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Friday, 27 March 2020 19:27

Oversubscription & Vacancies Kent Grammar Schools 2020


West Kent
This section looks at local grammar schools, but you will find a fuller profile on each school in the Individual  Schools Section of the website. This includes historical patterns of applications, appeals, academic progress and Ofsted records for each school separately. There is an analysis of 2019 Appeals here, and links to various other relevant articles on the front page. I am conscious that many browsers will be looking for information and advice on school appeals, and my specific article on Coronavirus and Appeals is here. At the time of writing, there is no further information on what the procedure will look like. The equivalent 2019 page is here     
Decisions by Judd and Skinners schools to give priority for most of their places to local West Kent boys have seen the number of ooc offers at these two schools fall from 64 in 2017 to 38 this year.  

The super selective Judd School has kept its position as the most oversubscribed West Kent grammar with 327 first choices for its intake of 180 boys, of which 160 were offered places. Clearly the decision to give priority to local boys in 2018  continues to prove very popular, with just 17 boys from out of county, the same figure as in 2019.  The Inner residential area cut off score rose to 385 up from 376 (down to 373 after re-allocation), with outers reaching the stratospheric requirement of 407, also up from 402, the maximum available being 421. In  part the higher required scores are because of the increase in the aggregate pass score from 321 to 330.

The second year of the new Skinners admission criteria brought their own shock to many parents, as the main criterion for boys in the priority area as living nearest with a score of 360 saw the distance limit shrink from 10.099 miles to 3.294. This cuts out most of those living in Tonbridge as well as all of Sevenoaks and District. I have already looked at the reasons for this in some detail here. The school is once again fourth most oversubscribed in Kent, turning away 148 first choices for its 160 places. Only four out of 56 appeals upheld in 2019.

The recent expansions at Judd and Skinners, both attracting many more first choices, have hit Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys with just 81 first choices for its 210 places, but still turning 17 of these away. As a result it has cut back to PAN from the 240 places it has offered for the two previous years. There was a cut off distance of 14.9 miles for boys living in the named parishes, up from 13.38 miles last year. This is at the very furthest extent of the named parishes, all in Kent, to the north of Badgers Mount. However it still excludes boys living much closer in Kent outside these parishes, for example at Matfield, less than five miles away. There were fewer than five ooc boys offered places, probably siblings. There will be plenty of grammar qualified second choices who also failed to get in to one of the super selectives who will have appealed, so it is quite likely that, the school will go back to admitting up to 240 boys through the appeals. Preparations for a new annexe for TWGSB in Sevenoaks are advanced, which will also ease pressure on the Dartford grammar schools. There is some turnover, less than in previous years according to the 2019 census, caused by pupils being pulled out of West Kent grammars for private schools accompanied by a trading up to the super selectives. 

Even with Weald of Kent Grammar School’s expansion to 295 places through its Sevenoaks Annexe, now in its fourth year, it is still oversubscribed by 27 first choices, although it has the largest ooc intake in West Kent, offering 55 places to girls in Bromley and East Sussex.  

Tonbridge Grammar School also gives a priority to high scoring girls, with an aggregate of 380 for those in the Inner area (Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks addresses), up from 371, and 399 for outers (up from 393). A very high 176 places went to first choices out of 180 offered, the highest proportion of any oversubscribed grammar school in Kent. That still leaves 105 first choices who were unsuccessful, fifth highest number in the county. Just 29 ooc places offered so some of the 35 outers will have come from further away in Kent. There were just 4 successful appeals for places out of 30 in 2019.

Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar saw a sharp fall in first choices for some reason last year, but this is back up to 144 for its 145 places in 2020, with 29 first choices being turned away. Apart from 2019 when there were eight successful appeals, the Independent Appeal Panel had consistently upheld six for some years, the large majority being girls who had qualified for grammar school. 

Last modified on Thursday, 25 March 2021 12:46


  • Comment Link Friday, 03 April 2020 04:52 posted by Very Angry Parent

    What a shambles. This shows for all to see that Thanet really is at the end of the pier as far as anyone in Kent cares. How stupid can the local headteachers panel be to label so many children grammar school standard when there are no grammar schools to receive them. Take Hartsdown and Royal Harbour away from the inept Coastal Trust and give them to Swale Academies Trust to sort out. There will be blood on the table but our children must come first.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 02 April 2020 23:19 posted by Angry parent

    As a St Nicholas at Wade parent whose child passed the Kent Test with flying colours I still don't know how to explain to them why they are going to Hartsdown, fourth lowest performing school in the country. I thought an 11+ pass guaranteed a grammar school place. PETER: I am afraid it doesn't. KCC has a responsibility to provide sufficient appropriate school places, but this is not an obligation. I am so sorry for you and all the others in the same boat, but have no solution I am afraid. Nothing to stop you going to appeal, but don't hold your breathe.

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