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Wednesday, 11 October 2017 17:23

Kent Test Results 2017: Initial outcomes

I have initial information regarding the Medway Test posted here.

Kent Test results have now been published with the pass mark the same as last year. An automatic pass has again been awarded to candidates scoring 106 on each of the three sections - English; maths and reasoning – along with an aggregate score across the three sections of 320. This total will again be around 21% of the total age cohort across the county, with further details to follow as I receive them.

An additional number of children will have been found to be of grammar school standard through what is called the Headteacher Assessment, usually around 6% of the total. You will find full details of the whole Kent Test process here. Overall, these two processes last year yielded passes for 26% of Kent children in the age cohort.  

One important and welcome change is that KCC are now making individual test scores available to parents who registered online from 5 p.m., so there will no longer be the anxious wait or chasing up of primary schools for results of previous years.

As last year, I  shall be publishing a second article later when I receive more data from KCC. 

You will find initial figures released by KCC below, together with further information and ways I can support you. I find that the information articles on the website (RHS of this and every page) with links below, answer the majority of questions I receive. 

As usual there are hysterical and grossly misleading headlines in some online newspapers about the shortage of grammar school places, which have whipped up a torrent of unnecessary fears on some of the more neurotic online forums (often driven by out of county families). Although KCC cannot guarantee every Kent child who has passed, a place in a Kent grammar school (not necessarily of their choice), there have been no reported cases in recent years of Kent children not getting in who are looking for a place, although a few have had to go to appeal. Further thoughts below. 

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!

If you wish to contact me please read the information at the foot of the page and use the Contact Me Form together with all the information I request. If it is a simple question I will attempt to respond to it directly. 

There were 16,766 children registered for the Kent Test for admission to grammar school in September 2017 (15,253 in 2017), with 15,937 actually taking the Test (14,349 in 2016). Of these, 7,407 (6,537 in 2016) children passed the test, of whom 4,650 (4,369) were from Kent schools, and 2,145 (1,966) were from out of County.

Some 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 2017 For Admission in 2018
Kent Schools Out of County & Other
Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Total
Assessed Suitable
For Grammar
Admission 2018
     4650 2757  7407
Assessed Suitable
 for Grammar
Admission 2017
4369  1128
Assessed Suitable
 for Grammar
Admission 2016
2105 2177 4282 1025 940 1977 6259

Notes: (1) I don't yet have data for boys and girls differentiated for this year, but will include this as soon as it is available

        (2)  'Other' includes children who are home educated. 

        (3) Some totals do not add up, as late adjustments were made. 

Sources of Information and Advice
 For those unsure of their situation when it comes to allocation I offer various sources for free advice, but always speak to your primary headteacher who may have an objective view and knowledge of your local situation.

For information you will find Oversubscription and vacancies in Kent Grammar schools on allocation for Admission September 2018 provides considerable information on pressure of places, as does the series of pages on Individual Kent Secondary Schoolswhich 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 recent 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.

Text RTC Masthead

I have recently published an article on school appeals statistics for schools using the Kent Independent Appeals Service for entry in September 2017, and will shortly produce one for other Panels. 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 the latter for both non-selective and grammar schools.  

For those obsessed with individual Kent Test scores, there is a breakdown of the 2017 figures here

Out Of County Children
Only small proportion of  OOC children will take up places in Kent grammar schools, with last year just 454 of the 2165 qualified for a Kent grammar school taking up places, a considerable number of these left on the 546 waiting list places for the four Dartford grammar schools, and the 487 waiting list places for the six West Kent grammars. 
I suspect the overwhelming majority of the others will have had other preferences met, including the M25 tourists, whose poor children take grammar school tests all around the ring.
Pressure Points
Kent County Council gives the number of Grammar School places provided for September 2018 as 5060, up from 4,957 last year. However this figure is misleading as there are different ways of assessing it, temporary places having been stripped out, although most will remain, and some grammar schools increasing their intake further in response to demand. Last year, I counted a total of 5213 places available, with 5021 the previous year. Basically no one will know authoritatively until schools make final decisions in the months leading up to next March. You will find most of the individual school statistics for 2017 entry here.  However, an unknown proportion of grammar qualified Kent children will not take up places in Kent grammar schools this summer, many, especially in West Kent, opting for private, and others opting for grammar schools in other Authorities - 160 in 2017.
I anticipate as with last year, the number of Kent girls being found suitable for grammar school will be slightly higher than the number of boys, last year 25% boys to 26% girls, but in both cases all Kent children will be allocated a grammar school place, not necessarily of their choice.

The main pressure areas are West and North West Kent and Whitstable/Herne Bay. In West Kent all Kent 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 257 first choices last year (and rising year on year), and along with the girls rejecting local applicants whose pass scores were not high enough (disgracefully and contrary to promises made to the Schools Adjudicator when he approved their new arrangements). 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.

There may be an additional problem in Gravesham, where an additional 40 boys have qualified for grammar school. This could put pressure on applicants from outside the Borough, in the Longfield area. 

Whitstable/Herne Bay is also often difficult, with no local grammar school, and extensive building development in the area, some  boys having to settle for a grammar school in Thanet. However, the mixed Barton Court in Canterbury only just fills, now it has expanded to an intake of  150, although recent controversies surrounding Simon Langton Girls may heap additional pressure on BC. 

In other areas the situation can be fluid, and the 5231 places can expand further,  with 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 last year's abortive proposal to expand grammar school places (but has been happening for years without legislation and will no doubt continue), but the reality is that eight of the 32 Kent grammar schools had vacancies last March on allocation, spread across the county apart from the West and NW.

My Services
As you may know, I run a Telephone Consultation Service to respond to any further questions, uncertainties or problems you may have about school admissions or appeals.  The cost is just £55 for half an hour, and I ask you to provide all the information I request when you submit an enquiry, made easier as last year by the publication of scores for online Test entries. 
Whatever your situation, I wish you all the best in securing a place at the school of your choice. Last year in Kent, on allocation in March 80.5% of children were offered their first choice of school, and 96.3% one of their choices. Both those figures will have improved following re-allocation of places and appeal by the end of the summer. 
Last modified on Thursday, 11 October 2018 10:31


  • Comment Link Thursday, 09 November 2017 22:16 posted by Alex

    Can I change my mind about the first choice after submitting application? My son wants to go to Judd now rather than Norton Knatchbull but we have put Judd as the second choice due to transport. He scored 415 and should potentially get a place in Judd. PETER: Contact KCC admissions. The rules say no, but they can occasionally budge soon after application, with a good case. You have no rights in the matter I am afraid.

  • Comment Link Friday, 27 October 2017 00:01 posted by johnson

    Hi Peter, do you know how many questions children had to answer for each paper - Maths, English, VR and NVR in the 2017 Kent Test, thank you. PETER: Not something I take note of. Sorry

  • Comment Link Friday, 13 October 2017 12:07 posted by Ben

    Thanks for your note Peter. For OOC in Kent what are the grammar schools which are normally under-subscribed which we should look at apart from the ones who select students on Rank criteria ? PETER: Read the articles highlighted in my previous response below.

  • Comment Link Friday, 13 October 2017 07:56 posted by Ben

    Peter with respect to your below blog:
    The following schools will offer some or all of their places to the highest scoring applicants. You need to read the oversubscription criteria  to determine the rules:  Dartford Grammar School, Dartford Grammar School for Girls, Judd School, Maidstone Grammar School, Rainham Mark Grammar School, Rochester Grammar School (Girls), Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Skinners School, Tonbridge Grammar School (Girls). For some of these you will not know the pass mark before applying, although there is guidance elsewhere on this website (use the search engine). Depending on the school, the mark  may only be determined by the scores of those applying and will become public in March 2018 when decisions are announced.

    As a parent of a daughter, I've checked admission policies for Rainham Mark and Tonbridge Girls and they all don't have rank criteria. Its predominantly catchment and distance. PETER: Hello Ben, thanks for this. All this information is available: in my Information Article on the RHS of page, 'Admission to Kent Grammar Schools 2018'; in my Individual Schools Section; and in various other articles published throughout the year for those who seek it, most recently in 'Oversubscription and vacancies in Kent Grammar Schools on allocation for September 2017', but also in others by following the links. The clue as to priority in this article is in the title!

  • Comment Link Thursday, 12 October 2017 22:42 posted by Eni

    My son scored 381 and I live in Stratford. What is my chance of securing a place in Dartford Grammar School? PETER: As I make crystal clear in several parts of my website providing advice which I can only strongly recommend you read, I do not offer advice to out of county children. Sorry. Currently over half of my enquiries are of this nature

  • Comment Link Thursday, 12 October 2017 17:59 posted by Nicola Smith

    Hi - my son lives in Thanet. He got 106, 106 and 104 (in maths) and didn't pass. Do you think it would be worth doing a parents appeal. At present I don't know if there was a headteachers appeal. Kind regards
    Nicola Smith PETER as requested please let me know the school or schools you are looking. A different answer for either. Please use my contact me form at 'How can i help you' for requests of a specific nature, giving the information requested.

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