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Glossary: P


A doctor who specialises in working with babies and children.


A palantypist (sometimes referred to as a ‘speech to text reporter’, ‘speech to text writer’ or ‘stenographer’) is a specially trained person who uses a palantype machine and short hand code to provide real-time subtitling. The subtitles are relayed to screens, via the internet, so anyone who is unable to hear the speaker is able to follow the conversation.

Palantypists can either be physically present, or remote. Remote palantypists aren’t in the same room as the deaf person. They will use Skype or conference calling to listen in to the conversation or meeting. They send the deaf person a link and the text appears on their screen.


In the context of genes, this describes how often the effect of a changed gene is seen in the person who carries it. So if a gene is “fully penetrant”, then everyone carrying it shows some signs.

Peripatetic Teacher of the Deaf 

A specialist  teacher of the deaf who is employed by the local education service and works in homes and schools in the area supporting deaf children in different settings. Sometimes they will teach deaf children with special educational needs on a sessional basis, usually when an individual school does not need the services of a full-time teacher for this purpose. 

Personal Budget

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

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

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

Personal Learning Planning

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 reading and literacy.


External part of the ear

Placing request

A formal request which a parent of a young person aged 16 or above can make to an education authority for a place at a school that is neither in the local catchment area nor the school recommended by the local authority.

Profound deafness

A level of deafness. It can be described using the decibel (dB) measurement. This shows how loud a sound has to be for your child to hear it.  Profound deafness means the sound has to be at 95 dB or more.

Progressive deafness

When children are born with a hearing loss that develops further (often as a result of a known condition such as being born with Enlarged vestibular aqueducts, or a congenital (born-with) infection such as congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV). Also children born with a Unilateral (one-sided) deafness that progresses to a bilateral deafness.

Proposed or Draft Statement

The proposed or draft copy of the Statement of Special Educational Needs.  Parents are given the opportunity to raise issues relating to the body of the Statement, and meet with the Local Authority to make a representation. Parents do not have the right to appeal until the Final Statement is received.

P scales/P levels

Used to measure attainment of children with special educational needs who have not achieved level 1 of the National Curriculum. P levels go from 1-8, with 8 being just below NC level 1c.

Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA)

Behavioural test which actively involves children from the age of three years.  Sounds are played through headphones, earphones placed inside the child's ear or sometimes through a speaker (when the test is known as soundfield audiometry). Younger children might be shown how to move a toy each time they hear a sound and older children might be asked to respond to sounds by saying "yes" or pressing a button.