Data provided by Kent County Council shows that direct expenditure to provide facilities for out of county candidates for the Kent Test was approximately £100,000 for admission in September 2018. This works out at approximately £200 for each pupil offered a place.
In addition, there was a large but unquantifiable sum for KCC officer time at an extremely busy time as they oversee the Kent Test process across the county. The additional demands include managing the process of organising the 4832 out of county applicants across the 38 additional centres set up for testing these candidates, and responding to the issues and queries many of these applicants inevitably incur.
All this to produce 465 offers of places, less than one in ten of those who applied. Some of these would not in any case have been taken up as some families received more favourable offers, perhaps closer to their homes.
For the overwhelming majority of candidates who attend Kent schools, the Test is set in their own school, at no additional cost to the Authority.
This article is a continuation of a previous one entitled Kent Test: Out of County Applications looking at the more general issues.
I don’t have any data for the 1063 Medway Test out of county candidates, just 185 of whom were offered places, but it is reasonable to assume it is of the same order.
In my view this is an unfair charge on the home Local Authorities of Kent and Medway, but can see no way in which these costs can be recovered.