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Wednesday, 15 April 2020 19:39

Kent and Medway Primary Allocations 2020: Initial News and Comment

There is good news for most Kent families applying for reception class places in primary schools this year although, with 88.3% of families offered their first choice school, this is the lowest proportion since 2016.  However, 97.4% of families have been offered one of their three choices, coincidentally the same percentage as in 2019 and 2017. Sadly, that still leaves 457 children with no school of their choice. Altogether, the number of Kent pupils offered places through the scheme is 17,411, up by 125, but less than 1% on the 2019 figure. These details are contained in the Press Release

In Medway, more than 88% of children have again been offered their first choice school, with 97.9% being offered a school on their application form, both figures similar to 2019. 74 children were offered no school of their choice, again, almost the same as in 2019, when there were 75. In total there was an increase of 78 pupils offered places from 2019,   with a total of 3491. Most of these details are contained in the Press Release

This year is of course very different from any other because of Coronavirus, with all schools currently closed.  As a result you will probably not be able to contact them directly to raise concerns over admissions. Nevertheless,  you should still accept the school you have been offered. It can do you no damage if you then pursue places elsewhere. Then follow as normal the advice below on what to do if you have not received a school or any school of your choice and wish to be reconsidered at one or more of these. 

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, I am afraid that chances of success are negligible. 

I am waiting for detailed oversubscription and vacancy figures at both Reception and Junior School level to be sent, and will publish these as soon as possible, probably into May. You may find the equivalent picture for 2019 allocations helpful, as it conducts a detailed survey of the issues in each of Kent's 16 Districts. It is, year on year, the largest article on the website and one of the most read. 

 
Kent Primary Schools: allocation of Kent children to Reception Classes April 2020
Offers to Kent Pupils 2020 2019 2018 2017
 
No of
pupils
%
No of
pupils
%
No of
pupils
%
No of
pupils
%

 Offered a school on the application form

16954 97.4% 16839 97.4%  16843 97.7% 16855 97.4%

Offered a first preference

15372 88.3% 15540 89.4% 15426 89.5%  15429 89.0%
Offered a second preference 1192 6.9% 1057 6.1% 1093 6.3% 1077 6.2%
Offered a third preference 390 2.2% 332 1.9% 324  1.9%  379 2.2%
Allocated by local authority 457 2.6% 447 2.6% 390  2.3%  444 2.6%
Total number of offers 17411 17286 17233 17329  
 
 
Medway Primary Schools: allocation of Medway children to Reception Classes April 2020
Offers to Medway Pupils 2020 2019  2018 2017
2018 figures to follow.   No of
pupils
 %  No of
pupils
 %  No of
pupils
 %
No of
pupils
%

 Offered a school on the appln form

3417 97.9% 3338* 97.8%*  3167  97.6%  3245 97.4%

Offered a first preference

>3072 >88%* 3035  89.0% 2888 89.1%  2978 89.4%
Offered a second preference      228  6.7% 220 6.7%   209 6.3%
Offered a third preference      59  1.7% 48  1.4%   49 1.5%
Offered a fourth preference      16 0.5%  10  0.3%   7  0.1%
Allocated by Council 74 2.1% 75 2.2%* 79 2.4%  85 2.6%
Total number of offers 3491 3413   3246  3330

 * From Press Release. Medway Council has decided to provide a figure for the proportion of children offered one of their first three preferences, rather than for all six preferences as in previous years. I will fill this table in when I have full data. 

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 10th 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. 

Medway Council Advice on Returning Documentation during Coronavirus Emergency

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic parents are advised to return any forms they need to complete, to accept or refuse their child’s offer, by email rather than visiting the school to hand them in.

If a family would like to appeal their child’s school place the appeal form should be emailed to the school, or to Medway (Kent County) Council, if the school is maintained by the local authority. There is a link in each child’s admissions offer email to the next steps guide which advises parents and carers where to return the forms. If a family decides to place their child on a waiting list for a school place forms should be returned to admissions@medway.gov.uk (or kentonlineadmissions@kent.gov.uk).


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 2019
School
Appeals
Submitted
Appeals
Heard
Upheld
Not
Upheld
Place
Offered/Withdrawn
Kent Reception
Infant Legislation
246 161 2 159 74
Kent Reception
other
6 6 5 1 0
Kent Junior (2017) 8 8 5 3 0
Medway Reception 57   32  1  16 15

Notes(1) The Medway Reception data is made up from Appeals heard for all maintained schools by Medway Council together with those from some academies by Kent County Council 

(2) The latest Junior figures I have

(3) Medway Reception Figures are from Appeals heard through Medway Council and at Academies held through KCC

Last modified on Sunday, 19 April 2020 13:32

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