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Kent Secondary School Admissions 2016


     Last Updated: October 2015

    Please note that this section is rather lengthy, and hence is spread across several pages. You will find the links below.

    It is designed primarily for parents resident in Kent, whose children will be transferring to state secondary schools in September 2016. Parents considering a grammar school application should also look at the pages on Kent and Medway Grammar School Admissions and Medway Secondary School Admissions.

    Kent Schools


    There is more information, advice and comment on the School Admission Code page.  You may also find an article I wrote in September 2014 helpful. 

    I have wide experience of the secondary school transfer schemes in Kent and Medway, and am happy to place my expertise at your service, advising on choice of schools and patterns of application, drawing on my extensive local knowledge of the area and its schools. I give talks for parents at several Kent primary and secondary schools by invitation, and am also happy to talk with groups of parents, as well as individuals. For admissions you may well find my telephone consultation service useful.

    You will find the full details of the Kent Secondary transfer scheme together with next year's oversubscription rules for individual Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools on the KCC website here (secondary determined scheme for 2016). You will also find the admission rules for  each school for 2016 entry, and in the Spring any proposed changes for individual schools for 2017.    

    For parents applying for any school in Kent outside the normal admission round, including late applications after 1st March when you can put in an application for any Kent secondary school you have not previously considered. Simply download an In Year Casual Application Form and send it to the school you are applying to. You will find further details here.
    I liked the basic advice guide issued by parents at Kingshill Primary School.  You will find a simple comparative guide at


    The scheme operates for Kent residents, no matter where the schools for which they are applying are situated, and refers to entry in September 2015.


    Key ActionScheme Date
    Registration for testing opensMonday 1 June 2015
    Closing date for registrationWednesday 1 July 2015
    Test date for pupils in Kent primary schoolsThursday 10 September 2015
    Test date for out of county pupilsSaturday 12 September 2015
    Assessment decision sent to parentsWednesday 14 October 2015
    National Closing Date for Secondary Common Application Forms (SCAF)Saturday 31 October 2015
    Final closing date for exceptional late applications.Monday 2 November 2015
    National Offer Day: e-mails sent after 4pm and letters sent 1st class postTuesday 1 March 2016
    Schools send out welcome letters Not beforeFriday 4 March 2016
    Date by which places should be accepted or declinedThursday 17 March 2016
    LA re-allocates places that have become available from the schools' waiting listsWednesday  13 April 2016 

     In each Local Authority (LA), an admissions booklet will be issued at the beginning of September and published on their website. There is now a national closing date for applications  although grammar school registration process and dates and testing dates differ. Each LA has some differences in procedure, for example Kent parents have four choices, and Medway parents have six choices. These booklets contain details of the all important oversubscription rules, which determine if you will be offered a place if too many people apply.  Do not try and take part in the process without the relevant admissions booklet to guide you. At the time of writing, the 2016 Admissions Booklets for Kent and Medway secondary schools have not been published, but the 2015 version is here. You will find Medway's 2015 booklet here

    It is essential that all parents, who are considering entering their child for the Kent tests, register their child on a form obtainable from the primary school or Kent Website,  or online. Your child cannot take the Kent tests if he or she has not been registered. You will not be considered for a grammar school if your child has not sat the Kent tests and they will only be able to take the test late, after 23rd April and be considered as a late applicant whether or not the school is named on the SCAF. Copies of the registration form will be distributed through primary schools and can be downloaded here.

    There is nothing to lose by entering your child for the tests. Parents in Kent living near the Medway border may also wish to consider entering their child for the Medway tests, which assesses children on different skills. Further details of Kent grammar school admissions are here.

    The Dover Grammar Schools, Folkestone Grammar Schools and Mayfield Grammar School all offer alternative tests that qualify children for admission to their schools only. Admission is by either (but not necessarily both) test.

    You will find some possible scenarios on the next page.

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    Last modified on Monday, 25 January 2016 12:44

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    Just click on a news item below to read it in full. Feel free to subscribe to the news via the email link to the right or the RSS Feed at the bottom of the page. Please note that the 800 or so regular subscribers who receive each news item directly are not included in the number of readers recorded below the item. If you have a view on any item posted, please leave a comment. Also feel free to suggest items of news, or areas where comment is needed to: \nNews items appear as and when I have time in a very busy schedule supporting clients.

    • Kent sets up Select Committee to Reduce Social Inequality in Grammar School Admission.

      Kent County Council has set up a Select Committee of County Councillors to explore social mobility in its Grammar Schools, adopting the principle that children from all backgrounds must have the same opportunities to flourish and succeed within the education system.

      A Kent Messenger report on the first day’s proceedings, notes that: Mr Patrick Leeson, Kent’s Education Director talking about the achievement gap between poorer pupils and those without disadvantage, stated: “We have seen some movement in narrowing the gap but it is minute. Greater social mobility will only come about if the whole school system does better for children on free school meals.”

      Of the 1,435 children on free school meals who sat the eleven plus in 2014, just 292 - about 8% - passed. The number of children on free school meals attending Kent grammar schools remains low at 3%, compared with 13% in non-selective schools, according to KCC data, although see further detail below.

      However, the really good news was that those children from less well-off backgrounds who went to a grammar school did almost as well in their GCSE exams as others, with a gap of just 2% in the 5 A-C* plus maths and English success rate....

      Written on Thursday, 11 February 2016 23:17 Be the first to comment! Read 28 times
    • Apology for website crash

      My apologies for any browser attempting to visit over the past two days as, due to problems with power supply to my service provider, the website has not been accessible.

      As you can see, the problem has now been resolved and we are back to normal. 

      Written on Thursday, 11 February 2016 19:10 Be the first to comment! Read 18 times
    • Rights of Access to School Educational Records

      I am regularly asked about the legal right of a parent to see their child’s full educational record, with too many schools attempting to block release of information that could prove embarrassing, lead to a complaint about the school or ease admission to another school. 

      If the child attends a maintained school, parents have an independent right of access to their child’s educational record.

      However, there is no equivalent legal right to access your child’s educational record for an academy or free school, or indeed a private school and it is likely to depend on the contractual relationship between the parent and the school

      Personally and professionally I find this wholly morally unacceptable, but sadly government has acted to strip parents of what in any civilised society would surely be regarded as a human right, as acknowledged by the different rules for maintained schools.

      There is, however, a get out in that the child themselves attending any type of school have a right of access under the Data Protection Act 1998 to their own information. This is known as the right of subject access. When a child cannot act for themselves or the child gives permission, parents will be able to access this information on their behalf. See below for more details. 

      If, however, you have a concern about a school's information rights practices then raise it with the Information Commissioners Office.  

      You will find the full detail here, or else read on...

      Written on Tuesday, 09 February 2016 20:19 Be the first to comment! Read 64 times
    • The Medway Test 2015: Definitely not fit for Purpose
      The issues arising from an analysis of the results of the recent seriously flawed Medway Test for grammar school admission are even greater than last year, with:
      A mistake in calculating the pass mark by Medway Council, according to their own rules - depriving 40 Medway children of grammar school places;
      The Review process selecting fewer than half the number of children it is targeted to choose, because of insufficient quality of school work presented - another 30 children denied places;
      Continued powerful bias towards girls and older children with 21% more girls than boys found suitable for grammar school. The highly unsatisfactory Review process selected fourteen Medway children born in the first quarter of the school year, compared to just one in the fourth quarter.
      The Council excuse is that the process works as it all comes right in the end (it doesn’t)!
      With the test and Review both being so biased towards girls and older children, and the inability of the Council to apply their own formula for calculating the pass mark, it is surely time for it to be replaced by a process that is fit for purpose.
      The school with the highest percentage of pupils being found selective is St William of Perth Catholic Primary with 47%, followed remarkably by Temple Mill Primary with 42%.

      For further information on all these headlines, read on…

      Written on Friday, 15 January 2016 06:06 3 comments Read 449 times
    • 2015 GCSE & A Level Results in Kent and Medway

      Updated 25th January

      State school educated children in Kent and Medway both maintain their above average performance at GCSE and A Level. Nationally, 57.1% of children achieved five GCSEs Grades A-C, including English and maths, up from 56.6% last year. However, both have slipped this year, Kent from 58.1% down to 57.3%, whilst Medway has declined from 58.8% to 57.8%.

      At A Level, a range of measures is available each of limited value, with Kent above national average  on point score per A Level entry, and below on percentage of students achieving three A Levels. In Medway, measures are generally slightly below national averages. 

      The Government twist on the GCSE story that any school below the government floor target of 40% of children gaining 5 Grades A-C including English and maths is failing, is simply not valid in a selective county such as Kent. This is because on average 25 children out of every hundred, all of whom should have reached the floor target, are taken away from our non-selective schools as they are attending grammar schools. Simple arithmetic shows that removing these should bring the floor target for non-selective schools down to 20% and by that measure, just four in Kent are Failing. My bigger concern is that too many selective schools are under achieving.

      For me, the outstanding highlights are: High Weald Academy in Cranbrook, at 59% five A--Cs, up from 31% in 2014, to be seventh best non-selective in Kent, but still suffering from unfair lack of popularity with parents, dating back to its pre academy status as an OFSTED failed school; Bennett Memorial in Tunbridge Wells, at 72% still regularly highest performing non-selective school in Kent; Folkestone School for Girls, one of just two grammar schools with 100%; with Chatham Grammar School for Boys, on 99%, best performing Medway grammar, but in Special Measures just two years previously; and  Dover Grammar School for Girls, the highest performing school in Kent at A Level, by average point score per student coming above all the prestigious and super-selective grammar schools. ...
      Written on Thursday, 21 January 2016 15:50 Be the first to comment! Read 754 times
    • Academy& Free School News, January 2016.

      There are two new academies, Kingsnorth Cof E Primary and Temple Mill Primary in Strood, since my last report, together with three new applications – Brenchley and Matfield Primary, Westgate Primary and a new primary at Ebbsfleet Garden City. Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar is also consulting on forming a multi-academy trust.

       The Academy Monopoly game continues to run, with Marsh Academy now being managed by the Skinners Company Trust, Mascalls School joining the Leigh Academy Group and taking over the running of its three troubled Maidstone Primary Schools, and  Chantry Primary in Gravesend being taken over by Greenacre School in Chatham after the failure of the Meopham Community Schools Trust.

      The opening of the new Bishop Chavasse Free School in Tonbridge opening has been delayed by a year to 2017; this year's newly opened primary academies are taking time to  attract pupils, with all having vacancies in Reception, several with over 50% empty spaces.

      You will find a full list of Academies, Academy Groups and Free Schools elsewhere on the website....

      Written on Wednesday, 13 January 2016 04:45 Be the first to comment! Read 1201 times