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Tuesday, 16 April 2019 10:04

Kent and Medway Primary Allocations 2019: Initial News and Comment

Update: Now with news of record outcome for Medway Reception Year Allocations (5 p.m. Tuesday)

Good news for most Kent families applying for reception class places in primary schools as the outcome figures are very close to the record 2018 placements. 89.4% of families have been offered their first choice school, against 89.5% in 2018. The total number of allocations to Kent pupils is up by 53 to 17,286, whilst the number of children with no school of their choice is up by 57 to 2.6%.

For Medway, the very brief press release is identical to that of 2018, except for four numbers, just three of which are relevant, quoted below. A great pity, as with a little bit of effort the Council could have been proud of its delivery of a record proportion of pupils being offered one of the schools on their application form, at more than 85%. Update: Subsequent data shows the press release is incorrect. See below. 

I am waiting for detailed oversubscription and vacancy figures at both Reception and Junior School level to be sent, both for Kent and Medway and will publish these as soon as possible, probably into May. You may find the equivalent picture for 2018 allocations helpful, as it conducts a detailed survey of the issues in each of Kent's 16 Districts (my  definition, more local than the official 12!).

You will find advice below on what to do if you have not received a school of your choice, together with a breakdown of offers for both Kent and Medway over the past four years. 

You will also find information and advice on appeals below and  here. In summary, if your school is one of the overwhelming majority where Infant Class Legislation applies, chances are negligible. 

Kent Primary Schools: allocation of Kent children to Reception Classes April 2019
Offers to Kent Pupils 2019 2018 2017 2016
No of
No of
No of
No of

 Offered a school on the application form

16839 97.4%  16843 97.7% 16855 97.4%



Offered a first preference

15540 89.4% 15426 89.5%  15429 89.0%


Offered a second preference 1057 6.1% 1093 6.3% 1077 6.2% 1229 6.8%
Offered a third preference 332 1.9% 324  1.9%  379 2.2% 466 2.58%
Allocated by local authority 447 2.6% 390  2.3%  444 2.6% 606 3.4%
Total number of offers 17286 17233 17329   18006

The numbers in the table below are not always consistent as data provided by Medway Council is not always easy to understand. Quoted percentages are not always accurate - with 'just under's/overs" often proving misleading.

Medway Primary Schools: allocation of Medway children to Reception Classes April 2019
Offers to Medway Pupils 2019  2018 2017 2016
2018 figures to follow.   No of
%  No of
No of
No of

 Offered a school on the appln form

3338* 97.8%*  3167  97.6%  3245 97.4% 3360 96.2%

Offered a first preference

3035  89.0% 2888 89.1%  2978 89.4% 3039 87.1%
Offered a second preference  228  6.7% 220 6.7%   209 6.3% 220 6.3%
Offered a third preference  59  1.7% 48  1.4%   49 1.5% 61 1.8%
Offered a fourth preference  16 0.5%  10  0.3%   7  0.1% 27 0.8%
Allocated by Council 75 2.2%* 79 2.4%  85 2.6% 134 4.0%
Total number of offers 3413   3246  3330 3490

* Revised data following fuller information.  Previous deduction based on Press Release clues of 'More than 98 per cent of children have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools' is clearly incorrect 

The third figure provided is that 112 children from outside Medway were provided places in Medway schools. 

Further data to come when my FOI  for Medway Allocations is responded to.  

Not offered the school of your choice?

My normal initial advice still applies. Do not panic and take possibly rash decisions. There is nothing you can do for the good immediately, as you have to work through the laid down processes, and you can undermine your prospects by taking a wrong action.
You have the right to go on the waiting list for, and appeal for any school on your application form, where you have not been offered a place. You also have the right to make a late application in Kent to any school that was not on your original list, on or after 12th June, when the first reallocation of vacant places takes place to children already on the waiting list. You should use the KCC In Year Application Form and send it directly to all schools you are interested in as you choose, that were not on your application list. You are not restricted to just one school at a time. KCC will tell you which local schools still have vacancies on the day you enquire. This will not damage your chances at any school for which you are on the waiting list. If you are appealing and are offered a place at one of these schools in advance it may be taken into account. However, with the very low chances of success at appeal (see below), this is a risk worth taking.  

A large  number of children are offered places off waiting lists, most setting off a ‘churning process’ freeing up other places. You have nothing to lose from going on the waiting list for as many schools as you  wish. Sadly, chances of success at appeal are negligible in nearly all cases, as explained below. 

Primary School Appeals
Most Reception Class Appeals are governed by what is called Infant Class Legislation. Quite simply, you will not win an Infant Class Appeal if there are classes of 30 children in the Infant section, unless you have one of a few rare exceptional circumstances. Schools with intakes of, for example, 15, 20 or 45 children will run mixed age classes of 30, so fit the legislation. A few schools have an intake with a different number, especially some small rural schools in East Kent where this does not apply.  With Infant Class Legislation in place, there was just  one successful Reception Appeals in Kent out of 272 submitted, in Medway one out of 60. I also include columns recording places offered off waiting lists before appeals are heard, and the number of appeals withdrawn before the appeal was heard for other reasons.This table is for appeal Panels organised by KCC and Medway Council. A small number of primary appeals are managed by other organisations. You will find historical information here.
Kent and Medway Primary School Appeals 2018
Kent Reception
Infant Legislation
254 181 2 197 21 52
Kent Reception
11 11 8 3 0 0
Kent Junior (2017) 8 8 5 3 0 0
Medway Reception 63 41 2 39 14 8

You will find two personal commentaries on Medway admissions here and appeals here.

Last modified on Thursday, 16 April 2020 18:55

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