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Tuesday, 14 April 2015 19:11

Secondary School Allocation 2015: Movement in and out of Kent and Medway

This is my third annual analysis of the pattern of children crossing the Kent and Medway boundaries. You will find the 2014 figures here.  Abbreviation: ooc = out of county

Headlines:
  • 757 ooc children offered places in Kent schools, with 552 Kent children going out county, both figures well up on 2014.
  • 70% of the 455 ooc children taking up places in Kent grammar schools are going to schools in Dartford or Gravesend, with Wilmington Girls Grammar taking 105, Wilmington Boys 79 and Dartford 70. Nearly all are from London Boroughs.
  • Elsewhere, highest are The Judd with 41 ooc boys and Rochester Grammar taking in 41 Kent girls.
  • For non-selective schools, highest is Holmesdale taking in 41 Medway children, followed by Knole Academy with 35 Bromley children, and Homewood School 28, all but one from East Sussex.
  • Exporting: 159 Kent children to Bexley (95 from closure of Oasis Hextable Academy); 139 from Kent to Medway; 121; 100 from Kent to East Sussex; 67 from Kent to Surrey; 53 from Kent to Bromley; and 122 from Medway to Kent,

As in previous years the official figures give a very different picture from the more lurid headlines ……..

This is the third and last in a series of articles examining secondary school allocations in Kent and Medway. The two previous ones deal with non-selective and grammar school allocations.

For the pattern of children crossing the Kent and Medway boundaries to take up secondary school places for 2015 admission, I have divided the cross border movement into four sections below: Medway; North West Kent; West Kent & South Kent. I don't have precise figures for which part of the county children live in so some of these figures are best estimates. A total of 757 (602 in 2014) children from out of Kent are taking up places in Kent secondary schools, with 552 (441) going the other way, both figures up on 2014 & 2013. For Medway it is 156 in (188 in 2014) and 125 out (111 in 2014). But don't jump to conclusions.

Please note that all the figures given below refer to allocations on 2nd March 2015 for admission in September. Between these two dates, there is considerable movement through waiting lists, appeals, and children especially in West Kent taking up increasingly generous scholarships in private schools, as many of these come under increasing pressure to keep up both pupil numbers and their academic quality. I suspect that the net effect of such movement  is to reduce the number of cross-border admissions, but have not investigated this effect further. 

Medway Boundary – 121 (110) Medway children into Kent schools; 139 (167) Kent children into Medway schools. 
98(107) Kent children will be entering the six Medway  grammar schools.41 (46) of these are going to Rochester Grammar with most of the others equally shared between Fort Pitt, Rainham Mark and The Math although there are still 123 grammar school places empty in the three grammar schools in Chatham before appeals. I suspect that very few of the other 17, all but one from London Boroughs as far away as Harrow will actually take up the places offered. Just 16 Medway children are going the other way to eight different Kent grammar schools.
046
 

There are 41 (60) Kent children going to Medway non-selective schools the fall possibly reflecting the first rise in Medway numbers for some years takin gupp additional places for local children. The majority of these are going to four schools, Walderslade Girls and Greenacre from the small area of Kent to the south of Walderslade and the Bluebell Hill area where there is no convenient alternative, Rainham School for Girls and Strood Academy. The largest number of the 106 (99) going the other way are the 41 (42) heading for Holmesdale Technology College, down the road in Snodland, with 11 to Aylesford, now a popular destination, 15 to Malling school, 9 to Meopham and 20 (15) going to Kent Catholic Schools. 

 

North West Kent including North Sevenoaks  - 315 (298) ooc children into Kent schools; 199 (111) the other way

Four grammar schools; Dartford Grammar School 70 (26); Dartford Grammar School for Girls 40 (17); Wilmington Grammar School for Girls 105 - out of an intake of 150 (89); and Wilmington Grammar School for Boys 79 (82) are admitting 294 (214) children almost entirely from the London Boroughs in total. Pressure on places for these schools from the London Boroughs is enormous, with Dartford Grammar School 127 (146) first choices turned away even though the school has increased its intake by 30 boys this year, the  most oversubscribed school in Kent. Dartford Grammar School for Girls 95 (89) is not far behind. Two thirds of the incomers come from Bexley and Bromley, but 43 are from Greenwich (an easy train ride). Just 35 Kent children go to grammar schools the other way in Bexley - 22 and Bromley -13 (although most of the latter will have come from West Kent).

dgs

 

The closure of Oasis Hextable School has caused major problems, with 95 children from the area being allocated to non-selective schools in Bexley, breaching the previous policy of all Kent Local Authority allocations being within the county. For families this is probably preferable to the alternative, as Ebbsfleet Academy, the only local school with vacancies is proving unpopular. In all, 137 are going to Bexley NS schools, of whom 75 (25) to the two Catholic schools, another 46 to Erith School and Crayford Academy. Another 42 are going to Bromley, the large majority to three schools: Chislehurst Girls; Kemnal Technology College and Priory School.

44 came the other way, nearly all to Leigh and Wilmington Academies, all from Bexley.

 

West Kent – 200 (177) ooc children into Kent schools; 154 (131) the other way.

This of course is the area which creates the greatest controversy, possibly for political reasons. However, as usual the figures for grammar schools are far smaller than suggested by candidates passing the Kent Test, the wild statistic that generates al the media headlines about the shortage of grammar school places due to children from outside Kent depriving Kent children of grammar school places. The bottom line is that, to the best of my belief, every Kent child who passed the Kent Test is able to access a fairly local grammar school place if they wish, although a few may still depend on appeals which are likely to be upheld.

judd

 

The school that regularly takes in the greatest number of ooc children is the Judd, with 41 (36) mainly from Bromley with a few from Surrey, but this number will fall sharply to around 15 for 2016 entry as a result of changes to the Judd Admission Criteria.

Next are: Bennett Memorial CofE School 37 (37), all but one from East Sussex; Knole Academy 35 (30), all Bromley; Tonbridge Grammar 31(24), Bromley and East Sussex; and Skinners 24 (26) all but 3 from East Sussex; admitting most of the remainder. As always, these figures are much lower than the usual media scare stories. In the battle between the Bromley and Kent super-selectives, the three Kent schools appear on top drawing 40 (26) children from Bromley with just 13 going the other way.

Few ooc children cross to other Kent non-selective schools, the only other significant group being 10 to St Gregory’s from East Sussex. However, 65 (61) are going out from Kent to the two nearest East Sussex comprehensives (Beacon and Uplands); 67 (40) to Oxted School in Surrey; and 14 (15) to Sackville Community College in East Grinstead, West Sussex. 

 

South Kent - 28 (26) ooc children into Kent schools; 35 (47) the other way.
Here the movement is almost entirely accounted for by three schools.
27 (24) ooc children are going to Homewood School, Tenterden and 34 (39) Kent children are going to Rye Community College and Robertsbridge Community College, presumably from Romney Marsh, depleting numbers at Marsh Academy. 
Homewood School
Last modified on Monday, 24 October 2016 22:39

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