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Kent Secondary School Admissions 2017


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


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 Unfortunately, at the time of writing (June 2016) the 2016 Admission booklet has been withdrawn and the 2017 one will not be posted until September, although I have made representations about this.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 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

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  • Transfer to Grammar Schools in the Sixth Form


    Last year, the two Thanet grammar schools admitted 124 students from non-selective (NS) schools into their Sixth Forms, whilst the two in Folkestone took in just five between them. 

    Dane Court                 chatham clarendon

    An average intake of 16 NS students across the county for the Sixth Forms of the 31 grammar schools hides a massive variation  from 65 at Dane Court, to six grammars admitting fewer than four. King Ethelbert's NS school saw 48 students transfer to grammar school Sixth Forms, although four schools had none. I have always argued that the opportunity for a second chance to join a grammar school, in the Sixth Form, is a criterion for a successful Selective System. These figures show it is working in places but as always - could do much better!

    King Ethelbert 

    With most of the Further Education Colleges abandoning A Level courses because of cost, opportunities to study A Level are shrinking in many places, although some NS schools offer their own successful A Level courses, as explained below.

    KCC publishes a very useful information article on choices and you will find an information article here on decision making at 16 plus, after GCSE, which looks at a variety of options, emphasising the point that it should not simply be moving on in the same establishment, but this is an opportunity to look round at alternatives.

    Then there is just the one non-selective school that has increased its roll over each of the past two years!

    Canterbury Academy

    However, this article does focus on the transition from GCSE to school Sixth Forms, looking at change of school and focusing on individual schools across the county. It is partially a follow on from a previous article that was more general, but which provoked my enquiry……

    Written on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 07:26 1 comment Read 95 times
  • Kent Test Enquiries

    For some reason I am being inundated this year with enquiries about the forthcoming Kent Test, apparently based on the assumption that I may know more detail than is in the published information.

    Kent County Council rightly likes to keep a level of uncertainty in its testing procedure in the hope of reducing the effect of a coaching culture which can try and cover all bases, and so does not release details on the number of questions in each section, which can vary from year to year, etc.

    My own view is well-articulated on these pages and elsewhere. I dislike coaching and its effects intensely as it militates against selection by ability but, given its prevalence in a competitive field where just 21% of Kent children are selected, I recommend parents to arrange some form of organised preparation or coaching so their children are not disadvantaged....

    Written on Thursday, 04 August 2016 10:51 Be the first to comment! Read 397 times
  • Lilac Sky Issues Widen
    Staggering blog by Kent consultant Peter Read on Lilac Sky academies. Real issues here re DfE oversight, it seems. 1:16 pm - 5 Aug 2016
    Various updates, most recently 18 August.
    The delayed publication of the 2015 accounts of the Lilac Sky Academy Trust (LSSAT) at last reveals some of the reasons why they are being closed down.
    LSSAT Logo

    in summary: In the two years to 1st April 2015, over a million pounds was paid by LSSAT to companies run by Trevor Averre-Beeson, founder of LSSAT, for services provided. As a consequence, LSSAT ended the year £665,972 in debt and with a pension deficit of £1,320,000. i.e. It was non-viable.  Mr Averre-Beeson was awarded advances of £500,018 for 2013/14 in his capacity as majority shareholder in Lilac Sky Outstanding Services one of the beneficiary companies, although there appears no parallel entry in the record for the 2014/15. There is no suggestion by me of any breach of law.

    Probably the biggest of so many questions raised by this debacle is who pays off the apparent near £2 million shortfall in LSSAT? Attempted answer below! 

    In order to try and reduce the deficit, LSSAT increased the individual academy contributions to central funding for 2015-16 to 7% of  their total income, from 5% (many Multi-Academy Trusts only deduct 3%) and made new charges for services to individual academies, both clearly having a direct effect of reducing the quality of education in the schools. In addition it proposed increasing employer contributions to pension provision, presumably because this had been underfunded. It is unlikely that the effect of these actions would be likely to produce a swift removal of the deficit. 

    Mr Averre-Beeson 'left' the Board of LSSAT in April 2015, and also his role as CEO, to be replaced by Chris Bowler who had previously been Managing Director,  However Mr Bowler only lasted a year,  and now appears to have been removed from this post by the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC).

    As  first reported in my previous article, Lilac Schools Company  is still being considered for the running of a new Jewish Free School in North London, so amazingly has not yet lost all credibility with Government. ....

    Written on Thursday, 04 August 2016 11:11 2 comments Read 3131 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. 

    Written on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 20:40 Be the first to comment! Read 781 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 ....

    Written on Monday, 11 July 2016 14:22 3 comments Read 865 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.....

    Written on Monday, 04 July 2016 20:32 Be the first to comment! Read 769 times