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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.


    Prev Next »

    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.

    • The Conundrum of Kent Test scores solved

      Like many others, I have puzzled over the low pass mark of 106 required in each of the three assessments of English, Maths and Reasoning to produce 21% of children taking the Kent Test assessed of grammar school standard.

      The Tests are nationally standardised so one would expect an untutored child on each test to score 113 to come in the top 21%. An initial look at these figures might suggest that Kent children are less bright than average, but a closer investigation of scores for the individual subjects, shows a very different picture and provides a full explanation of the conundrum.

      Quite simply, whilst the majority of children have scored considerably more highly in the reasoning test than in the mathematics or English, a large number have failed to reach the standard in one of maths or English, dragging down the pass mark to provide the numbers.

      As a result 4446 Kent children reached the pass level of 106 in English, and 4884 in maths, out of a total of 9902 taking the test, but less than half this figure will have passed in both!

      In summary, Kent children have outperformed the national standard in all three assessments, whether through natural ability or the effect of tutoring on maths and English being open to question. However, the tutoring effect is still seen to the full in the Reasoning assessment, although this now counts for just one third of the assessment compared with the two thirds of previous years.

      In my view, this data shows the new Kent Test has been highly successful if its aim was to select children with ability in both maths and English, and reduce the effect of tutoring, although the days of the bright male mathematician whose literacy skills are poor are over, if this pattern is repeated in future years.

      The Judd School, which has been influential in the design of the new test, with its call to reduce the effect of coaching and improve standards of literacy in its intake, should be well pleased with this outcome and is surely likely to back off from its plan to introduce its own test for the 2016 intake.

      I have already published an article on the Kent Test outcomes, and another on my reflections of the admissions season this year, both of which now need to be read in the context of the above. As soon as I have the time I shall also publish a full analysis of Kent (and Medway) test outcomes. .....

      Read more...
      Written on Thursday, 13 November 2014 00:00 Be the first to comment! Read 694 times
    • Sevenoaks Grammar Satellite: Parallel proposal in Maidenhead

      There could soon be movement in the stalled proposal for a satellite grammar school in Sevenoaks, after the Home Secretary, Mrs Teresa May has come out in support of a similar proposal in her own parliamentary constituency of Maidenhead, as explained below.

      Planning permission for the Sevenoaks satellite grammar school has now been passed, building contractors are in place, but there is no firm proposal yet in place. Meanwhile, a separate plan for buildings on the same site for the Trinity Free School has also been approved and this project appears to be ready to go.

      wildernesse

      Two previous proposals for the Sevenoaks grammar development have been rejected by Mr Gove, when he was Secretary of State for Education, both on the grounds that they did not comply with current government legislation that required the satellite to have the same gender make up and admission rules as the host school. I have written about these previously.

      A new proposal was put forward in September by the Governors of Weald of Kent Grammar School, to run a three form Satellite in the new premises for girls only, which would apparently overcome the previous legal hurdles but doesn't meet the pressing need for additional places for boys. 

      Read more...
      Written on Saturday, 08 November 2014 00:00 Be the first to comment! Read 341 times
    • Secondary School Admission Applications in Kent and Medway: reflections

      This has been a particularly busy admission season for me, primarily because the change in structure and scoring pattern of the Kent Test have considerably increased uncertainty about chances of access to super selective schools and appeal success to grammar schools across the county. My news item on the Kent Test saw the fastest rate of hits ever on the website, totalling 7000 in just over a week. The article on the Medway Test, with about a sixth the number of applicants has already attracted over 3000 visitors.

      The other major factor has been the urban myth and misinformation circulating amongst parents, too often driven by some primary headteachers trying to be helpful and some secondary headteachers keen to encourage numbers.

      I have covered most of the comment and information below in previous news and information items on this website, but now that most  Secondary School Common Application Forms (SCAF) have been submitted, I have time to reflect. Kent parents will know that exceptionally, KCC has extended the closing date to 5th November (nationally it was 31st October) to give parents good time to consult schools after the Kent Tests results were sent out, allowing for half-term in between.

      I hear many good reports about the advice freely given by KCC School Admissions, and know that, as always, the Department has been massively overworked. However, they are not allowed to comment about individual schools as I am. Medway Council also runs an advice service. 

      I explore these issues and a variety of others below......

      Read more...
      Written on Monday, 03 November 2014 00:00 Be the first to comment! Read 1265 times
    • Problems with School Appeals at NW Kent Grammar Schools

      I am writing this article in response to a large number of enquiries from parents of boys, and to a lesser extent of girls, looking for places at the Dartford, Wilmington and Gravesend Grammar Schools, who have just missed the selective standard and are looking to appeal. 

      Last year, between them, there were 183 appeals lodged at Dartford and Wilmington Boys Grammar Schools, of which just 14 were successful, nearly all of these being made up of boys who had already passed but were initially excluded on distance grounds in the case of Wilmington, and not high enough scores in the Kent Test in Dartford.

      dgs

       

      The problem is created predominantly through pressure from children in London Boroughs, notably those on the railway lines from London Bridge through Bexley and Bromley, looking for grammar school places in Kent. Boys who live in Dartford itself who passed the Kent Test, whatever their school, are able to access either grammar school without difficulty. Other indications of the pressure on these two schools is that upon allocation back in March the two schools between them turned away 174 grammar qualified first preferences from the total of 1358  preferences expressed for the two schools. 419 of these applications were second preferences, although just 48 of these boys received offers. 110 of the 300 places available at the two schools were taken up by out of county boys on allocation in March although, as with the other figures, these proportions will have changed slightly by the time of admission in September, and I am not able to track the direction of any change.

      The article explores the issues in more detail, and also looks at the growing problems in Gravesend and in the local grammar schools for girls. 

      In summary the difficulty of winning an appeal at one of these two schools for a boy who missed the pass mark, for whatever reason, was and will remain immense.  As a result most parents will need to consider alternatives, several of which are spelled out below. .......

      Read more...
      Written on Sunday, 19 October 2014 00:00 4 comments Read 1598 times
    • Kent Test Results 2014: Initial Outcomes and Thoughts

      Last Updated: Sunday 19th October

                     Kent and Medway parents
         Not sure which Kent & Medway schools to apply to?
          Use my popular Telephone Consultation Service
          for impartial and expert information and advice
       
      PLEASE NOTE: I AM ONCE AGAIN LIKELY TO CLOSE MY BOOKS TO NEW CLIENTS BY CHRISTMAS,
      AS NUMBERS USING THIS SERVICE, WHO SECURE MY ASSISTANCE FOR MARCH, ARE HIGHER THAN EVER 
       

      Kent Test results have now been sent out and present a very different picture from previous years. First the facts.

      There were two tests, the first being in verbal and non-verbal reasoning. The second was in curriculum English and mathematics, the  first time that English has been assessed as part of the main testing procedure.

      This has produced three marks of equal weighting, one in Reasoning, one in English and one in Mathematics. The  achieved English scores range from 69 - 138 with the maths and reasoning between 69 and 141 after age related standardisation, so a top score of 420. 

      To pass, children have to have scored an aggregate of at least 320 across the three papers, together with a minimum score of 106 in each paper. The aggregate score is very different from previous years and there are will be number of important consequences and conclusions from the changes, listed below. This is the first draft of this article, prepared today, so this section may well change. I am open to comment about my opinions that may well change as more data arrives. You will find the pattern for 2014 entry here

      The table below confirms that a very similar number of Kent children passed the Test this year compared with 2013. The number who sat it has risen by nearly 1000, many of whom will be ‘out county’ applicants, as the number of these rises inexorably. However, it is important to note that, however many out county passes there are, the number of children being offered places in Kent grammar schools remains similar, at around twenty per cent of those who were found selective, at just 343, mainly in Dartford schools, for 2014 entry. See further comment below. You will find details of cross border school allocations here, with over 100 Kent children going to Medway grammar schools.

       

      You will also find considerable discussion and advice in the comments at the foot of the column. However I am afraid I am no longer able to give individual advice on personal situations though this mechanism..............................

      Read more...
      Written on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 00:00 26 comments Read 9271 times
    • Kent and Medway Primary School OFSTED Outcomes 2013-14: Too many children being failed.

      The complete set of OFSTED Reports for 2013-14 have now been published and they confirm the very different fortunes of primary, secondary and special schools across Kent and Medway. I published the outcomes of secondary and special schools in a previous article and this one now looks at underperfoming primary sector. Another article highlights failings in both Authorities part way through the year.

      Leaders of both Authorities are fond of quoting the combined results of the three sectors, as they hide the gulf between the excellent performance of secondary and special schools which are mainly academies, independent of the Local Councils, and the disappointing, in some cases shocking outcomes of primary schools as a whole, mainly run by the Local Authorities. In response to a previous article on disappearing primary headteachers, the KCC representative falsely claimed that the 80% Good or Outstanding Inspection results this year proved that KCC’s policy was working. In fact, with 81% of 26 secondary schools, 80% of 10 special schools and 54% of the 128 primary schools achieving Good or Outstanding, the overall figure is just 60%, well short of the claimed figure.

      A full set of statistics is given below, with a KCC analysis, consistent with the results in this article,  available here. OFSTED results for every Kent and Medway Primary School are also provided on the website.

      First the good news......

      Read more...
      Written on Tuesday, 14 October 2014 00:00 Be the first to comment! Read 1920 times