1. What does PEP stand for?
PEP stands for Post-16 Entry Level Programme.
2. What are Entry Level Courses and how do they relate to other qualifications?
Entry Level is the first rung on the National Qualifications Framework ladder. The Entry Level courses we offer are designed for students at Key Stage 4 for whom GCSE courses are not appropriate.
3. What qualifications do PEP group students take?
We offer PEP group students a suitable combination of the following qualifications:
- Personal and Social Development (PSD at Entry 1, 2 and 3)
- Edexcel Functional Skills English, Maths and IT at Entry Levels 1, 2, 3 and Level 1
4. What do students do on a life skills course?
Life skills courses offer students the chance to learn and practise skills that they need for independent living. Topics covered can include things like: using money, telling time, personal hygiene, health & fitness, cooking and travel training. Part of the work is done in class but regular trips into the local community give students the opportunity to practise these skills in real life situations.
5. Do you offer Speech and Language Therapy?
Yes, we offer one term per year of Speech and Language Therapy. During the term the Speech and Language therapist assesses new and existing students with speech and language needs on their statements. She also runs weekly communication skills groups and recommends strategies staff can use to support students in class.
6. How do the students manage in a large school environment?
Our students cope very well in the large Cheam High School environment. It can take some time to get to know your way around any new place but we have 2nd and 3rd year PEP group students who mentor new students and help them settle in. We have a four day induction at the beginning of July to enable a smooth transition into the PEP Group.
7. Are PEP Group students bullied or picked on?
All students in the school are very accepting of each other and we try to organise as much interaction as we can with the mainstream sixth form through the VISA scheme (Volunteering in School Award), where sixth formers give up their free lessons to join in PEP group activities such as Fitness, Cooking and Team Enterprise. Cheam High School has a zero tolerance approach to bullying; therefore any reports of bullying are taken very seriously.
8. What about transport?
Many PEP students currently travel to school by minibus or taxi. If your child is not an independent traveller you will need to contact your local council to arrange transport.
9. Are students trained to travel independently?
Travel Training is part of the life skills course that we offer. Students who are not independent or confident travellers are identified and if assessed as ready are offered individual training on agreed routes.
10. How long can students stay in the PEP group?
Students can stay in the PEP group for up to three years depending on their age on joining. However, students who are able to 'move on' after two years - or even one - are encouraged to do so. Staff will make recommendations based on your child's progress. All major recommendations about your child's future will be discussed at an Annual Review/Transfer Review.
11. Where do they go at break and lunch?
Students use the Sixth Form Centre Social Zone, which is available to all Sixth Formers. It has a canteen which sells a variety of food and drinks. All students have cashless cards which double as student ID cards. Click here for more information.
12. How can I find out more about the PEP group?
Visits to the department are always welcome. To arrange a visit please telephone the Head of PEP Group on 020 8644 5790. We will also be happy to answer any questions you might have over the phone and we can send you a copy of our latest prospectus or you can download our prospectus here and view it immediately.
13. How do I apply for a place?
Applications are made to the SEN Team at Sutton Local Education Authority and not through the school. Please use the ‘Register your interest’ form in the prospectus. Forms should be sent to the Sutton SEN Team or for non-Sutton residents the form needs to be sent to the student’s own local authority. You must apply by the last day in November to be considered for entry the following September. The application form is here.
14. If I apply what will happen next?
Your son/daughter will be assessed by the Head of PEP Group during a visit to your child's current school and if possible, during a visit to the PEP Group. Information is gathered from teachers, parents and reports.
All applications are considered by the PEP Group admissions panel which sits in January. Places are offered to those students who meet the entry criteria.
15. Is my child entitled to free school meals after the age of 16?
If your child receives free school meals at secondary school, or if your financial situation has changed recently, your son/daughter may be entitled to free school meals at Cheam High School. Please contact your Local Education Authority for more details on how to apply.
16. What happens after my son/daughter leaves the PEP group?
Most PEP students go onto local Further Education Colleges where they progress onto Life Skills, Skills for Working Life or specific vocational courses at an appropriate level.
17. To discuss any aspect of PEP please call Karen Aldridge on 020 8644 5790 ext. 217