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Thursday, 15 April 2021 16:32

Kent and Medway Primary Allocations 2021: Initial News and Comment

There is good news for most Kent families applying for reception class places in primary schools this year with 89.2% of families offered their first choice school, slightly up on the 2020 figure. Whilst, sadly, there are still 398 children with no school of their choice, this is the lowest number for at least the last ten years.

97.7% of families have been offered one of their three choices, the same percentage as in 2018, but higher than other recent years.  Most of these details are contained in the 2021 Kent Primary Press Release.  However, one factor behind the good news is the fall in the number of Kent children offered places at a Kent primary school down to 17,116, the lowest figure since 2014.

In Medway, more than 91% of children have again been offered their first choice school, the highest percentage for at least eight years (surely worth mentioning in the press release!) with over 97% being offered a school on their application form. In total there was a fall of 148 in the number of pupils offered places from 2020, with a total of 3491. Every child from Medway who applied on time was offered a place. There were 112 applicants from outside Medway. Most of these details are contained in the  2021 Medway Primary Press Release, very thin as usual on detail.   

You will also find below information and advice on possible next steps, together with appeals, also 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. 

Please note that the press release for Kent also gives 2020 data. This has been updated since allocation day last year with late adjustments. All of my data refers to figures published on allocation day in the relevant year.

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 2020 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. The equivalent 2020 Medway article is here. 

Kent Primary Schools: allocation of Kent
children to Reception Classes April 2021
Offers to Kent
Pupils
2021 2020 2019
 
No of
pupils
%
No of
pupils
%
No of
pupils
%
Offered a school on
application form
16718 97.7% 16954 97.4% 16839 97.4%

Offered a first preference

15262 89.2% 15372 88.3% 15540 89.4%
Offered a second preference 1097 6.4% 1192 6.9% 1057 6.1%
Offered a third preference 359 2.1% 390 2.2% 332 1.9%
Allocated by Local Authority 398 2.3% 457 2.6% 447 2.6%
Total number of offers 17116 17411 17286
 
 

 

 

Medway Primary Schools: allocation of Medway children
to Reception Classes April 2021*
Offers to Medway Pupils 2021 2020   2019
 No of
pupils
 %  No of
pupils**
 %  No of
pupils
 %
Offered a school on the
application form
>3200 >97% 3417 97.9% 3338* 97.8%*

Offered a first preference

>3002 >91% 3060 88.7% 3035  89.0%
Offered a second preference >198 >6% 237    228  6.7%
Offered a third preference 65    59  1.7%
Offered a fourth preference     11    16 0.5% 
Allocated by Council     74 2.2% 75 2.2%*
Total number of offers 3299 3447 3413
 
Note: *The table shows the information available at this stage. I will include further details as I receive them. 
         ** Including a small number of children from outside Medway 
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.  

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 and 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 2020
School
Appeals
Submitted
Appeals
Heard
Upheld
Not
Upheld
Kent Reception
Infant Legislation
291 243 1 242
Kent Reception
other
22 18 115 7
Kent Junior  less than 5 less than 5 less than 5
Medway Reception 66   49  0  17

Note: The Medway Reception data is made up from Appeals heard for all maintained schools by Medway Council together with those from some academies heard by a Kent County Council Panel.

All 2020 appeals heard by a Kent County Council Appeal Panel last year, were conducted by a paper-based process, as explained here. I anticipate the same process will be used again in 2021.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 May 2021 23:18

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