In recent years, one of the most pressured Districts, but an additional 90 places have been created by the extension of St George’s CofE Foundation (secondary) to become an all through school (another 60, see more details here), and 30 places added at Birchington CofE. Whilst these ensure there are 45 places vacant across the 28 schools, they are all in just five schools, two of them run by the controversial TKAT Academy Trust (various references elsewhere on this site): 24 at Drapers Mills Primary Academy; and 54 at Dame Janet Primary Academy. Apart from 16 at Ellington Infants’ (oversubscribed last year), the remainder are at the two new schools with 21 at St George’s (but see my note on why I believe its popularity will rise sharply), and 45 of the 60 places at Ramsgate Free School, which opened in 2015 with 26 children. This school like many other Free Schools is suffering in its early years, as it has no settled premises, and a recent news item describes how it continues to share premises and facilities with the Chilton Academy Primary School, which has fallen sharply in popularity over the same period, from being third most popular Thanet primary in 2015, being oversubscribed by 34 first choices, to turning away just three in 2016. Most popular school again is Holy Trinity & St John’s CofE, with 38 disappointed first choices, followed by: St Crispin’s Community Infants, 34; Callis Grange Infants, 30; Newington, 28; Palm Bay, 27; and Priory Infants, 21.
Tonbridge is very tight again for 2016, with just 10 vacancies in two rural schools, East Peckham and Shipbourne. The delay in opening the new Bishop Chavasse Free School set back to September 2017, has obviously exacerbated the pressures. However, all but 22 of the 608 applications were awarded one of their three choices, 20 of these being allocated to Long Mead Community. Most oversubscribed school is Sussex Road, 24 first choices rejected, followed by Stocks Green with 16 and Slade, just two years ago the third most popular school in Kent, down to 11.
Just 8 places empty this year, all at St Augustine’s Catholic, although 903 out of the 947 children received one of their three choices, most of the remainder, 29, being allocated by KCC to Temple Grove Academy. Most oversubscribed school is the ever popular Claremont, turning away 37 first choices, followed by St James’ CofE Infant with 26, and Langton Green with 18.
These tend to have a defined intake from paired Infant Schools whose pupils have priority for spaces. However, some families in all through primary schools who may not be particularly happy with their current school, or who have moved into the area, also take the opportunity to apply for additional or vacant places, with the result that 15 of the 28 Junior Schools in Kent are oversubscribed, most by small numbers. The three most popular are: Christ Church CofE Junior, 22 first choices turned away, and St Saviour’s CofE Junior, with 12, both from Thanet: along with Whitstable & Seasalter Endowed, with eleven.
Just a few minor changes in Admission Numbers, I suspect to ensure all children transferring from the linked Infant School, are given places. Joyden's Wood Junior is the only significant change, up for some reason from 70 to 83.
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