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Tuesday, 28 April 2020 20:12

Oversubscription and Vacancies Medway Primary Schools: 2020


Overall, there has been little change in Medway primary school admission data since my 2019 article, with an extra 94 children offered local schools bringing the total to 3447, and 45 additional places created.  The proportion of Medway children offered one of their choices in a Medway primary school has remained at 97.4%, coincidentally the same percentage as two out of the last three years. Overall, 12% of places are unfilled, down from 13% in 2019.  

Cliffe Woods Primary has shot up in popularity to become the most oversubscribed school, turning away 50 first choices, edging out last year's leader Barnsole Primary with 49 disappointed first choices. They are followed at some distance by the Academy of Woodlands and All Saints CofE. Barnsole, along with Swingate are the only two of the ten most oversubscribed schools to feature in each of the past three years.  There are eight schools with 15 or more first choices turned away (down from 10 last year), spread across the Authority, and listed in the table below. The most remarkable difference is for St Margaret's Infant School in Rainham, which has turned away 24 first choices for this September, but did not quite fill in 2019.

 Cliffe Woods       Barnsole  St Margarets Infant


 I have explored the changes at Greenvale Infant School and Phoenix Junior Academy below , as they have both become all through primary schools, giving an increase between them of 15 places for September. In Chatham, Walderslade and Wayfield primaries have seen their intake double from 30 to 60 places, Two other schools have minor changes in their intakes.  

I look more closely at each Medway area separately, below, links as follows: Chatham; Gillingham; Hoo Peninsula; Rainham; Rochester; Strood, together with the situation for Junior Schools, here 

If there are sections or individual school details that need amplification, please let me know…….

You will find the equivalent article and data for 2019 here; a preliminary article here; the parallel Kent article for 2019 here (awaiting data for 2020); and Key Stage Two performance data here.  There is a survey of Kent and Medway Primary Ofsted Inspections here, and one on KS2 performance here.   

Eight schools have over a third of their places empty, the same as in 2019, headed this year by St John's CE Infants and Delce Academy (see below) both with 57%. Delce, Elaine Primary, Allhallows and Twydall have each been in the same situation for each of the past three years, which must be putting them under considerable financial pressure.

 Altogether 39 schools, well over half of the total of 69 primary schools have vacancies in their Reception classes, so plenty of spare capacity around. However, 74 Medway children were offered none of their choices (one fewer than in 2019) and have been allocated to other schools with vacancies by Medway Council, spread out across 18 schools, with 58  allocated to schools  in Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester where there are local pressures. 

Most Oversubscribed Primary Schools in Medway 2020
Not Offered
First Not
%  No
Cliffe Woods (H) 60 50 19 46%
Barnsole (G) 90 49  63 36%
Academy of Woodlands (G) 90 27 18 24%
All Saints CofE (C) 45 26 7 37%
Pilgrim (Ro) 30 24 27 56%
Horsted Infants(C) 60 24 39 30%
St Margaret's Infants (Ra) 90 24  0 21%
Swingate (C) 90 24  35 21%

Note: The letter after the name of each school in the table above indicates the Medway area in which it is situated.

The abbreviation LAA (Local Authority Allocation) in the sections below refers to a child placed by Medway Council at a school they have not applied to, as all their own choices are full. PAN refers to the Published Admission Number of the school.

I would encourage parents to apply to go on the waiting list for any of their preferences that have not been offered, as there will be movement over the next four months. This is your best chance of getting a school of your choice, as chances at appeal are generally very low because of Infant Class Legislation. For 2019 entry, of 53 Primary appeals heard by Medway Council and KCC where Infant Class Legislation applied (the overwhelming majority), just one was upheld - the comparable figures in 2018 being 46 appeals heard, two upheld.  

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Last modified on Sunday, 24 April 2022 05:51


  • Comment Link Monday, 04 May 2020 18:17 posted by Felicity

    Thank you for letting us know about the Kent situation. We are in despair about the situation in Dartford and wait to learn if there is anything we can do.

  • Comment Link Monday, 04 May 2020 11:27 posted by Lulu

    Do you know when you will be able to publish the parallel Kent information? PETER: I tried this year to be clever and only asked for a subset of data to avoid problems of small numbers. In the event I asked for too little! So I am waiting for the full package technically due on 15th April, except that KCC have said there may be delays due to Coronavirus. It then takes several days to analyse and publish the information. I am aware how much it is sought after and will get it out as soon as possible.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 03 May 2020 13:23 posted by Richard King

    Thank you Peter, I wondered why Chatham had a page on its own, then I read on. Is it just because Chatham has most children, how do they compare? PETER: Numbers are: Chatham - 959 Reception allocated; Gillingham - 913; Hoo - 291; Rainham - 375; Rochester- 498; Strood - 411. I could create many more percentages with these figures but one has to stop somewhere. But for example,the Hoo Peninsula has by some way the highest proportion of first preferences not offered at 21%, way ahead of the next area, Gillingham, with 13%. Having said all this, Chatham does appear to have a large number of 'interesting' schools

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