Supporting Families
  • banner4
  • banner9
  • banner3
  • banner10
  • banner7
  • banner11
  • banner13
  • banner8
  • banner6
  • banner12
Saturday, 24 July 2021 07:29

Oversubscription and Vacancies Medway Primary Schools: 2021


 Individual Areas: Rochester, Strood, Walderslade, together with Junior Schools
You will find the 2020 Admissions article for Rochester here.
Pilgrim 3
This is the most polarised of all the areas, with  Medway’s most oversubscribed primary The Pilgrim School (A) rejecting 35 first choices for its 30 places, the only Medway school turning down more first choices than its own Admission Number. The only other two oversubscribed schools, St Margaret’s at Troy Town CofE (A, also run by the Pilgrim School Academy Trust) and St William of Perth Catholic primaries, both turned down 13 first choices for their 30 places.

The Delce Academy's foolish decision to open an Infant Department in competition with its two linked feeder infant schools continues to wreak havoc although, after it has now been re-brokered, the new Trust is sensibly closing down the infant section. Just eight families put Delce down as the first choice for 2021 entry, although it finished up with 17 offers for its 30 places, assisted by 5 LAAs. Crest Infants, previously called Delce Infants and one of the two formal feeder schools had 39 first choices with 46 offers in total. The second feeder, St Peter’s Infants, had just 21 first choices, but still managed to offer all 40 of its places, albeit with another five LAAs. The total of 103 offers for the three schools would have fitted in comfortably to the original set up of two feeder schools. Meanwhile, the Junior section has also taken a battering. Elsewhere, Warren Wood (A), within easy reach of these three schools, continues to pick up in popularity since being taken over by the Skills for Life Trust.

You will find the 2020 Admissions article for Strood here.
Temple Mill Primary   Hilltop
The two most popular of the three oversubscribed schools are Temple Mill (A), much improved since being taken over by The Howard Trust, and Hilltop (A), both turning away nine first choices. All Faiths Children’s Academy has four. The other eight schools all have vacancies most at Elaine Primary (A) with 42% of its 50 places unfilled, and still struggling to attract pupils after a very difficult time a few years ago. According to the October 2020 census, Elaine subsequently accepted an additional ten pupils last year, probably late arrivals moving into Medway. 

Gordon Children’s Academy is run by the controversial Thinking Schools Academy Trust along with All Faiths, and has 28% of its 60 reception places unfilled for September. The school has been running through a very difficult period recently with a high staff turnover year on year, taking into account the movement of staff between the three local TSAT primary schools including New Horizons in Chatham. Although the school presents as a single 4-11 institution, it operates as two separate entities for admission, with children having to apply again for places in the Junior school/section, although there is no problem with numbers. Strangely, whilst Medway Council has a policy of encouraging linked infant and junior schools to combine, this has not yet happened in this case. This may be because of St Nicholas CofE Infants which, whilst not formally linked to Gordon Juniors, is considered to be a feeder school, with Gordon juniors having an extra 40 places to accommodate children moving across. This year, St Nicholas has  seen ten of its 40 reception places empty for September as in 2020, although last year it also accepted six late arrivals in Medway, as did Gordon School. The Gordon Headteacher, Mrs Jody Murphy, was recently appointed from New Horizons, after her predecessor was reportedly forced out and who has now left teaching. Her husband, Cormac Murphy,  succeeded her as head of New Horizons. Mrs Murphy will not stop long at Gordon as she has already taken up post as the Principal of the new secondary Medway Maritime Academy to open in September 2022, although I am not aware of her secondary experience.

Initially, the Medway Maritime Academy was to be an all-through school from ages 4-19, but the primary section has now been scrapped, probably as the reality of falling numbers became clear.

Strood also has Halling Primary School (A), which has had a disastrous year as explained in several articles on this site, most recently here. Not surprisingly its popularity has fallen from being oversubscribed in 2020, to having nine of its 60 places empty for September, although it is now being taken over by the Aletheia Anglican Trust and so has a brighter future. 

I have separated Walderslade schools from those in Chatham this year, following the Medway Council area designation. Three of the six schools, Kingfisher (A), Maundene (A), and Walderslade (A) filled, although none turned any first choices away. Most vacancies were at Lordswood (A, 24 out of 60 places empty, up from nine in 2020), another Griffin School along with Kingfisher and Saxon Way (above).
Junior Schools
You will find the 2020 Admissions article for Medway Junior Schools here.

As these 10 schools are mainly admitting pupils from linked Infant schools who have priority for admissions, there should be little of note to record. However:

Parkwood Juniors has now merged with the Infant School and so no longer appears in this section. Phoenix Junior Academy now has an Infant section working through and this will be the last intake at KS2, filling its 60 places, both reflecting Medway Council policy to eliminate separate infant/junior schools where possible. 

Delce Academy is closing its Infant section, as explained hereThe new Trust managing Delce Academy, Inspire Partnership, still has a mountain to climb in terms of attracting pupils, offering just 61 places for its Junior School, whose capacity has been reduced to 130 pupils from 160 this year. There are currently 96 children in Year Two of the three feeder schools (down by 20 on 2020’s figure), so over a third of families have chosen not to continue into the Juniors from a shrinking pool. It appears that some 30 of these have shifted over to nearby Balfour Junior Academy.

Gordon Junior School has 25 vacancies, despite pulling in an additional 19 children, presumably from St Nicholas CofE Infants which informally feeds into it. Further details above




« Prev Next

Last modified on Friday, 22 April 2022 22:14

1 comment

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.