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Friday, 29 March 2019 17:47

Oversubscription and Vacancies in Kent Grammar Schools on Allocation for 2019


You will find the parallel article looking at Kent Non-selective schools here. Medway Schools to follow. Please note that the two articles on secondary school allocation in Kent had over 27,000 hits last year, being the two longest and most popular I publish. If there are corrections to be made, or you would like any section expanded or clarified, please let me know. 

The number of Kent grammar school places available for Year 7 pupils has risen by just 20 overall since last year, to 5469, with a total increase of 535 over the past five years.  The biggest change is an increase of 30 places at Simon Langton Boys to 150, although its popularity has dropped sharply. There are currently 217 empty spaces for September (up from 184 in 2018), in ten grammar schools including three of the four Maidstone grammars.

(Most figures in this paragraph are approximate, see below): 417 of the 5252 Kent grammar school places offered, or 8% (down from 9% in 2018) of the total, went to pupils from outside of the county (ooc), with  223 pupils going to out of county grammars, mainly in Medway. 147 pupils coming in were offered places at the two Dartford Grammar schools. As a result, the pressure on places at these two schools continues to rise inexorably along with the two Wilmington grammars, led by Dartford Grammar School with a record 476 grammar qualified first choices for its 180 places, up from 460 in 2018.  The next most popular schools were unsurprisingly Dartford Girls, The Judd School, and Tonbridge Grammar.

dgs        dggs 2

As far as I am aware there is just one black spot for grammar school applications, North West Kent, especially around Swanscombe and Greenhithe, where a number of grammar qualified children have been offered no grammar school place, although most applied for two or three of the local schools.

I look at the outcomes below in more detail, including levels of oversubscription and vacancies together with a look at each school individually. I have also included a new measure which is the change in popularity, throwing up some interesting trends.

One problem I have is that KCC has introduced a new set of rules for data publication that redacts information relating to small numbers, although I consider there is no danger that individuals can be identified, as is claimed. As a result, I am delaying the updating of Individual School Information until I can obtain this information fro all schools, although there is still much reported on each, including the number of first choices for 2019. 

You will find an initial article on allocation here, that also provides cut off scores for the super selective schools, and also the 2018 equivalent article hereYou will also find further information on each secondary school here,  the pages currently being updated. Please let me know of any you wish to be brought up to date. 

Please note that all statistics in this page refer to grammar qualified children, both via the Kent Test and also through local Tests available through six grammar schools as explained below. I am sorry that my full analysis of Kent Test results has been delayed this year, but I hope to publish it soon.  

I am using a different measure to my usual one this year, because of the KCC redaction. It simply compares the number of first choices to the number of places available, but still produces the same first four schools as in 2018. I hope to update this article as and when I receive the full data. 
The most oversubscribed school by grammar qualified first choices is once again Dartford Grammar turning away 296 boys. With  the school topping this list for some year, the overwhelming majority of  the disappointed boys stand no chance off the waiting list or at appeal.
Immediately below is full list of those schools oversubscribed with more than ten first choices (grammar qualified) than places. This pattern will change a little following re-allocation in coming months, and successful appeals can change the picture significantly, as schools admit additional pupils, in some cases drawing them from other grammars. However, it is clear that for the large majority of these schools, few appeals are successful. 
The change of oversubscription criteria for Skinners has produced a very unclear picture. I look at this in more detail below
Dartford 180 296  80 129 4
Dartford Girls  180  199  67  71 2
Judd 180  150 17 39 10
Tonbridge  180 105  30  47 2
Skinners 160 74 18 48 6
Queen Elizabeth's 140 34 0 34 15
Dane Court 165 30 0 56 6
Wilmington Boys 150 26 25 121 5
Dover Girls 140 17 0 21 10
Harvey 150 13 0 42 4
Cranbrook  60 12 5 16 2
Folkestone Girls 180 10  0 35 9
Note *  ooc - Out of County You will find the comparative data for 2018 admission here
There were just ten grammar schools with vacancies on allocation, so all appeals at these schools will be from children with a non-selective decision after the Kent Test procedure. The total number of vacancies at this stage is 217 places unfilled, (184 in 2018). Most of these will vanish after appeals and late applications.
Three quarters of the vacancies are from five of the six grammar schools in Maidstone and Ashford (Maidstone Grammar is oversubscribed). 
Maidstone Girls 180 58 91 45
Oakwood Park 160 41 89 68
Norton Knatchbull 210 40 66 46
Highworth 210 21 56 23
Borden 120  16 37 15
Dover  Boys 150  12 16 2
Highsted 150 12 18 13
Simon Langton Girls 165 8 455 29
Barton Court 150 5 74 7
Invicta  240 64  49

 Please note that whilst the 2018 appeal pattern may be a guide to the 2019 outcomes, there are often considerable swings from year to year. One very rough guide may be the number of places offered for Individual Schools for 2019, compared with 2018 (both on the same page).  

Dartford Girls +79 Tunbridge Wells Boys -49
Skinners +54 Tunbridge Wells Girls -46
Judd +30 Simon Langton Boys -37
Norton Knatchbull +28 Oakwood Park -25
Wilmington Boys +26 Maidstone Girls -25
To find details of Individual Schools in:
North West Kent - go to Page 3
West Kent - go to Page 4
Maidstone and Ashford - go to Page 5
Folkestone and Dover - go to Page 6
East Kent - go to Page 7
Individual School Survey Below:
I have quoted the number of first choices offered places at each school below, where there were no children with Education Health Care Plans offered places (where there are EHCPs, Kent County Council has redacted information).. 

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Last modified on Thursday, 06 June 2019 06:38


  • Comment Link Tuesday, 04 June 2019 11:49 posted by BH

    Did you hear that the Panel for Skinners' upheld 5 out of 74 appeals, meaning class sizes of 33 boys per class from September 2019? Very unexpected! PETER: In all West Kent schools there is leakage to the private sector, so the numbers will certainly be lower than this, as additional pupils cannot now be added except by late appeals. Surely, totally EXPECTED, given past performance as can be seen here:

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 15 May 2019 17:07 posted by BH

    Just re-reading your Skinners' appeals notes. If, for argument's sake, the school was asked by the Panel to take an extra bulge class, would the children on the waiting list ranked 1-32 take priority for these spaces? Or would the Panel choose those children most deserving amongst those appealing? Or some combination of both? PETER: The Waiting List only kicks in when the number of accepted offers falls to the original PAN after the successful appeals have been offered. It is entirely up to the Appeal Panel how many they put through directly and how many, if any they choose to place on the waiting list.

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