local admissions and exclusions appeal panels. Has the Local Authority acted reasonably within the law, its own policies and within generally accepted standards of local government? 


Three tiny bones in the middle ear: the malleus, incus and stapes (sometimes known as the hammer, anvil and stirrup). These are known together as the ossicles. They increase the strength of the vibrations from the eardrum, caused by sound waves. These vibrations are passed by the ossicles across the middle ear to the cochlea. 

Otoacoustic emissions (OAE)

This hearing test is commonly used as part of the screening tests carried out on babies shortly after birth. It tests the cochlea response. A small earpiece is placed in the child's ear and a clicking sound is played.  If the cochlea is working properly, the earpiece will pick up the response and it is recorded on a computer.

Otoferm cream

This cream is used to help keep the earmould comfortable in the ear. It can also help to insert the earmould more easily, as well as to assist with reducing feedback by providing a better seal between the earmould and the ear itself. It is available from your child's audiologist or hearing aid clinic. 

Outer Ear

The outside part of the ear (pinna) which catches sound waves and directs them down the ear canal to the eardrum.


EHC plans must specify the outcomes sought for the child or young person. These are outcomes which will enable children and young people to progress in their learning and be well prepared for adulthood.