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PEP Consultation - ends Thursday 28th March

Posted: 25/03/24

PEP Consultation - ends Thursday 28th March

We are consulting on our proposal to close the Post 16 Cheam PEP unit for MLD students working at Entry levels 1, 2 or 3.  The PEP group was started at a time when there was little provision for those students for whom mainstream college or schools were not an option and who needed additional support to prepare for transition.  Since that time, the PEP group has filled a need in the Local area.

However, recently, the numbers applying for this provision have dropped.  This is largely because of the growth of post 16 options for students.  For example, at the time the PEP group started, most local special schools did not have a post 16 option, and colleges were not set up to support students in the way they are now.

Whilst this wider choice is very good news for students and their families, it does mean that the niche that this unit filled is no longer required.  This is reflected in the lack of demand, with three groups of students dropping to 2 groups and, this year, to 1 group.  There are only 2 students that could remain next year, and there have been no new applications.  

The local authority has already reduced the numbers of commissioned places each year as numbers have fallen, and now has made the decision that it is no longer viable or a good use of resources to commission future places.  This means that the PEP group does not have a guaranteed income to run, regardless of numbers applying.

The school appreciates that the need for the PEP group has passed and is therefore proposing to close the unit on the grounds of:

• Lack of need: there are other provisions that provide for local students

• Lack of demand: numbers applying have dwindled to a non-viable number.  This number does not provide the right social context or range of experiences for students.  At present there are 5 students in the base and projected numbers for next year are for 2 students.  

• Financial grounds: it is not possible to run the unit at the level of support required in a viable or cost effective manner. 

• The local authority has taken the decision they will no longer be commissioning places at the base and the last few students will be transferred to other local provisions.


The consultation period lasts from Friday 23rd February to Thursday 28th March. Responses must be received by Thursday 28th March. In your response, please include your full name, title and contact details. Responses can be sent by:

• email to

• or post to   

PEP Consultation

Cheam High School

Chatsworth Road