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Monday, 24 May 2021 18:38

Oversubscription and Vacancies in Kent Primary Schools: 2021

Index

There has been a fall of some 400 in the number of children offered places in Reception classes of the 438 Kent primary schools in April, since last year's allocations, reflecting a dip in the birth rate five years previously. 180 additional places have been added at new schools which joined the co-ordinated admission scheme this year. As a result of both of these factors, pressure on places has eased with 13% unfilled, up from 11% last year. Dartford town is the area with fewest vacancies in 2021, having just 3% of its spaces unfilled. It is followed by Sevenoaks town with 6%, then rural Canterbury, rural Gravesham, urban Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells with 7%.  Nine schools have 60% or more of their places empty, only one more than last year.

Brent Outstanding 2021    Great Chart 2021

The most oversubscribed schools are Brent in Dartford, and Great Chart in Ashford, with 76 and 65 disappointed first choices respectively, both schools being regularly towards the top of the table. These are followed by: Claremont, Tunbridge Wells (54); Gateway (42) & Our Ladies Catholic (41) both in Dartford; Chilton, Thanet (39); Allington, Maidstone (38), Bobbing Village, Swale (35); St John’s CofE, Maidstone & Holy Trinity & St John’s CofE, Thanet (both 33); and Sandgate, Folkestone (32).

The number of children with no school of their choice has fallen to 398 from 457 last year. 199 children from outside Kent have been offered places in local schools, including 85 from Medway.

 I look more closely at each of these matters and across each District below, together with allocations to Junior Schools.

This article builds on my previous for Initial Allocation Data 2021You will find the equivalent 2020 article here, together with links to 2020 area sections within each area analysis below. You will find advice on what to do if you haven't been offered the school of your choice here.  

Kent Primary School Allocations April 2021
  2021 2020
Published Admission Number
(PAN)
19652 19620
Intake Number 19788 19730
Additional Places*  0  150
Offers 17188** 17534
Local Authority Allocations
(LAA)
398 457
Vacancies 2600 2196
% Vacancies 13% 11%
OOC Offers 199  N/A
 
*   Additional Places for 2020 were at three new schools. There are no new primary schools opening in Kent in 2021, but the previous year's new schools enter the co-ordinated admission scheme. 
 **These figures differ slightly from those in the Kent Press Release in March, probably caused by late adjustments.  

The  Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2021-2025 (CPEPK)provides an official view of the current situation and future planning requirements for Kent and is broadly consistent with this article for 2021 provision. It shows a slight fall in current numbers entering Reception classes, but indicates a further nine forms of entry to be introduced meeting planned building developments over the next three years. This will include Ebbsfleet, the biggest growth area in the county.

KCC has a target of securing 5% vacancies in each District, but the norm is that this often hides a sharp distinction between different areas such as rural and urban, which is why I have separated these below. There is also a stated preference for schools to have two forms of entry (60 children). ‘We believe all-through primary schools deliver better continuity of learning as the model for primary phase education in Kent. When the opportunity arises, we will either amalgamate separate infant and junior schools into a single primary school or federate the schools’ which may be why some Infant and Junior schools are looking to academise to avoid this. 

This annual report is normally the longest article I write in the year and will become one of the most visited in time. Please let me know of any errors or areas that need expansion. You will find Ofsted outcomes for all schools in the Individual Schools section up until March last year, when full inspections ceased because of the pandemic, with a survey of 2019-20 outcomes to Lockdown here. 

Kent Primary School Allocations April 2021
  2021 2020
Published Admission Number
(PAN)
19652 19620
Intake Number 19788 19730
Additional Places*  0  150
Offers 17188** 17534
Local Authority Allocations
(LAA)
398 457
Vacancies 2600 2196
% Vacancies 13% 11%
OOC Offers 199  
 
*    Additional Places for 2020 were at three new schools. There are no new primary schools opening in Kent in 2021
** These figures differ slightly from those in the Kent Press Release in March, probably caused by late adjustments.   
 
Although the table below and the district surveys show pressure points in several parts of the county, 13% of places across the county are empty. These include 24% of places being empty on allocation in rural Sevenoaks, 22% in Folkestone (nearly half at the two of the Turner Schools primaries, out of 13 schools), 21% across Dover, Deal & Sandwich and on the Isle of Sheppey, and 19% in Canterbury City and Faversham.  
 
The Next Page Contains:
Links to District Outcomes; Oversubscription (including Table of most oversubscribed schools); Local Authority Allocations; Vacancies; and Cross County Movement
 
 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 26 May 2021 20:41

2 comments

  • Comment Link Thursday, 27 May 2021 19:55 posted by Angela Perkins

    I do like some of your cameos which bring the whole thing alive. The image of Halling children crossing Peter's Bridge to get to Wouldham will stick in my memory.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 26 May 2021 19:30 posted by Kent Primary Headteacher (name suplied)

    Another tour de force Peter. Your website is unique I am sure, across the country. This annual article is eagerly scanned by many headteachers across the county, appreciative of its honesty and independence. On a personal note, I am delighted once again that you have given well earned credit to my school! Congratulations.

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