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Friday, 19 March 2021 18:53

Oversubscription & Vacancies: Kent Grammar Schools 2021


East 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 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.

I consider all these schools in the same section, as there is considerable movement between the geographical areas. 

The main feature of 2021 grammar school admissions, is the increased number of vacancies, with eight East Kent grammar schools having empty spaces at this stage, as against three last year, brought about by the discrimination in the Kent Test.

The biggest fall was at Sir Roger Manwood’s in Sandwich with 20 vacancies for its 150 places, down sharply from being 34 first choices oversubscribed in 2020. This is a school which to some extent is geographically isolated, so it tends to have a captive hinterland, not affected by other schools.

The other big loser is Barton Court in Canterbury, under new leadership, down from being oversubscribed in 2020 to having 29 empty spaces this year along with a fall of 27 first choices for its 150 places. As well as falling numbers passing the Kent Test in the District, it has also lost out to Simon Langton Girls travelling in the opposite direction. The latter, after working through the troubles of recent years, has increased its number of first choices by 19 to 155 out of the 156 places offered, its new premises also perhaps contributing to the improvement. The 99% of offers going to first choices is the highest figure in the county alongside Simon Langton Boys, a strong vote of confidence in the school. Sadly, the headteacher who has pulled Simon Langton Girls round is having to retire through ill health.

Simon Langton Boys is the most oversubscribed school in East and Mid Kent, rejecting 46 first choices, above last year’s figure of 31, followed by Queen Elizabeth’s,  Faversham with  18. This latter figure would have been larger if the school had not increased its PAN by 10 places to 150. Historically, QEGS has seen 15 appeals upheld for each of the past three years, taking numbers to just above five FE, so I suspect it will be much harder to win an appeal this year. Every other East Kent grammar had vacancies. Borden Grammar in Sittingbourne had most with 38 spaces, although they had expanded their intake number by 30, reasonably anticipating a higher pass rate in the Kent Test. Apart from those mentioned above, next came Highsted with 17 vacancies.

The other two grammar schools, Chatham & Clarendon and Dane Court, the two mixed-gender Thanet grammar schools, both saw a surge in applications last year. This is because a much larger number of Thanet children than normal were found successful by the HTA process, and created enormous pressure on both schools. 2021 has seen both schools with vacancies, C&C with 16 and Dane Court with two.     





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Last modified on Thursday, 22 April 2021 07:06


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