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Thursday, 19 October 2017 20:41

School Appeal Outcomes Across Kent and Medway 2017

This article looks at school admission appeals in Kent and Medway, building on a previous article about appeals heard by the Kent County Council Appeals Service, which should be read in conjunction with this one. It focuses on all appeals set up by schools themselves, either using a commercial or professional organisation, or else organised by the school itself.  

Overall, the proportions of appeals upheld by Kent grammar schools at 38% and non-selective schools, at 22%, are almost identical to the 2016 figures.

In Medway the percentage of appeals upheld in both sectors has fallen, although the grammar school figures are highly polarised with the two Chatham Grammars seeing 69% of appeals upheld between them. The other three grammars admitting girls saw just 7% of appeals upheld overall.  Just four Medway non-selective schools heard appeals with 19% successful.

For schools with their own appeal panels the lowest percentages of success for grammar schools were: Cranbrook (Year 7) 0%; Fort Pitt 5%; Rochester Grammar 7%; with Skinners and Tonbridge Grammar at 8%. Highest were: Harvey 89%; Oakwood Park 81%; Chatham Girls 76%; and Holcombe 64%.

For non-selective schools, lowest were Bennett Memorial 3%; and Brompton Academy 9%. Highest: Howard School 73%; St Gregory’s Catholic 64%; and Sandwich Technology 60%.

Whilst many schools will tend to see similar patterns year on year, circumstances for individual schools can change sharply, with some examples below. To find my general appeal information and advice for Kent Grammars, Medway Grammars, and oversubscription for grammars and non-selectives follow the links.  

Further details below, including primary appeals heard by Local Authority Panels....

Most Kent secondary schools are Academies, Foundation or Voluntary Aided schools, with the right to choose their Appeal Panel provider. For the past few years the secondary school split has been roughly equal between Panels provided by KCC and other providers. I am currently updating the information I provide on individual secondary schools in Kent and Medway but, because of pressure on time, several pages are out of date. You will find historical appeal data on these pages and I am happy to update appeal data if requested and available. The article on all appeal outcomes in 2016 is here. I don't collect details of Reception appeals for the small number of individual primary schools, that organise their own appeals, as success rates are likely to be equally low. 

Kent & Medway School Appeals 2017
  Number of Schools Heard  Upheld 
Grammar   32  1647 629 1035  38%
Non-Selective 25  539  119  420  22%
Infant/Primary Breach  173  196  1  195  1%
Infant'Primary (other)  16  30  10  20  33%
Junior  6  8  5  3  63%
Grammar 6 332 93 236  28%
Non-Selective  4


 25  110  19%
 Infant/Primary  9  31  1  30  3%
 Junior  1  1  0  1  0
Grammar School Appeals
As distinct from County Panel schools covered in my previous article, there is no pattern of appeal success in an area (notably Dartford), nor are there any girls’ schools with high percentages of appeals upheld, except Chatham Grammar Girls and Simon Langton Girls. 

Cranbrook School admitted 30 children at age 11 for the first time, alongside its normal 13 plus entry, reduced in numbers from three to two forms of entry. There were no successful appeals at 11 plus, perhaps partly because with just one form entry there is little flexibility. At 13 plus, two of the five appeals were upheld, all for pupils who had been found selective by the Cranbrook Test.

In 2016, The Harvey Grammar, Folkestone, upheld just five out of 41 appeals. It was able to add an extra form for 2017, when 32 out of 36 appeals were successful! Folkestone School for Girls has travelled in the opposite direction with a change of Appeal Panel Organiser, which will have offered a more professional approach. For 2016 54% of the 26 appeals were upheld, for 2017, it fell to 28% of 29 appeals.

At Queen Elizabeth’s Faversham, 22 appellants had passed the Kent Test. Just five of these were offered places out of the 18 appeals upheld.

As normal, Simon Langton Grammar Boys offered eight places on appeal; all to boys who had passed the Kent Test. 

The KCC Appeal Panel for Simon Langton Grammar School for Girls was remarkably generous awarding 36 successful appeals out of 48. I have a copy of the scores of the successful 2017 appellants and it clear that some with very low scores were fortunate. One had an aggregate score of 278 and no individual test score of 100 or more (100 being the score of an average child, and a minimum of 106 expected in all three subjects); another seven with two scores of less than 100. Seven took a test set by the school, which is not in the formal procedures. I cannot think of another grammar school in Kent that would admit numbers of children with scores as low as this; such successes requiring very exceptional circumstances. This casts serious doubt on both the credibility of the school and of the appeal panel which approved such large numbers.  

For Tonbridge Grammar all four successful appeals were from the 51 appellants who were grammar qualified.

At Tunbridge Wells Girls, three of the four successful appeals were from the six girls who were grammar qualified. The other one will have been an exceptional case. 

In Medway, at Holcombe Grammar 25 of the 30 successful appeals were for Medway boys. At three of the other grammars, all those appeals upheld were from children who had passed the Medway Test: Fort Pitt, all three were from the 36 appellants who had passed the Medway Test; Rainham Mark, all 6 from the 49 grammar qualified; Rochester Grammar, all five from the 67 girls who had passed. These three have had a similar pattern for some years. 

Non-Selective Schools
Nearly all non-selective schools organise appeals after grammar appeal outcomes are known, as these free up spaces and in some cases remove the need for an appeal panel completely.

As a result, just ten non selective schools organised their own appeals across Kent and Medway, with a very low figure of 21% of appeals upheld.

All the Leigh Academy Trust schools in Dartford offered additional places in March, so there was no need for appeals at any of their four schools.

Apart from the three schools named in the introduction, all schools saw below the 21% average success rate!

Both Knole Academy and Rainham School for Girls which normally hold appeals were able to accommodate all pupils who persevered with their applications, without holding appeals.

The other five schools that held appeals were: Charles Dickens; Fulston Manor; Ursuline College; Strood Academy; and Thomas Aveling.

Primary School Appeals
This year’s data underlines the difficulty of winning a Primary School Appeal where Infant Class Legislation applies. Across Kent, there was just one successful appeal out of 196 appeals, in Medway one out of 31. You will find an explanation of the reasons for this here. A few other schools, together with Junior Schools are not subject to this constraint and, with the low numbers involved, success is much more likely if you have a good case.
Last modified on Wednesday, 17 October 2018 18:12

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