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Friday, 29 March 2019 17:47

Oversubscription and Vacancies in Kent Grammar Schools on Allocation for 2019


West Kent
The super selective Judd School has regained its position as the most oversubscribed West Kent grammar with 330 first choices for its intake of 180 boys. Clearly the decision to give priority to local boys in 2018  has proved very popular, with just 17 boys from out of county.  The Inner residential area cut off score rose to 376 up from 364 (dound to 373 after re-allocation), with outers reaching the stratospheric requirement of 402, also up from 395. 
I look at the foot of this section at the Byzantine and controversial complications of the new Skinners School admission criteria, which has certainly produced a more local intake with just 18 boys being offered places from outside Kent, against 53 in 2018. These saw 112 boys who put the school as first choice being offered places, amongst the 160 offers. It is likely that the 44 second choices offered will have placed the school behind Judd or St Olave's in Bromley.  Update on Skinners' School Appeals: In spite of the new Admission criteria, I anticipated there would be around five successful appeals as in previous years. I now have it confirmed that there were five!
The recent expansions at Judd and Skinners, both attracting many more first choices, have hit Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys with just 77 first choices, although it still expanded its set intake of 210 to make 240 offers. This included 23 boys mainly from Bromley and East Sussex.  This means that  263 boys who placed it second or third, presumably behind one or both of the two super selectives have been offered places, with no more than four Local Authority Allocations of grammar qualified Kent boys being offered places with no school of their choice.  My Individual School Information for TWGSB confirms the high turnover of grammar places in West Kent with the school filling on allocation, a large number of successful appeals and still starting the new school year at around capacity. Much of the turnover is caused by pupils being pulled out of West Kent grammars for private schools accompanied by a trading up to the super selectives. 
The second year of the new annexe of Weald of Kent Grammar at Sevenoaks has also seen the school expand by a further 30 places to offer places to 295 girls. There were 262 first choices, of which 235 were offered places, those being unsuccessful were probably out of county. Tonbridge Grammar School gives a priority to high scorers, with an aggregate of 371 for those in the Inner area (up from 369)  and 393 for outers (down slightly from 394). A very high 174 places went to first choices out of 180 offered, the highest proportion of any grammar in West or NW Kent. That still leaves 11 first choices who were unsuccessful. Surprisingly loses 20% of Year 11 after GCSE, perhaps because they don't like Baccalaureate instead of A Levels.  
Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar has seen a sharp fall in first choices this year, down to 114 from 160 in 2018 for its 145 places. This means that most appeals unusually are likely to be from girls who have not passed the Kent Test. 
The Skinners School
The Skinners School, Tunbridge Wells, along with The Judd School, both run by the Skinners Company, a London Livery Company, has changed its Admissions Policy for 2019 entry, to widen its previous super selective policy of offering all places after those set aside for Looked After Children (as required by law) to those applicants with the highest aggregate scores. It has moved to a policy of giving priority to local boys who achieve a benchmark aggregate score of  360 or more in the Kent Test, not dissimilar to those at Maidstone and Simon Langton Boys' grammar schools. This has produced considerable controversy as many families of high scoring boys who would have expected places, especially some who wrongly believed the school when it wrote on its website, 'The qualifying score is virtually the same as before so we expect all in that area getting 360 in the Kent test to get into the school'. I explore the issues in more detail here, including a look at my assessment of the appeal situation. 

Last modified on Monday, 30 March 2020 19:39


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