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.
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).
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.
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.