Please Note that this article has been produced to meet the Thursday 4 p.m. deadline and is likely to be revised at my leisure, if I have any over the next three weeks!
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There were 15,253 children registered for the Kent Test for admission to grammar school in September 2017 (14,486 in 2016), with 14,349 actually taking the Test (13,274 in 2015). Of these, 6, 537 (6,259 in 2015) children passed the test, of whom 4369 (4282) were from Kent schools, and 2,145 (1,966) were from out of County.
Around a further 350 children are eligible for a single grammar school through success in the Dover, Shepway, Mayfield (Gravesend Girls) or Highsted (Sittingbourne Girls) Tests.
|Kent Test Results 2016 For Admission in 2017|
|Kent Schools||Out of County|
Notes: (1) I don't yet have data for boys and girls differentiated, but will include this as soon as it is available
(2) 'Other' includes children who are home educated.
For information you will find Oversubscription and vacancies in Kent Grammar schools on allocation for September 2016 provides considerable information on pressure of places, as does the series of pages on Individual Kent Secondary Schools, which also contain additional information on each school. I am afraid I am behind in updating some of these pages (look at update date in top left hand corner), so if you would like more up to date information, please let me know. You will also find additional data on OFSTED Ratings, Examination Performance, and Appeal Statistics together with other important news, comment and information here. Also try entering the name of the school you are interested in in the Website Search engine: this usually provides a series of news, comment and information articles about that school over recent years.
I am currently finalising an article on school appeals statistics which will be published in the next week. you will find last year's article here. In the meantime you may wish to consult the relevant information pages for Kent Grammar School Appeals or Oversubscription Appeals for both non-selective and grammar schools.
The main pressure areas are West and North West Kent and Whitstable/Herne Bay. KCC reports that an additional 192 places have been added into the Kent grammar school stock to provide a total of 4,959, although this will include an amount of double counting with temporary increases last year consolidated. For example, the figure includes the new Sevenoaks Annexe for 90 girls, but in reality this adds only 30 places, as the school had a temporary increase from admitting 175 girls to 235 for 2014-15 only. The effective increase is therefore just 30 girls. In West Kent all girls should get a grammar school place in the District, not always the one of their choice. The boys’ situation may be more difficult, with no annex, the number of boys’ places being fewer and two of the three schools being super-selective. Some years all boys get a local place on allocation in March, but I suspect that this year, as several times recently not all will be successful first time round, usually from North Sevenoaks heading northwards, or else out towards Maidstone. There is always a shakedown in West Kent and some boys may need to go to appeal, but in past years, all have been successful at one of the schools to the best of my knowledge.
North West Kent appears to have the greatest pressure, caused by enormous numbers applying from London Boroughs, Dartford Grammar turning away 226 first choices first year, along with the girls rejecting local applicants whose pass scores were not high enough. However, the two Wilmington Grammars now give priority to mainly Kent children and although they have increased greatly in popularity should pick up all local children who have qualified and choose them.
Whitstable/Herne Bay is also often difficult, with no local grammar school, some children having to settle for a grammar school in Thanet, and extensive building development in the area. However, Barton Court in Canterbury has made another 23 places available which will ease the pressure a little.
In other areas the situation can be fluid, and whilst KCC reported 4,767 places available for 2016 entry, some schools expanded to meet demand, so there were actually 5021, with several further temporary increases as schools measured demand and capacity.
There will always be horror stories about pressure on grammar school places -they make good media copy, especially with the new proposals to expand grammar school places (already happening without legislation), but the reality is that nine of the 32 Kent grammar schools had vacancies last March on allocation.