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Tuesday, 15 December 2020 17:26

Medway Review 2020 and Out of County Data for the Medway Test

To no one’s surprise, the Medway Review process has once again failed the children of Medway for 2021 grammar school admissions. Instead of selecting the target figure of 70 Medway state school children, or 2% of the total cohort, who should have been successful at Review, there were just 12 children picked, which is 0.34% of the cohort. The rules for the procedure make absolutely no concessions for children whose education has suffered because of the coronavirus pandemic raging over the previous eight months, underlined by this being by the second-lowest percentage for many years. The additional penalty for many of the 127 Medway children who were unsuccessful at review is that, apart from at Chatham Grammar, the rules do not allow grammar school Appeal Panels to uphold their cases unless there is a fault in process, which there almost never is. Very few (less than five) of the 33 Review requests for children from outside Medway were successful.

I have little new to say about this situation as I have been writing about the reasons why the Medway Test and Review process are unfit for the purpose for many years, most recently here. Sadly, I have not generated any response whatsoever from Medway politicians about why they are content to let this travesty continue unreformed. However, I do explore further details of outcomes below and examine the sharp rise in Out of County passes.

This article follows on from my initial analysis of Medway Test results here, which also highlights the scandal of the gross imbalance between opportunities for girls and boys at Medway grammar schools once again.  

Medway Test and Review Outcomes 2020*
  Medway Out of County**
  Boys Girls Total Total
Number in
1826 1694 3520  
Taking Test
882 922 1912 1585
Passing Test 378 434 812 1126
% Pass Rate 20.7% 25.6%  23.06%  
Number of Reviews
62   71  133 33
Number of Reviews
 8  4  12  Approx 5
% of Cohort Review Success Rate
 0.44%  0.24%  0.34%  
TOTAL Success Rate 21.69% 25.86% 23.41%  
*The target 23.0% pass rate is established from the performance of children at Medway state schools. 
** Out of County is abbreviated to OOC below, i.e. living outside Medway. However, in this table, it includes Medway Private Schools and Home Educated, see below

Remarkably, three of the eight Medway schools with a pass rate of more than 40% of their Year Six in the Medway Test are Catholic schools, whose leadership is theoretically opposed to selection. The eight schools are, in order: St Thomas More Catholic, St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic, St Margaret's at Troy Town CofE, Wainscott, Fairview, Horsted Juniors, St William of Perth Catholic and St Mary's Island CofE. One of the reasons I don't get too excited about primary school Kent and Medway Test League tables is that there is no way of knowing how much of the calibre of results is down to private tuition centres and how much the school.  

Medway Pupils Test & Review Outcomes
  Test Success % Review Success %
  Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total
2020 20.7 25.6 23.1 0.44 0.24 0.34
2019 22.2 24.1 23.2 0.22 0.63 0.43
2018 21.8 24.3   23.1 0.12  0.12 0.12
2017 23.1 23.0  23.0 0.24  0.49 0.37
2016 21.0 25.2 23.1 0.61 0.86 0.74
Review Process
In a 2011 article I wrote:

The Review process in Medway is an appalling scheme requiring parents to make a difficult gamble on their child's future education, about whether to go through with a Review or go straight to appeal. Officers are at present in the middle of their own review of the process. Why not abolish the Medway Review or replace it with a scheme such as the Kent Headteacher Assessment process which avoids the pitfalls. This follows previous articles dating back another four years on my previous website.

You will find my most recent full analysis of the Review process at: Medway Test Analysis for 2019 Admission: Review fails Medway children again, where there were 15 successful Reviews, or 0.43%

Out of County Medway Test Passes 

Out of County Medway Passes 2020
Local Authority

2020 Allocated to

Medway Grammar

2020 Allocations
To Other LAs
Medway Private* 56 N/A 59 N/A
Kent 463 142 466 110
Bexley 179 33 151 51
Greenwich 154 26 134 55
Bromley 53 6 61 15
Lewisham 42 8 34 5
Thurrock  30 5 17 0
Southwark 19 5 18 5
Barking & Dagenham 16 5 11 5
TOTAL (All Authorities) 1130 266 980 246
* The three Medway private schools had 67 children taking the Medway Test, with 56 passing. There were no successful Reviews. 
By far the largest number of OOC passes are from Kent children, coming from 120 schools, unsurprisingly those with the highest proportions of their Year Six being found selective, coming from schools nearest the boundary. The four Kent schools with over a third of their Year Six being found selective in Medway are Tunbury (effectively, but not politically in Medway, north of the M2), Cobham, Shorne and Wouldham. Elsewhere, there are seven primary schools with the number of children found selective being in double figures: Christ Church, Discovery, St Fidelis Catholic and St Paulinus CofE, all from Bexley; and   Heronsgate, St John Fisher Catholic and Bishop John Robinson from Greenwich.



Last modified on Friday, 19 February 2021 19:52

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