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Glossary: P

Parent Council – Scotland

The Parent Council is a group of parents selected by all parents in a Scottish school to represent their views.


A doctor who specialises in working with babies and children.


A specially trained person who uses a palantype machine and shorthand code to provide real-time subtitles. They’re sometimes referred to as a ‘speech-to-text reporter’, ‘speech-to-text writer’ or ‘stenographer’.

Palantypists can either be physically present or remote. Remote palantypists aren’t in the same room as the deaf person. They use phone or video calls to listen to the conversation or meeting. They send the deaf person a link and the text appears on the deaf person’s screen.


In the context of genetics, this describes the proportion of people with a gene variant who show signs of the effects of that gene variant. If a gene is ‘fully penetrant,’ this means that everyone carrying it shows some signs.

Peripatetic Teacher of the Deaf (ToD)

Also known as a ‘visiting’ ToD, they’re employed by the local education service and work in homes and schools to support deaf children in different settings. Peripatetic ToDs will sometimes teach deaf children with additional needs on a sessional basis, usually when an individual school does not need a full-time teacher for this purpose.

Personal Budget – England

An amount of money identified by the local authority to deliver provision set out in an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, where the parent or young person is involved in securing that provision.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – England, Northern Ireland and Wales

A benefit paid to disabled adults and young people aged 16 and over.

Personal Learning Planning (PLP) – Scotland

Planning involving teachers working with parents, children and young people to set clear goals and review progress on a regular basis.


Using the sounds of the letters of the alphabet to help with reading and literacy.


External part of the ear (the bit you can see).

Placing request – Scotland

A formal request which a parent can make to an education authority if they want their child to go to a school outside their catchment area, or one that was not recommended by their local authority.  

Profound deafness

A level of deafness where the person needs sounds at an average level of above 95 decibels (dB) (averaged across speech frequencies) to be able to hear them.

Progressive deafness

When children have a hearing loss that develops as they get older. This could be because of a genetic condition, such as enlarged vestibular aqueducts (EVA), or a congenital (born-with) infection such as congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV). Children might also be diagnosed with a unilateral (one-sided) deafness that progresses to a bilateral deafness (deafness in both ears).

Proposed or Draft Statement – Northern Ireland

The proposed or draft copy of a Statement of Special Educational Needs. This gives parents the opportunity to raise issues relating to the content of the Statement and meet with the education authority. Parents do not have the right to appeal until the Final Statement is received.

Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA)

Behavioural hearing test for children aged three or older. Sounds are played through headphones or earphones placed inside the child's ear. When the child hears a sound, they’re asked to respond by pressing a button or by saying ‘yes’. “Play audiometry” is used for younger children where the child is shown how to move a toy each time they hear a sound as part of a listening game.