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Friday, 19 March 2021 18:53

Oversubscription & Vacancies: Kent Grammar Schools 2021

Index

Ashford and Maidstone

 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 2020 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 latest article on Coronavirus and Appeals is here, with links back to previous items. The equivalent 2020 page is here. 

The big news in this area is that Maidstone Grammar has gone from seeing 60 first choice boys disappointed in 2020 to having 14 vacancies this year,   with the proportion of boys being found selective in the District falling by 15%. Oakwood Grammar, full on allocation last year, had 32 vacancies, helped out by seven LAAs from other Districts, probably West Kent. The school, which traditionally has a high proportion of successful appeals, saw this fall last year to 24%, but one can expect an increase again for 2021 entrance.  

Norton Knatchbull, which increased its PAN from 150 to 210 three years ago as building development in Ashford continues apace, has not yet seen boys’ selective numbers match this, and saw a slip back this year from 23 to 31 vacancies.

The pass rate for girls in Maidstone increased by 8%, with 12 first choice girls being turned away from Invicta Grammar after not filling last year. Maidstone Girls, which had more than twice as many vacancies as any other grammar school in Kent last year, saw a considerable improvement for 2021 admission, with 23 vacancies, down from 55 last year. However, this was helped by 9 girls being offered places on Local Authority Allocation, the highest number in the county. I doubt the increase in numbers will dent the very high success rate at appeal, regularly the second largest in Kent (to Simon Langton Girls in Canterbury), at 67% in 2020. This will no doubt also be a factor in it having one of the lowest staying on rates into the Sixth Form of any grammar school in the county, at 65%. Highworth Grammar in  Ashford, which increased its PAN by 25 girls last year to 210, was again just oversubscribed.

Dover and Folkestone 

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 2020 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 latest article on Coronavirus and Appeals is here, with links back to previous items. The equivalent 2020 page is here.   

All four grammar schools set local tests, success at which offers an alternative route for qualification to the Kent Test. The following table shows the outcome of all Local Tests.  

 
Kent Grammar School Allocations including Local Tests 2021
 School PAN
Kent
Test
and
HTA
 Local
Test
First
Choices
Offered
Vacancy 
% Pupil
Premium
2020
Dover Boys 150 49 95 139  6 20%
Dover Girls 140 50 90 140  0 22%
Folkestone Girls 204 97 87 171 20 19%
Harvey 150 98 52 146  0 19%
Other Grammar Schools with Local Tests    
Highsted 150 100 33 123 17 17%
Mayfield 180 190 20 171 0 11%

 The number of pupils offered places at Dover Boys and Girls grammars through the Local Test, is nearly twice the number that qualified through the Kent procedure.

Folkestone Girls has, by virtue of increasing its intake number to 24 places above its set PAN this year, finished up with 20 places vacant, the tactic presumably being to enable appeals to be upheld without going above this figure for some reason.  

The four Folkestone and Dover grammar schools have, as a result of the Local Tests, considerably the highest proportion for Kent grammar schools of Year 7 children on Pupil Premium (2020 data), next being Dane Court with 18%, then Highsted. This is according to October 2020's school census which has the average for grammar schools at 9%.

The way I have requested data shows that whilst no first choices who passed the Kent Test were rejected at any of the six schools, and certainly none at all at Dover Boys, Folkestone Girls and Highsted, there could have been some who passed the Local Test only at the other three schools.  

One negative consequence of Local Testing in Dover and Folkestone is that GCSE performance in non-selective schools is significantly undermined as they lose many of their most able pupils. 

I also consider the two other schools running similar local Tests: Highsted below (East Kent ) and Mayfield above (NW Kent).


Last modified on Thursday, 22 April 2021 07:06

4 comments

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 31 March 2021 22:56 posted by Avi BM

    Thanks for the information Peter,
    Any reason why Gravesend is not covered ? Thanks,Avi. PETER: Try under North West Kent

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