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Sunday, 02 March 2014 00:00

Kent Secondary School Allocations - Initial Statistics and Comment

This article is being updated as fresh information is received. You will find the parallel article on Medway here.

Good news for 13,092 Kent families  who have been allocated to their first preference secondary school, at 83.6 %, a slight dip on 2013, but otherwise higher than any other recent year, with, for example, the 2008 figure being just 70.5%. You will find previous outcomes here.  Coupled with this is an overall fall in the number of children allocated places by Kent County Council over the same period. These are children who were offered none of their four choices of school. In 2008 there were 840 such children, but by 2014 this has fallen to just 404. Of course this is no consolation to the parents of those 404  children, but over the next few months, through waiting lists, re-allocation and school appeals I am sure the majority of those children who are still seeking an alternative school will find one. 

You will find considerable free  advice about appealing elsewhere on this website, together with details about my services.  

The full set of data released by KCC, together with some older statistics I have retained is as follows: ........

 

Kent pupils 2014 2013 2012
 
No.of
Pupils
%
No.of
Pupils
%
No.of
Pupils
%
Offered a first
preference
13,092 83.6 12,754 84.2 12,613 82.8%
Offered a second 
preference
1,512 9.6% 1,456 9.6% 1,481 9.7%
Offered a third 
preference
478 3.1% 448 3.0% 505 3.3%
Offered a fourth
preference
181 1.2% 129 0.9% 183 1.2%
Allocated by Local
Authority
404 2.6% 357 2.3% 443 2.9%
Total number of Kent 
pupils offered
15,667   15144   15,225  

 

Year 2014 2013 2012
Out of county
applicants
1,991 1,760 1792
Offers to out of county
pupils at Kent schools
602 589 560

  

Year 2014 2013 2012
Total number of pupils
in the cohort
17,658 16,904  

 The main reason for the higher proportion of children getting schools of their choice over the past two years is the expansion of popular schools.

Some of the following schools have worked with Kent County Council to diffuse pressure points, others have expanded on their own initiative. The full list at present is: Barton Court Grammar (up 8 to 128); Bennett Memorial Diocesan (up 16 to 240); Canterbury Academy (up 50 to 230); Fulston Manor (up 25 to 210); Herne Bay High (up 7 to 265); Judd (up 30 to 150); King Ethelbert Academy (up 10 to 160); North School (up 10 to 225); Norton Knatchbull (up 31 to 180); Sandwich Technology (up 20 to 275); Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar(up 10 to 165); Skinners’ (up 30 to 145); Tonbridge Grammar (up 23 to 173); and Wilmington Grammar Boys (up 30 to 150).

Others, notably Westlands in Sittingbourne, traditionally wait even longer and then make additional offers some time in March or even April, which has the effect of removing the need to go through the appeal process.  Of course the downside of this is that other schools lose prospective students placing some at risk, see my previous article.

 Areas to watch include West Kent, where some of the problems for boys' grammar school places of two years ago have been resolved with the 60 extra places having been created. The cut off scores for the super-selective schools have fallen again as a consequence with Judd taking most boys as low as 412, and Skinners' going going down at least to 406. Some boys living in the "named parishes" for Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar, including Sevenoaks have still not been offered a grammar school place. Tonbridge Grammar has offered down to 401 for in area girls (not all 401 scorers allocated a place) and 404 for out of area girls (not all 404 scorers allocated a place) - see the school website for an explanation of "inner" and "outer". Even Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Girls has seen the cut off for its governors places fall by 17 points down to 394, the lowest ever in my memory. There will  be a grammar school place for all qualified local girls, even if it is not the school of their first choice. I believe Trinity Free school will be oversubscribed and I have certainly talked with parents who would otherwise be looking at schools as far away as Tunbridge Wells.

Pressure on grammar school places for boys in North West Kent are also likely to be eased with the expansion of Wilmington Boys, and is likely to become even better assuming the proposal by the school to offer greater priority to local Kent children. Cut off for top 10% was 413. Dartford Boys' Grammar cut off for high scorers has surprisingly fallen to 416. Does this reflect the growing popularity of Wilmington? Dartford Girls has taken all girls within the named parishes and high scorers outside down to a cut off of 413. 

 Canterbury is of course especially interesting this year with the proposed closure of Chaucer Technology School, too late to stop offers being prepared for the school, but with just 40 children being displaced, in numbers terms this is not now a great problem, except for those 40 families.

Otherwise, the main problem will again be for no-selective places in Sittingbourne, and Sheppey children seeking places off the island, although as in previous years, the problem has a habit of diminishing as additional places become available.

I am having reports that both Dover grammar schools are oversubscribed this year, thanks to the existence of the Dover Test, which offers an alternative route in via the Dover Test. This si in spite of the Folkestone grammar schools also offering their own admission test on the same day, effectively cutting out Shepway children from the Dover process. 

My section on Individual Secondary Schools contains further information on cut off distances for oversubscribed schools where this has been reported to me, or I have learned otherwise. 

 As in previous years, the 602 out of county children come from a far wider spectrum than usually reported in the media. Last year, around a quarter were non-selective children from Medway,  many others came into the church schools in Tunbridge Wells, and the Catholic schools in Maidstone and Gravesend, most of the 345 grammar school children heading for the four Dartford grammar schools.    

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 20 March 2014 20:23

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