Frequently Asked Questions

What is an IEP? (Individual Education Plan)

If your child has a medical need, learning difficulties where they require reasonable adjustments, or special educational needs then Cheam High School can provide a document called an Individual Education Plan (IEP). An IEP provides the teachers with a brief summary of the student’s needs and strategies which can aid the teacher with differentiation, accessibility and interventions they may benefit from. The IEP is created by the SEN team working collaboratively with the BEST department and Year Teams.

Not all students receiving support from the BES Team or SEN Team will need an IEP.  For example, individual mentoring wouldn’t necessitate an IEP.  However, where there are very particular strategies to use for a student across a range of subjects, then an IEP can communicate this.

An IEP is a working document which is reviewed at least once a year, normally at parents’ evening. It provides specific targets for the student to work towards, overall ongoing aims and outlines in house support which the student can access. Unlike the EHCP, an IEP is not a legal document or requirement and therefore does not entitle a student to LSA support within the lessons or access arrangements.

What is an EHCP? (Education, Health and Care Plan)

An EHCP is a legal document which replaces the old ‘statement’ of educational need. It can be in place for a student until they are up to 25 years old. 
Students are assessed by the local educational authority to decide if they qualify for an EHCP.  It is the Local Authority that decides whether an EHC plan is needed, not the school

The EHCP will detail a student’s difficulties and support needs. Any support that is stated in the EHCP must be followed by the school. There may be funding from the local authority attached to the EHCP to meet the support needs of the student.  The school is responsible for the first £6k of support required by the student.

The EHCP must be reviewed each year to evaluate student progress and continuing need.    If the school, parents/carers or professionals feel that the plan or support provided is breaking down then an earlier review, known as an Interim Review, can be called. 

Applying for an EHCP - what is the process?

An application for statutory assessment, an assessment to determine whether an EHC plan is required, can be requested by the school. This request will normally be the last step taken, when a significant amount of interventions and support have already been put into place, and the school and parents/carers feel that without additional funding, provided by the borough, the student is at a significant disadvantage to their peers.

It is important to note that parents/carers or other professionals can also request an application for statutory assessment if they feel it is necessary. Once a request for statutory assessment has been made and approved, the local authority will normally respond within 20 weeks about whether an EHC plan is going to be made for your child. However, the local authority can also decline the request and will do so if the case for assessment does not meet stated criteria (click here for more info)

What should I do if I think my child has a special educational need or disability? Who do I contact?

Please contact: or ring and ask for them to contact you.

How are adaptations made to the curriculum and learning environment for those students with physical or sensory needs?

  • Access to all buildings can be gained by wheelchair users
  • Specialist rooms are accessible by those with mobility difficulties either because they are situated on the ground floor or because lifts are available
  • Stairways and colour schemes are suitable for those with visual impairment
  • Sensory support is made available as and when needed and advice is taken from specialist professionals at the borough
  • There is a sensory room available in the SEN area with bean bags and soft lighting to support targeted students
  • Reasonable adjustments are made to support students e.g. a reduced timetable for those with medical needs as they recover


The school implements its duties under the Equality Act 2010.  

Can students with a special educational need engage in extra-curricular clubs and activities with those in the school who do not have a special educational need?


The school provides a range of extra-curricular clubs and activities open to all students, regardless of SEN

Homework Club takes place in the LRC and is available to all students of the school Monday to Friday from 2.50pm to 4.20pm. This is staffed by members of the Learning Support Team who are available to support students with their homework

Students are also encouraged to take part in school events, whether this be during Open Evenings, Peforming Arts events or Talent Shows – to name but a few.

My child has poor handwriting. Can they have extra time in their GCSE examinations?

No but handwriting intervention programmes are available.

My child has dyslexia. Can they have extra time in their GCSE examinations? 
Due to exam board restrictions the school needs to provide evidence that this concession is a daily method of working in school.

I want my child to see the EP. Can you make a referral?

Referrals will be made by the school where concerns meet the threshold for referral and where: the individual student has not responded to strategies put into place by the school; where further advice needs to be sought; where progress shows a widening gap between students and peers with progress below that expected given starting points.