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Friday, 29 March 2019 17:47

Oversubscription and Vacancies in Kent Grammar Schools on Allocation for 2019


 North West Kent
The ever increasing popularity of the super selective Dartford Grammar is driven by its easy access from SE London, cutting out large numbers of local boys who failed to achieve the ‘inner’ required aggregate score of 369 against a Kent Test pass level of 320, and well above 2017’s 340 and 2018's 358. For those outside the tight local area it is 391 (up from 384). 80 of the school’s 180 places went to high scoring out of county boys -just short of half the 180 places available. 64 of these came from Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham. Chances of success at appeal for Dartford Grammar are again likely to be very low, with just four successful appeals last year. That very high number of first choices turned down suggests there will be little movement on the waiting list. A total of ? (to come) applicants for the school were not offered places. This is echoed by the situation at Dartford Grammar Girls (see below). Some years ago, when the two schools changed their admission criteria and were challenged with complaints to the Schools Adjudicator, both assured him that local children would not be disadvantaged. This assurance was self-evidently false. There appears no appetite at either school to expand and dilute their elite status. 
The knock on effect of this drive for exclusivity follows right along the Thames coast to Chatham, as boys are displaced locally.  Some boys, especially those living in the Ebbsfleet area, have not been able to access any local grammar school and have given places in the non-selective and unpopular  Ebbsfleet Academy
Wilmington Grammar Boys has given priority to local boys for several years, and saw 26 more first choices than places this year, a steadily rising number, again generated from London, but also again this year seeing some boys from local villages losing out. It is often placed second to Dartford Grammar which explains why just 75 of the 176 first choices were offered places, along with 73 second choices. It also gives a priority to siblings and siblings of pupils at Wilmington Girls, partly explaining why 25 ooc boys are still being offered places at the school.
Gravesend Grammar has kept its PAN at 174 having increased it from the 150 of 2017 following another large number of local boys who passed the Kent Test, but unlike 2018 looks as if all from Hartley/New Ash Green have been offered. 151 of the 167 first choices were offered places, along with 18 second choices. Has turned away boys from Swanscombe/Greenhithe, who will no doubt be appealing, Fewer than five from London,  most of will be siblings of boys already at the school.
The knock on effect of oversubscription in the three boys grammars has travelled Eastwards with Holcombe Grammar in Chatham offering 48 places to boys from Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich, and another 19 to Kent boys. 
The pattern for the girls’ grammars is very similar but far less severe, Dartford Girls having started chasing London pupils a few years ago. The school has seen the largest increase in first choices of any grammar school in the county. Required aggregate scores have risen again, with local girls (from a wider area than the boys school) being required to score at least 359 (up from 341 in 2018), with outers 385 (as in 2018). There were 379 first choices of which 149 were offered places, 17 to second choices and 8 thirds.  Wilmington Girls changed three years ago to give priority mainly to local girls and has seen a sharp fall in the number of London siblings working through from previous years to 29. There were 148 first choices for 150 places, of which 75 were offered places, along with 66 second choices.  Lost a third of its Year 11 pupils before entry to Sixth Form in 2018. Mayfield Grammar in Gravesend also admits girls through its own Test, with 33 being offered places who did not pass the Kent Test, up from the 21 of 2018 (see Table below). 167 first choices for its 180 places, of which 128 were offered places, along with 16 second choices. The intake number increased in 2017 from 145 to the current 180.

Last modified on Monday, 30 March 2020 19:39


  • 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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