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Displaying items by tag: secondary schools

Monday, 04 October 2010 00:00

Kent Admission & Appeals Statistics

Kent Test Results for 2011 entry.

  2011 2010
Registered for Admission 11542 11987
Took Kent Test 10947 11255
Kent Assessed Grammar 4120 4139
Out of County Assessed Grammar 1156 930

Secondary school transfer statistics released by Kent County Council.


Kent Pupils
No. of pupils
No. of pupils
No. of pupils
No. of pupils
Offered a school named on the application form
Offered a first preference
Offered a second preference
Offered a third preference
Offered a fourth preference
Allocated by Local Authority
Total number of Kent pupils offered

Out of County Applicants
Out of County Offers

Total Numbers of Pupils in the Cohort



11 Plus news 2010 Entry 

The source of the data on this page is Kent County Council. My thanks for their co-operation in this.

Category               2009 entry 2010 entry change
  Number Number Number

Kent Entrants




OutCounty Entrants




Success Boys




Success Girls




Success Kent




OutCounty Success




So, of the 11,255 children who sat the Kent Test in September, 5,113 were assessed selective, roughly the same number as last year (11,241). The number of out of county children sitting the test rose by 115, the number of Kent children fell by 101 reflecting a lower number in the age group. However, the number of Kent children passing is up by 81 to 4,120, whilst the number of out county children passing is down by 105 to 993.  

There are 4,458 grammar school places in Kent, so if only Kent children were taking them up, there would be 338 spare places, nearly all in the East of the County. The great unknown is how many out of county children will take up Kent places, as many of them have multiple applications across different counties and Boroughs.

My sense of these figures is - little change. 

Kent Transfer Appeal Statistics  2009
LEA or Community Schools
School Type Number of Appeals Number of                 Successes % Success Rate
Grammar  391  167  43
 NonSelective  158  99  63
 Primary  367  36  10

Please note that the large majority of successful primary appeals would be for junior classes, as Infant appeals are governed by Infant Class Legislation (see Primary admissions page).

Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools  


School Type Number of Appeals Number of                 Successes % Success Rate
Grammar  562  201  36
 NonSelective  215 104  48
 Primary 82 Not known  

In addition there are a number of schools that do not use KCC Appeal Panels. Statistics are not available for these. 

Statistics vary enormously school by school. For grammar schools the proportion of successes range from  76%  of 33 appeals (an LEA school) down to 7% of 108 appeals (a Foundation School). For non selective schools, there were five schools where all appeals were succcessful, but one Foundation school with just 10% of 20 appeals successful.

Kent Secondary Transfer Statistics 2009 entry

There was  a total of just 131 vacancies in Kent’s 33 grammar schools, at National Offer Day in 2009  mainly in the east of the county.  The problem is that the 268 out county children who took up places in West and North West Kent Grammar schools displaced many children from these areas eastwards, some to grammar schools they cannot reach daily, with more than 40 boys West Kent boys offered places in Folkestone or Sittingbourne. 

The biggest influx is into the four Dartford grammar schools with 29 children coming from Greenwich and another 15 from Lewisham. Bromley took up 59 Kent grammar school places, Bexley another 56 and East Sussex 50.

Most oversubscribed grammar school was Tonbridge (101 turned away), edging out Judd from last year (95). These were followed by Skinners, Dartford, Weald of Kent, Tunbridge Wells Boys, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells Girls. This year’s problem is highlighted by these eight schools who all turned away more than 40 qualified first choices. Last year there were just three, the same top schools as last year.

However, for the second year running the most oversubscribed school in the county is the Leigh Academy in Dartford, rejecting 200 first choice applicants.

One striking feature of non selective school placements is the wide fluctuation in popularity from year to year. I think the biggest controversy in the county surrounds Valley Park School in South Maidstone, whose popularity has soared this year, turning away 106 first choices, up from 16 in 2008.  Other non selective schools rejecting more than 60 first choices are: Folkestone Academy (newly rebuilt); Homewood (Tenterden); Bennett Memorial (Tunbridge Wells);  Westlands (Sittingbourne), Charles Dickens (Broadstairs), North (Ashford), Archbishops’ (Canterbury); Aylesford (rebuilt under PFI and not even full last year); Mascalls (Paddock Wood) and Fulston Manor (Sittingbourne). Only half these schools were in this list last year showing how difficult it is to predict popularity.

At the other end of the scale, four schools were over half empty before children unsuccessful in any of their applications were allocated to them.

Kent Test Statistics for 2009 Entry

9584 Kent pupils registered for the Kent Tests, with a further 2096 out of county.

Of these, 9294 Kent pupils took the tests, with an additional 1765 from out of county.

4213 Kent pupils were assessed selective, that is 45% of those who took the tests. 924 out of county pupils were assessed selective.

53% of the 1459 cases referred for a Headteacher Assessment were successful and are included in the above data.

There are 16297 children in the cohort,so that 21% were automatically found selective, with a further 4% after Headteacher Assessment, making a total of 26% of the cohort found selective.

The number of children who pased the test was up by 250 and there are 600 more successful candidates than there are Kent grammar school places. However, a large number of these are from outside the county with no intention or expectation of taking up a Kent grammar school place, and I understand that the  number of out of county pupils offered grammar school places in Kent is likely to be very similar to last year.

The out of county applicants were mainly from Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Medway and East Sussex (in order). The more distant ones include: Barking, West Sussex, Islington, Dorset, Milton Keynes, Leicestershire and Glamorgan (although many of the latter may be  families planning to relocate to Kent).

 Kent Secondary Transfer Appeal Statistics 2008

LEA or Community Schools

School type Number of Appeals Number of successes % success rate
Grammar 456 184 40
Non Selective 126 68 54

Foundation or Voluntary Aided Schools

These are appeals organised by the KCC for these schools. Many Foundation and VA Schools organise their own appeals and I do not have data for these. 

School Type Number of Appeals Number of successes % success rate
Grammar 540 143 26
Non-Selective 185 101 55

Note: these statistics hide a multitude of sins. One LEA Grammar school had 55 succsssful appeals, others have very few. Grammar School appeals include both selection appeals (where the child do not pass the Kent test, and oversubscription appeals (where many appellants may have pased the Kent tests and be seeking a place in schools that are full). 

I have focused on first choices for simplicity; the number of children on waiting lists may vary considerably from this. For example, many of those who put a grammar school in first place may also now be on the waiting list for a non selective school but won't appear in the statistics below, so the number on waiting lists for non selective schools can be considerably higher than indicated. After grammar school appeals, some of these numbers will fall as children on the lists are offered grammar school places.

Not one of the 34 most westerly secondary schools in Kent had more than three vacancies after allocation on 3rd March (these are probably all taken up by children with SEN statements). The situation will of course change, as some children will have been allocated to schools they will not take up, others will win appeals elsewhere freeing up places, or Independent Appeal Panels require some schools to take additional children.
Kent grammar schools that still have vacancies include: Borden Grammar, Chatham House Grammar, Clarendon House Grammar, Dane Court Grammar, Dover Grammar Boys, Folkestone School for Girls, Harvey Grammar, Highsted Grammar. Others may well have children who have not taken up places offered and so have vacancies. It is a matter of note that all those on this list are coastal grammar schools in East Kent.
  • 9 Kent schools have over 40 vacancies. Several others would have reached this figure if they had not been allocated children who had been offered none of their three chosen schools.
  • 2 Kent schools have more than half their available places still empty.
  • 9092 children took the Kent test, of whom 3778 were assessed as selective, including those who were passed at headteacher assessment.
  • 762 children from outside Kent were assessed as selective, having included a Kent grammar school on their Common Application Form. These would have come mainly from Medway, East Sussex, Surrey, Bexley and Bromley. Of these, 290 were offered places at Kent grammar schools, which would have been mainly at Judd, Skinners, Tonbridge Grammar, and the four Dartford and Wilmington Grammar Schools, adding to the pressure on West Kent grammar school places. Next year's new Dartford Grammar admission criteria will add to the pressure.
  • In 2007, 41% of pupils attending Tunbridge Wells secondary schools were from outside the district, 600 from outside Kent. The corresponding figure for Tonbridge and Malling was 42%.
  • KCC report that this year's eleven year old cohort is the largest and that in future, falling rolls will decrease the pressure.
  • The Year 6 cohort in March 2008 comprised 16,339 Kent pupils (15,975 in 2007).
    94% were offered a place at one of the schools named on the CAF as at 3 March 2008 (94%).

    There was a total of 2,126 (1,807) secondary transfer appeal for 2008 entry, of which 800 (759) were successful. This is a total of 37% of appeals heard. This statistic covers a wide range according to individual schools.

The headline news for Kent is that the number of children who were  allocated their first choice secondary school in March has fallen to 70% from 74% last year, whilst the number of out county applicants has increased from 1589 to 1795. The number of children who have been offered a school not on their list has risen from 4% to 5%.

The Kent test pass mark was the same as the previous year: children need to achieve two scores of at least 120 and one of at least 115 to achieve success, or be awarded a place through the headteacher assessment. Out of some 1200 assessments carried out, around half were successful.

Figures for Kent Appeals, March - December 2007. The following figures are solely for appeal Panels organised by KCC. Many Foundation and VA Schools organise their own Independent Appeal Panels and are not included. Be very careful how you interpret the following, as circumstances very enormously amongst Kent schools (it was ever thus!). The secondary school success rate varies enormously year on year, so is unlikely to be a good guide to 2008, especially with the new Code.

 In 2008 there were 55 successful appeals at Clarendon house Grammar School, which is likely to skew figures enormously.

Local Authority Schools




% success










Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools



% Success





Non Selective




 In 2007, there were 1300 Headteacher Assessments in Kent, of which 632 were successful.

Figures for Kent Appeals, March - December 2007. The following figures are solely for appeal Panels organised by KCC. Many Foundation and VA Schools organise their own Independent Appeal Panels and are not included. Be very careful how you interpret the following, as circumstances very enormously amongst Kent schools (it was ever thus!). The secondary school success rate is over a third higher than the previous year, for reasons which are not obvious and so is unlilely to be a good guide to 2008, especially with the new Code.
Local Authority Schools


% success
Non Selective
Grammar Appeals include both children who have been unsuccessful in the initial tests, and oversubscription issues.

Foundation & Voluntary Aided Schools


% success
  • Scores for a Kent grammar school pass were: at least 120 in two tests, and at least 115 in the third.
  • 74% of Kent children were offered their first choice school in 2007. this is a considerable fall from last year's 79%. however, the percentage of children being offered one of their three choices has risen from 95% to 96.1 %.
Tagged under
Monday, 13 July 2015 19:34

Kent Secondary School Admissions 2021

Last Updated: April 2020:  Warning: Only some following takes into Account the unknown Consequences for School Admissions of Coronavirus. For further information put 'coronavirus' into the search engine of this website

Please note you will find considerable additional information about many Kent schools by entering their name in the search engine of this website, or by visiting Individual Schools

Please note that this section is rather lengthy, and hence is spread across several pages. You will find the links below.

It is designed primarily for parents resident in Kent, whose children will be transferring to state secondary schools in September 2021. Parents considering a grammar school application should also look at the pages on Kent and Medway Grammar School Admissions and Medway Secondary School Admissions.

Kent Schools


There is more information, advice and comment on the School Admission Code page. You may also find an article I wrote in September 2014 helpful. 

I am afraid I have completely retired from my Consultation Service, but I am available to give talks for parents at Kent primary and secondary schools by invitation, and am also happy to talk with groups of parents on more general aspects.  

KCC publishes annually online a Guide to Admission to Secondary School in Kent. At the time of updating this article, the 2019 Admission Guide is available here, 2020 to follow. This sets out the full rules including those relating to admissions including residence rules, assessment for grammar school, applying for Kent schools if you live outside the county, school offers, late applications and In-Year admissions, and transport including the Young Persons' Travel Pass. You will find the full formal details of the Kent Secondary transfer scheme on the KCC website here (secondary determined scheme for 2020), together with next year's oversubscription and admission rules for community and voluntary controlled schools here, and individual Foundation, Voluntary Aided Schools and academies here where, in the Spring of 2020 you will also find any proposed changes for individual schools for 2021.  

For parents applying for any school in Kent outside the normal admission round, including late applications after 1st March when you can put in an application for any Kent secondary school you have not previously considered, simply download an In Year Casual Application Form and send it to the school you are applying to. You will find further details here. This does not apply in the same way in Medway.
You will find my information on individual schools here, including admissions, appeals and performance (some pages need updating, let me know if you are interested in one of these and I will update it next)


The scheme operates for Kent residents, no matter where the schools for which they are applying are situated, and refers to entry in September 2018.


Key Action Scheme Date
Registration for testing opens Monday 1 June 2020
Closing date for registration Wednesday 1 July 2020
Application Process for Secondary Transfer  Opens Tuesday 1 September 2020
Test date for pupils in Kent primary schools Thursday 10 September 2020
Test date for out of county pupils Saturday 12 September 2020
Assessment decision sent to parents Thursday 15 October 2020
National Closing Date for Secondary Common Application Forms (SCAF) Monday 2 November 2020
National Offer Day: e-mails sent after 4pm and letters sent 1st class post Monday 1 March 2021
Schools send out welcome letters Not before Wednesday 3 March 2021
Deadline for late applications and waiting list requests
to be included in the Kent County Council reallocation stage.
Also the date by which places should be accepted or declined to schools
Monday 15 March 2021
Deadline for Lodging Appeals (to be sure of them being heard in the Normal Round) Friday 26 March 2021
LA re-allocates places available from schools' waiting lists
Schools take responsibility for waiting lists and re-allocation
Wednesday 21 April 2021
(Wednesday 22 April 2020) 

There is  a national closing date for applications  although grammar school registration process and dates and testing dates differ. Each LA has some differences in procedure, for example Kent parents have four choices, and Medway parents have six choices. The admission booklets or websites contain details of the all important oversubscription rules, which determine if you will be offered a place at a particular school if too many people apply.  Do not try and take part in the process without referring to the rules for the schools in which you are interested.  

It is essential that all parents, who are considering entering their child for the Kent tests, register their child on a form obtainable from the primary school or Kent Website.  Your child cannot take the Kent tests if he or she has not been registered. You will not be considered for a grammar school if your child has not sat the Kent tests and they will only be able to take the test late, after 29th March and be considered as a late applicant whether or not the school is named on the SCAF. Copies of the registration form will be distributed through primary schools and can be downloaded here. 

There is nothing to lose by entering your child for the tests. Parents in Kent living near the Medway border may also wish to consider entering their child for the Medway tests, which assesses children on different skills. Further details of Kent grammar school admissions are here.

The Dover Grammar Schools, Folkestone Grammar Schools, Mayfield and Highsted Grammar Schools all offer alternative tests that qualify children for admission to their schools only. Admission is by either (but not necessarily both) test.

You will find some possible scenarios on the next page.


KCC controls allocation of places using the priority lists drawn up by each school placing applications in accord with their place as dictated by the school's admission criteria. They then award the highest school place for which a child is eligible to that child. This does not mean that placing a school in first place will give you any greater chance of a place at that school. The rule is simple. Place schools in your own order of preference and you won't go wrong. 

The process of identifying which one school your child will be offered on National Offer Day is called an Equal Preference Scheme and is quite complex to understand. However...

You will not boost your chances at one school by placing it in a different order than your genuine preference. Sadly, some schools still verbally advise parents otherwise (over a decade after the scheme that allowed it was scrapped) . No Kent or Medway school or academy is told the position where parents have placed a school on the SCAF (although at least one Maidstone  grammar school claimed otherwise at an Open Evening for parents looking to 2019 admission), and so none can offer a place according to position. WARNING: However if you go to appeal for a school in Medway, the school and appeal Panel gets to see your full list of preferences and the reasons for them. I think this is very wrong, but am told it is legal.   You should not place a non-selective school ahead of a grammar school on your form unless it is a real preference, otherwise you may find yourself offered a place at the non-selective school, even though the child has passed the eleven plus.

Some grammar school scenarios:

  • If the child has passed the Kent tests, you may name just grammar schools on your SCAF. If your child does not qualify for any of these, because other children have taken up all available places, you could be offered the nearest grammar school with a vacancy, although KCC has no obligation to do so and tends to offer a place at the nearest non-selective school. In some previous years this has affected children in Canterbury, Dartford, Faversham,Gravesham & Thanet. What was described as "an unwritten policy" by KCC that a Kent child who passed the 11 plus was entitled to a grammar school place, no longer applies.
  • The Dover, Shepway, Mayfield and Highsted Tests do not qualify you for admission to any other grammar school.
  • If your child has not taken the eleven plus, you can only be considered for non selective schools, but can make a later entry to grammar school, when you will be invited to take the Test. 

  • If your child has taken the eleven plus and not passed, and you wish to appeal, you must name the grammar schools you wish to appeal to on the SCAF, together with any non selective schools you wish to apply to.

  • If your child has passed the eleven plus and you name grammar schools and a non selective school, for example a church comprehensive school, you will be offered the highest school on your list for which your child is eligible. If  this is the non selective school then you will be offered it in preference to a grammar school lower down your list.

You will find further advice and information on the next page, with the page on School Admission Appeal Outcomes in Kent and Medway for 2019 relevant for some. 

You will find Kent grammar schoolMedway general and Medway grammar school admission  articles linked on the relevant pages


  • You must list any school you wish to appeal for on your SCAF. In 2019 the first appeals were heard in the last week of March the final ones not being heard until the end of June. In each Local Authority (LA), an admissions booklet will be issued at the beginning of September (online in Kent). There is now a national closing date for applications  although grammar school registration process and dates and testing dates differ. Each LA has some differences in procedure, for example Kent parents have four choices, and Medway parents have six choices. These booklets contain details of the all important oversubscription rules, which determine if you will be offered a place if too many people apply.  Do not try and take part in the process without the relevant admissions booklet to guide you.
  • If the school is described as “Community” or “Voluntary Controlled”, oversubscription rules are laid down by the LA. Each Academy, “Voluntary Aided”,  “Foundation” school or "Academy" makes its own rules and you need to check these out on the school website, or here, to find if you are likely to be offered a place.

  • If your child took but has not passed the Kent Test you have no right of appeal against this decision. Along with all other appeals, you must wait until National Offer day on 1 March 2020 before you can appeal. On that date the grammar school you have applied for technically rejects your application and only then can you appeal. See Kent Grammar School Appeals
  • It is difficult to give general guidance on placing schools in order, as circumstances change enormously from town to town depending on popularity of individual schools and their oversubscription rules. Above all, make sure that you and your child visit the schools you are considering. I am afraid I have retired from my individual advice service. 

  • For all oversubscribed schools find out if you would have been accepted last year and check my Individual Schools Section. Ask for the furthest distance from school those pupils lived, who were accepted. Medway publishes this information in its admission booklets. Many church schools admit children according to their level of church support. Find out which category of religious support was the lowest accepted.

  • Check the rules about free school transport, which only apply if you live more than three miles from your nearest school (priority for the school to be a grammar or church school has been abolished, except for children on Free School Meals). These rules are detailed in the School Admission Booklet for your LA. See the KCC page on School Transport and Appeals (but needs updating).

  • Try and make sure that you will be eligible for at least one school on your list, otherwise you will be allocated the nearest one with vacancies, which may not be to your liking.

  • In Kent, most non-selective schools formally cater for pupils of all abilities. Most Kent secondary schools are now academies and make their own rules for choosing children if they are oversubscribed. Eleven church schools are scattered round the county. Several of these are highly selective on religious criteria (one reason they regularly appear at the top of performance tables). Their oversubscription rules also vary significantly from school to school and you should plan at least a year ahead (in some cases three years) to meet these if you do not currently fit.

  • Academies are all independent of Kent County Council, but are required to use the same admission system and appeal process. Further details are at Academies.

  • Application forms ask you to list reasons for preference. Ignore this unless you wish to make a case on grounds of  medical or social need to attend that school. In Medway that information is seen on appeal, for all schools you have applied to. Be warned!
  • Parents applying for secondary school places may be given a supplementary form “only where the additional information is required for the governing body to apply their oversubscription criteria to the application”. You are under no obligation to provide information which is not relevant to the oversubscription criteria. No form should ask parents to state what preferences they have named on their SCAF, or the order in which they have stated their preferences, as no school requires this to apply its oversubscription criteria. KCC advise you to delete any such question and mark it “N/A” or “not applicable”.

  • For both Catholic and CofE schools, make sure you read the oversubscription rules well in advance to check on the school requirements with regard to church membership and attendance. Some schools require evidence of this dating back two or three years. 

  • for 2020 entry, 78% of Kent families were offered their first choice school in March, the lowest proportion for ten years. You will find fuller statistics here. Please not that the 22% not offered their first choice includes many families whose child had not passed the Kent Test but placed a grammar for which they were not eligible at the top of their list. 

  • Both Kent and Medway have an online application system on which parents can change choices up to the closing date. One concern for primary heads is that because they do not see these forms, they are unable to check if parents have made sensible decisions. Conversely, parents can hide decisions from the school, – valuable where certain primary schools strongly encourage certain applications. Online applicants will be able to access decisions after 4p.m. on 1 March 2021. Paper applicants will receive decisions by post which will be sent out on 1 March 2021 (Kent website says this can take up to 3 working days to arrive).

  • Most schools now have specialist status, specialising in areas such as: mathematics & ICT, humanities, or sport. Some select up to 10% of pupils on aptitude. A few Kent schools select a proportion of children by tests of academic ability, including Homewood (20%) and Archbishop’s (15%) - but neither is normally oversubscribed, so it is irrelevant.  Find out what the tests are so that your child is prepared. A number of schools now band children by ability, and set tests to select the correct proportion for each band. There is limited purpose in preparing for these tests, except that non-selective schools  have fewer children in the top band, so it may be easier for able children to secure places in the top band. Don't take that as gospel!  

  • For some parents, choice of school is determined by the desire to avoid being offered an unpopular school. If all schools were of good standard, then the pressure on families would be greatly reduced.

  • All Kent schools allow late applications after April 22nd (24th fro 2020), but there is no harm in applying earlier. In Kent you will need to apply  directly to each school using the Post Reallocation Common Application Form. You can make as many applications as you wish, confidential to each school.  

After appeals, if the school is oversubscribed, no child will be admitted to the school off the waiting list until the number of children falls back to the Planned Admission Number (PAN). For example: if the PAN is 175 and there are five successful appeals bringing the total to 180, no further children will be admitted off the waiting list until the number falls back to 174. It will not then rise again above 175 unless there are further successful late appeals. This all assumes that schools follow the rules - an increasing number don't!

I remain unhappy at the number of secondary schools still advising parents they need to put the school in first place on the SCAF, if they are to receive an offer (notably Invicta Grammar). This is not only completely untrue as schools are not told where you have put them on the form, it would be illegal. Put schools in the order in which you want them, it is as simple as that; you will not be the loser for it. If you want a second opinion on this make a call to Kent County Council Admissions on 03000412121. I find them very helpful, but they are not allowed to go into certain areas relating to individual schools. 


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