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Kent Secondary School Admissions 2015

    Index

     

    Telephone Consultation Service and New Clients - Important Notice

    I now find myself in the situation where I am fully committed for potential clients who have already engaged me for grammar school appeals in March and am sadly unable to accommodate any more. 

    I have left some capacity for non-selective appeals and also for oversubscribed grammar schools, where the child has passed the Kent Test, and parents who wish to take advantage of this should contact me on 2nd March or as soon as possible thereafter when they have received their allocation decision from KCC. 

    I am therefore sorry I am unable to take on any new clients for Year  Seven grammar school appeals from now on. I will be replying to those who have already contacted me as soon as possible, but as you will appreciate, I am still extremely busy handling current clients.

    My Telephone Consultation Service remains in place for all In Year Admissions and Appeals and other areas where I can be of service. 

    Last Updated: June 2014:

    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 2014. 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.  

    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 2014). You will also find the admission rules for  each school for 2014 entry, and in the Spring any proposed changes for individual schools for 2015. I have simplified the regulations here.  

    For parents applying for any school in Kent outside the normal admission round there is yet another new process for admissions, but one far simpler than the previous  model. 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 SchoolGuide.co.uk
     

    THE KENT ADMISSION SCHEME

    The scheme operates for Kent residents, no matter where the schools for which they are applying are situated, and refers to entry in September 2014.

    TIMETABLE

    Key ActionScheme Date
    Registration for testing opensMonday 2 June 2014
    Closing date for registrationTuesday 1 July 2014
    Test date for pupils in Kent primary schoolsWednesday 10 September 2014
    Test date for out of county pupilsSaturday 13 September 2014
    Assessment decision sent to parentsWednesday 15 October 2014
    National Closing Date for Secondary Common Application Forms (SCAF)Friday 31 October 2014
    Final closing date for exceptional late applications.Wednesday 5 November 2014
    National Offer Day: e-mails sent after 4pm and letters sent 1st class postMonday 2 March 2015
    Schools send out welcome letters Not beforeThursday 5 March 2015
    Date by which places should be accepted or declinedFriday 20 March 2015
    LA re-allocates places that have become available from the schools' waiting listsWednesday  22 April 2015 

     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 2015 Admissions Booklet for Kent secondary schools has not been published, but the 2014 version is here. You will find Medway's 2014 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.

    You will find some possible scenarios on the next page.


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    Last modified on Friday, 07 November 2014 11:12

    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.

    • Is this the final nail in the Marlowe Academy Coffin?

      East Kent College is opening a Technical School at its Broadstairs campus in September 2015, in just eight months time, catering for students aged 14-19. 

      There is a copy of its full press release lower down this page, released today. 

      The press release describes an unusual situation, where a new school, run by a high attaining college, can be set up apparently without permissions unlike the current University Technical College (UTC) in Dartford and the proposed one in Medway that have had to jump through very public hoops to get approval. Neither can i find details of any consultation with the local community.

      Class sizes will be limited to 20, and the curriculum will focus on English, mathematics and science along with 'one of two vocational pathways - either Catering and Hospitality or Early Years and Childcare', aiming for 9 GCSEs or equivalent. 

      It is surely not a coincidence that the press release has been produced on the same day as GCSE results have been published, which has placed the Thanet non-selectives in the spotlight for disappointing results, as explained in my article below. Clearly the College is looking to benefit from their difficulties and will certainly look an attractive option to many young people in underperforming schools. For example, those in the Marlowe Academy, which prides itself on its vocational provision, will be very tempted to jump ship from a school which is already struggling badly with numbers, as also explained below.  I can't see how the academy will survive this latest blow.....

      Read more...
      Written on Thursday, 29 January 2015 18:47 Be the first to comment! Read 38 times
    • Kent and Medway GCSE Results out today

      GCSE results out today show the effects of government changes in results coming into play, as explained below, which have hit many of Kent’s non-selective schools disproportionately. The effect on many private schools offering the IGSE instead of GCSE is to see their results discounted completely, so there is no sensible measure of performance in the private sector. You will find government league tables here.

      Overall Kent state school students have once again exceeded the national average as they have for many years with 58.0% succeeding at 5 A-C grades, including English and maths, against a national figure of 56.6%. Medway students have done even better, with 58.8% of students having achieved the standard, as always underlining the disparity with Medway primary school performance.

      The top of the table is not surprisingly dominated by the grammar schools, although Skinners is the only one to emerge with 100% success at 5 A-C grades, including English and maths. At 99% come most of the usual suspects: Dartford Grammar Girls; Dover Grammar Girls; Folkestone Girls; Invicta Grammar; Judd; Maidstone Grammar Girls; and Weald of Kent Grammar; along with The Rochester Grammar and Sir Joseph Williamson’s in Medway. Lowest performing grammars are: Simon Langton Boys and Tunbridge Wells Boys at 93%, along with Chatham Grammar Boys in Medway; Sir Roger Manwood’s at 92%; Borden Grammar 91%; Dane Court at 90%; and Dover Grammar Boys at 85%.

      For non-selective schools, top performers as always are Bennett Memorial (CofE), 78% and St Gregory’s Catholic, 72%, both Tunbridge Wells. Then come: St George’s Cof E, Gravesend and St Simon Stock Catholic 67%, closely followed by St John’s Catholic, Gravesend on 64%. The highest performing non-church schools are: Hillview, Tonbridge, 62%; and Wrotham 59%.

      At the bottom end, the effect of the government changes can be seen to full effect as many non-selective schools have seen the strategies they used to promote their academic performance discounted. Wholly unsurprisingly, they are headed up by The Marlowe Academy, eighth lowest performing state school in the country at 13%.  Others are: Hartsdown Academy and Oasis Isle of Sheppey Academy at 19%; Pent Valley Technology College at 21%; St George’s CofE Foundation, Thanet, and Sittingbourne Community College on 22%. Every one of these has seen a sharp fall in performance since 2013, ranging from a 15% drop at Marlowe, through to 32% at Hartsdown. Lowest Medway performance is better, with Strood Academy .…..

      Read more...
      Written on Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:59 Be the first to comment! Read 109 times
    • Empty desks in Kent Secondary schools: four schools in trouble

      In 2013 KCC made the decision to close The Chaucer Technology School in Canterbury, as the intake had fallen sharply every year but one since 2009 from 202 to 85, with a forecast intake of 57 for September 2014. During that period, the school had reduced its capacity from 235 to 150, but this would still leave at least 62% of places empty in Year 7.  I now have the school census figures for September 2014 and this shows four secondary schools in a worse situation than Chaucer with regard to empty desks.  What is more alarming is that that in 2013 all these four schools again had the highest vacancy rates, all more severe than Chaucer, whilst  in 2012 the only school that separated them was Walmer Science College which KCC closed at the end of that year because of falling numbers.

       Three of these four schools, Marlowe Academy, Oasis Academy Hextable, and High Weald Academy, are probably safe from direct KCC intervention because of their academy status, but must all have problems of viability, including financial pressures and the ability to offer an appropriate curriculum - for example a proper range of courses at GCSE, as the low numbers work through. All three have previously been placed in Special Measures by OFSTED, but have now earned their way out, although still clearly suffering from their reputation.  The fourth is Pent Valley School, Folkestone which actually possesses a ‘Good’ OFSTED assessment, but whose troubles include expansion by more popular neighbouring schools......

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      Written on Monday, 26 January 2015 17:24 Be the first to comment! Read 190 times
    • Academy News, January 2015; and the costs to KCC of The North School being taken over by Swale Academy Trust.

      This article looks at two new Catholic academies in Kent and two fresh applications to become academies in Medway, for January.

      It also considers the progress of the North School sponsorship by Swale Academy Trust, together with other issues relating to change of status of Private Finance Initiative schools, some of which will place a further financial burden on those schools remaining with KCC.

      The North 2

      The North School

      Read more...
      Written on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00 Be the first to comment! Read 292 times
    • Stansted Primary School to close

      KCC informed parents of children at Stansted CofE Primary School, at a meeting on Thursday, that the school was being considered for closure following a series of poor OFSTED Reports, declining numbers as children were withdrawn from the school and sent elsewhere, and consequent financial difficulties. Stansted is in the Malling area of Kent. 

      Stansted

      This decision has comes as no surprise, as anticipated when I wrote my previous article below just a week ago, following the latest OFSTED Report,  with OFSTED reporting the number of children having fallen to 35 at the time of the Inspection (it is 34 now). Sadly, the decision to consider closure  is the consequence of bad management and governance at the school, with parents losing confidence with a series of temporary headships, turn-over of teachers, poor teaching, seeing other children removed and overall poor reputation.

      KCC has now offered each of the remaining children a place in another school, making the decision to close inevitable. Parents have two weeks to accept or decline the offer. ……..

      Read more...
      Written on Sunday, 18 January 2015 00:00 Be the first to comment! Read 358 times
    • Two important OFSTED monitoring Reports out today, heading in very different directions: Charles Dickens Secondary and Stansted CofE Primary

      Monitoring OFSTED Inspections for Charles Dickens School in Ramsgate and Stansted CofE Primary School,  in Sevenoaks District, south of Gravesend both of which have previously been placed in Special Measures, are published today. For Charles Dickens, it is very good news, for Stansted, the writing is surely on the wall for its future. 

      Charles Dickens School
      First up is the Charles Dickens School in Ramsgate, whose previous Inspection placed it in Special Measures. I wrote at the time: “The problem I have with this Report is that whilst it reads as the most critical I have ever read of a Kent secondary school (worse even than Castle), it almost appears to have lost objectivity and to be deliberately vindictive. This sense is compounded by the fact that the Inspection Team invited the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, to join them on the second day of the Inspection, or was it that the findings of the team were so awful, they needed him to see them for himself”?

      Charles Dickens

      Looking at today’s very positive Report, one of the briefest I have ever seen indicating the very low level of concern by the OFSTED, it is almost impossible to visualise the same school as was observed just three months previously. This was a ‘Good’ school, as established by the previous OFSTED in 2011, and still is. Further comment below.

      Stansted CofE Primary School
      Placed in Special Measures in October 2013, the school has limped along subsequently, with a number of Acting Headteachers and two Interim Heads both appointed by KCC, the first being removed because“None of the benchmarks or targets for improvement identified in the statement of action has been achieved”. The fourth Monitoring Inspection Report, out today, surely sounds the death knell over the school’s future, with the Interim Headteacher appointed by KCC, and the Authority apparently squabbling over the best way forward: “Difficulties remain over the school’s acceptance of and the value that the interim headteacher places on external support and challenge. The dispute between the school and the local authority over last year’s writing results has not been resolved”. However the bottom line is that “The school is not making enough progress towards the removal of special measures”, total numbers having fallen to a non-viable 35 children. 

      Stansted

       Again, further comment below.

      The two Reports between them raise many issues, the most important of which are:

      1) There was enormous support for Charles Dickens, its standards and headteacher after the original Inspection. The appearance of the Chief Inspector at the school during the inspection suggests there was another agenda, and this Monitoring Report seriously undermines the findings of that Inspection. I still have confidence in the findings of most OFSTED Inspections, which tend to fit other evidence, but this situation serves to undermine the whole process, never mind the unnecessary damage it has caused the school.  

      2) KCC has installed a number of temporary leaders at Stansted, but the school’s decline, which now appears terminal, appears to be in part due to the performance of the two Interim Headteachers, both appointed by KCC. Where is the quality control here?

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      Written on Friday, 09 January 2015 00:00 Be the first to comment! Read 1467 times