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Kent Secondary School Admissions 2017

Index

Last Updated: June 2016

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 2017. 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

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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 on the KCC website here (secondary determined scheme for 2017), together with next year's oversubscription and admission rules for community and voluntary aided schools here, and individual Foundation, Voluntary Aided Schools and academies here where, in the Spring of 2017 you will also find any proposed changes for individual schools for 2018.  A more readable online booklet sets out the full rules together with relating to admissions including residence rules, assessment for grammar school, applying for Kent schools if you live outside the county, school offers, late applications and In Year admissions, transport including the Young Persons' Travel Pass. Unfortunately, at the time of writing (June 2016) the 2016 Admission booklet has been withdrawn and the 2017 one will not be posted until September, although I have made representations about this.     

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. This does not apply in the same way in Medway.
I liked the basic advice guide issued by parents at Kingshill Primary School.  You will find a simple comparative guide at www.192.com with my own information on individual schools here (some pages need updating, let me know if you are interested in one of these one and I will do it next)

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Last modified on Friday, 17 June 2016 12:55

Latest News & Comments

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: peter@kentadvice.co.uk. \nNews items appear as and when I have time in a very busy schedule supporting clients.

  • Closing Lilac Sky Academy Trust being investigated by Department of Education

     I can now confirm that Lilac Sky Academy Trust (LSSAT) is being investigated by the Education Funding Agency, on behalf of the Department for Education, into its financial practices. The Trust will be closed on December 31st, only the third Trust nationally I can find that has been shut down in this way.  My previous article sets out the background to the story, anticipating this development. Knockhall Academy, one of the nine LSSAT primary schools in Kent and Sussex,  is transferring to the The Woodland Academy Trust on 1st January 2017, and a letter sent out to parents yesterday (1) & (2) confirms the investigation and closure, adding significantly that  "any monies due to the school will be recovered",  I have also been sent by Turner Schools, the new sponsors of Morehall and Martello Grove Academies in Folkestone, a copy of a letter to parents  that provides more information about the new organisation than was available in my previous  article..... 

    Read more...
    Written on Wednesday, 27 July 2016 10:24 2 comments Read 1588 times
  • How School Bosses Spend Your Millions

    A programme from the Channel Four Dispatches series with the above title, broadcast on Monday evening, focused on leaders of some Academy chains who are taking large sums of money out of the schools under their control, and away from the children's education.  

    Issues in the programme focused on: huge salaries; what are called ‘related party transactions’ where business deals and services are connected back to the Trust; large expense accounts; and the exclusions of ‘inconvenient pupils’ often with Special Education Needs.  

    I do not propose to go into detail about the general misuses of public funds uncovered, for you can read them in the accompanying article, but I have previously reported examples of scandals in Kent and Medway in various articles in this website, some referenced again below.

    An analysis of some of the more prominent academy chains shows that size and performance bear limited connection with reward, the Head of one single school Academy Trust earning £176,000 last year. This was some £25,000 more than the CEO of Kent’s largest Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) which is responsible for 13 schools, and ten thousand pounds more than KCC’s Corporate Director, whose responsibilities include direct control of some 400 schools together with a wide range of essential services for all children and schools in Kent,  who was paid £166,353 in 2015, with just £1,010 in expenses, all on travel.

    I have now looked at the accounts of a number of  MATs of  different sizes, and also Single School Trusts on the Companies House website. The overwhelming majority have their lead officer on a salary of less than £100,000, so the examples  below represent a small minority of the total in Kent. 

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    Written on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 20:40 Be the first to comment! Read 489 times
  • Lilac Sky Academy Trust: The end of the Road
     Update: Several updates below. 27 July.
     
    I have now established that Lilac Sky Academy Trust is being closed down, as there is an investigation by the Education Funding Agency, on behalf of the Department for Education, into the Trust's financial practices. See new article
    One of the very worst academy chains operating in Kent in my view, as illustrated many times elsewhere on this website is Lilac Sky Schools Academy Trust (LSSAT), founded by Trevor Averre-Beeson, a champion of for-profit academies, in 2009. It therefore comes as no surprise to learn that the Academies operation of Lilac Sky is to be closed down by the Regional Schools Commissioner, all the schools to be passed over to other chains, with parents being quietly informed on academy websites. The Chair of the Academy Trust has already gone, to be replaced by a new Interim Chair. 
     
    LSSAT Logo
     
    At present, I have only come across two other academy chains in the country that have had all their academies removed:  Prospects Academy Trust in 2014, in that case for poor performance; and Perry Beeches Trust earlier this year, for 'financial shortcomings'.
     
     
    It is not yet clear what has encouraged the RSC to make the decision for Lilac Sky, but it could always have been the track record of some of the Trust's Leaders including those described below. Probably the worst examples of the Trust's operation in Kent were: at the now closed Furness Special School in Hextable, where the Trust was allowed to run up a £1.63 million deficit in the school accounts which was then paid for out of the budget for the remaining Kent schools, when Furness was closed, the school being replaced by Broomhill Bank North; and at Castle Hill Community College in Deal where under Lilac Sky tutelage, the school plunged from OFSTED Outstanding to Special Measures in less than three years....
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    Written on Monday, 18 July 2016 00:10 6 comments Read 5245 times
  • Simon Langton Girls' Grammar School

    Events at Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School continue apace since my previous article at the beginning of last month. See also article on resignation of Chief Executive of Thinking Schools Academy Trust.

    Simon Langton Girls

    Main details are that the school has now withdrawn its application to become an Academy, a number of governors and the clerk to governors resigned, and the Chairman of Governors has resigned.

    Now KCC has appointed five new governors to the GB and a new Chairman has been elected, “bringing with them considerable educational and leadership experience and nationally recognised expertise in school governance”. The new Chairman is Dr Christine Carpenter, who a few years ago was Headteacher of the Sacred Heart High School, a girls’ Catholic School in Hammersmith. Most of the other new governors are recognisable as also being involved with education in Kent. However, there are still massive and ongoing troubles which affect the school.

    A letter to parents, “Sent on behalf of Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School Governing Body and Kent County Council”, so unclear whether the existing Governing Body has actually produced or approved it, sets out the main changes and pledges that “Moving forward the school governors and Kent County Council are determined to ensure that relationships can be restored under a new climate of openness and transparency”.

    You will find a superb commentary on the debacle by the local Newspaper, here

    However, matters to be resolved include ....

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    Written on Monday, 11 July 2016 14:22 3 comments Read 710 times
  • Wayfield Primary School: Surely the worst ever performer in a crowded field in Medway

    Several times on the pages of this website, I have written about “the worst ever” OFSTED Report I had read at the time with regard to Kent or Medway schools or academies failing because of incompetent management and leadership. However, the recent Report placing Wayfield Primary School in Chatham in Special Measures leaves the competition standing. In 2013, just before the school was taken over by Griffin, OFSTED had found it a GOOD school.

    Wayfield                         Griffin

    Whilst the school may indeed have been "Proud to Achieve" in 2013 some excerpts from the current Report describe the shocking fall from grace brought about by the Griffin Trust :

    Pupils’ safety and well-being are at risk; Staff manage pupils’ behaviour poorly; Normal discipline has broken down; On occasion, staff lose control of pupils, who are then at risk of being harmed; Too often, pupils become distracted, fool about or are noisy in lessons; Over the past two years, the school’s provision has notably worsened; Pupils’ attainment and progress have fallen catastrophically; Pupils underachieve in all key stages; Pupils are inadequately taught; The leadership and management of the school are weak at all levels; The headteacher is the only senior leader; The Griffin Schools Trust oversees the school unsuccessfully; The governance arrangements, organised by the academy trust, are ineffective”.

    Media commentary by Radio Kent and the Medway Messenger on this appalling betrayal of children’s life chances missed my previous story, first reported in the Guardian, that: “in just two years the Trust paid over £700,000 to a company jointly owned by its two chief executives.Three other companies in which trustees of the charity have majority interests received smaller payments that amounted to around £100,000 for “educational consultancy services’”, the trust’s accounts show”. This is a common device by some academy chains to ensure an adequate financial reward for their leaders’ noble endeavours.....

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    Written on Monday, 04 July 2016 20:32 Be the first to comment! Read 620 times
  • Medway Primary Schools: Oversubscription and vacancies for 2016.

    I now have detailed figures for Medway’s Primary Reception and Junior School allocations for September 2016, and they confirm the data quoted in my initial article on primary school allocations, published in April.

    The overall outcome in terms of preferences and vacancies is similar to 2015, although another 60 late places were put into two Gillingham schools, St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic and Woodlands Academy to head off problems. 40 extra unplanned places were put into Elaine Primary Academy, but in the end, these were not used.

    St Margarets Infant            Brompton Westbrook 

    Rainham is the most pressured area again, with not a single Reception place left unfilled. Most popular school is St Margaret’s Infants’ also in Rainham, turning away 39 first choices, soaring from nine last year. This is followed by: Brompton-Westbrook (Academy), (31), third most popular in 2015; Swingate 27, another school that has increased sharply in popularity; Pilgrim and Bligh Infants (Academy applications in progress), (25); and All Faiths Children’s Academy and Cliffe Woods Primary Academy (23).

    Five primary schools have over a third of their places empty, headed by All Hallows Primary Academy on the Hoo Peninsula with a 60% vacancy rate for its 30 places, although Twydall has the largest number, with 34 of its 75 places going empty.

    I look more closely at each Medway area below, together with the situation for Junior Schools…….

    Read more...
    Written on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 11:23 Be the first to comment! Read 426 times