Supporting Families
  • banner9
  • banner3
  • banner11
  • banner12
  • banner8
  • banner4
  • banner6
  • banner13
  • banner7
  • banner10
Wednesday, 06 October 2021 02:29

Medway Test 2021 Results Published with Advice on Review and Appeal

Article on School Appeal Outcomes for 2021 to be posted shortly. 

Update 28th October: I now have the Medway Review Outcomes - sort of! Fewer than five of the 81 boys and fewer than five of the 98 girls from Medway state schools who went to Review were successful. No applications from private schools were successful.  What a disgrace - yet again!

The Medway Test results have now been published, with successful candidates achieving an aggregate score of 487 across the three Tests. The pass mark is set to allow a target of 23% of the Medway cohort to be successful, with 833 Medway pupils passing out of a cohort of 3605, a success rate of 23.11%. It is likely that once again well over a thousand out-of-county children will have passed the Medway Test, with more than 200 of them taking up places, including at Holcombe Grammar, blocking local boys hoping to win a  place on appeal.   

All the information at present available is in the table below, along with the results of the two previous years. I am awaiting a more detailed breakdown of information from Medway Council, and will publish this as soon as it is available.

What we do know at this stage is that for the second year running, no consideration whatever has been given to the consequences of lockdown and coronavirus on the performance of children, and indeed no mention of these in the Council Press Statement abut Medway Test results, as distinct from last year, presumably best forgotten as an inconvenience.

I also provide details of the shocking outcomes of the appeals process which saw no appeals upheld for children who did not pass the Medway Test, except at Chatham Grammar School, apart from possibly but unlikely at Rochester Grammar. There were no successes at all for boys who had not passed the Medway Test. 

You will find plenty of further information and advice below and via the links, relating to the Medway Test, the appalling Review process, appeals and application to grammar schools.

You will find my advice here on the next decision for those families whose children have been unsuccessful in the Medway Test, whether or not to apply for an academic Review of their children’s work by next Monday, 11th October. Please read this, as there are consequences if a Review is unsuccessful. My initial article on the 2020 Test, and the one on Review also contain much information and advice, even if they are somewhat depressing about the process. Of course, it could always be different this year!

Medway Test Results
The individual mark for a pupil in the Medway Test is calculated by adding together the score on the Verbal Reasoning Test with twice the score on each of the mathematics and extended writing tests. The pass mark of 487 is slightly up on last year's 483 but  is no indication of the difficulty of the test the pass score having been set to allow 23% of pupils attending Medway state primary schools to pass, as explained here. Rather it is related to the proportion of the whole Medway Year Group which sat the test, again the lowest proportion for many years.  
Medway Test results for Entry to  Grammar School
September 2022
Size of Cohort 3605 3520 3486
Medway Children Sat Test 1936 1802 1912
% of Medway Children Sat Test 54% 51% 55%
Other Children Sat Test 1638 1585 1503
Medway Children Passed Test 833 812 808
Pass Score 487 483 495
Other Children Passed Test N/A 1126 980
Pass Rate 23.11% 23.06% 23.0%
Admission to Grammar School
My article earlier in the year on ‘Oversubscription & Vacancies in Medway Grammar Schools for September 2021’ has a first page looking at general issues relating to grammar school admissions, including Review and Appeals. The second page contains a profile on each individual Medway grammar school, which should be read in conjunction with the entry in the Individual Medway Schools information article. 
Medway Grammar Allocations March 2021
PAN Total Offers Medway OOC
1st Prefs
Chatham Girls 180 106 57 43 0
Fort Pitt 120 150 130 20 2
Holcombe 150 150 108 42 6
Rainham Mark 205  234 228 7 56
Rochester 205 205 152 83 23
Sir Joseph Williamson's 203 200 192 11 108

 Note: PAN stands for Published Admission Number.

I now have the outcome of the appeals process for each Medway grammar school this summer as follows. 
Medway Grammar School Appeals Summer 2021      
Chatham 45 45 38 38 84%
Fort Pitt 16  14 0  0 0%
Holcombe  37  37  0  0 0% 
Rainham  49  16  7  0 14%
Rochester  31  25 6  N/A 19%
Math 75  14 14 0 19%
Apart from at Chatham Grammar (girls), it is likely that no appeals were upheld for children who were unsuccessful at the Medway Test (there will have been none unless The Rochester Grammar panel exceptionally upheld one or more this year; the FOI spreadsheet does not give a breakdown for numbers less than five). In particular, I highlight the two Thinking Schools Academy Trust grammars that between them offered places to 125 out-of-county children last summer but could find no places for Medway children who narrowly missed success in the  Medway Test on appeal. I have the expectation of similar numbers for next September if the same policies apply, again with almost no opportunity at appeal to win a place for those unsuccessful at this stage.  
As one Kent grammar school headteacher observed to me last year, they were happy for me to publish this data as it dampened down the number of families going to appeal who were bound to be disappointed!



Last modified on Friday, 29 October 2021 09:31


  • Comment Link Sunday, 24 October 2021 21:43 posted by Current parent of a year 6

    Our case is another example of how ineffective the Medway test is at identifying grammar ability, particularly in students who may not be so strong in their writing, and considering the impact of covid on many pupils' class work. It seems ridiculous that this writing task accounts for 40% of the mark when it is an unreliable indicator of cognitive ability.

    Our daughter fell a few marks short of a pass on the Medway test, due to her weaker performance in the extended writing. With school's support we decided to ask for review, feeling confident in her ability (with indicators including very high scores on CAT tests and teacher's opinion of ability). However Medway Review was unsuccessful and deemed her non-grammar.

    Although we live in Medway, we are on the border, so daughter also sat Kent test at school. Not only had she passed Kent test, but achieved a score of 368, well over the pass mark of 332.

    Fortunately for us, she is able to choose Chatham Grammar as they do accept the Kent test there.

    Had she not attended a Kent school, we probably would have just done the Medway test and she would have missed out on the opportunity to attend a grammar.

    I do hope Medway will relook at their test and review process as in particular this is impacting disadvantaged families. PETER: Another example both of the meagre success rate at Review and the lopsided nature of hte Medway Test. I am pleased for your daughter that she will find a place at grammar school as the more reliable Kent Test and its structure is a much better indicator of grammar school standard.

  • Comment Link Monday, 11 October 2021 21:06 posted by Susan

    My son passed the Medway test with 546 marks but we love in Bexley and want him to travel to Medway. What should we do to get successful PETER I am afraid I would prefer places to go to Medway boys. See article.

  • Comment Link Monday, 11 October 2021 20:22 posted by Ryan

    Evening Peter,
    Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge and insight into the Kent and Medway schools. This has been my go to site now whilst deciding on a secondary for our son.

    My question relates to Holcombe Grammar and the new Head; What are your thoughts on his appointment and performance for the last 18 months?

    We found the Maths school to be very underwhelming and not welcoming at all. Are they just stuck up in the knowledge they get results?

    We loved Rainham Mark but feel our chances of a place are non existent due to distance. Should we still put this at first choice?

    Many thanks again. PETER: The new headteacher is certainly making improvements and your insights are welcome. One of the major problems is at the Trust level above the school which I believe has unrealistic ambitions to promote Holcombe, as shown by multiple decisions recorded on this site. They are partially attempting to do this via the admission and appeal processes, which clearly don't affect boys already at the school. Again, a couple of years ago the school was very unsympathetic towards boys with Special Needs (they take up additional resources) although I haven't heard about this recently. I am disappointed by your comments about The Math, which is of course under the new control of the Leigh Academies Trust and may have lost some of its local focus. Depending on where you live, in any case many boys only have the one accessible grammar school, which is of course Holcombe

  • Comment Link Sunday, 10 October 2021 11:07 posted by Steve

    Peter, many thanks for all the interesting info. Having qualified through the Medway test this year, we attended holcombe open day yesterday. The head was very insistent that we should all nominate 6 options on the form otherwise “we will enter a separate pile”. I have no idea what is meant by that or whether he is suggesting adding in 3 comprehensives alongside the 3 grammar school options for boys in Medway. Can you shed any light on whether this is a process driven point that would benefit my son directly that he raised or whether it would be in some way specifically self serving for the holcombe school only? PETER: If you live in Medway and your son has passed the Medway Test, I guarantee he will be offered a place at one of the Medway Grammar schools if you put them down in the first three places, or indeed if you just put down Holcombe. The advice will be valid for boys who haven't qualified for grammar schools, or who live in London!

  • Comment Link Saturday, 09 October 2021 22:47 posted by Andy

    Am I understanding this correctly that Medway Council tax funding these schools is paying for so many children to come in from out of the area? How is this not all over the local news? On the school visits I've been shocked just how many kids are travelling over an hour each way to get to these schools. PETER: The home Local Authority pays the cost of education. The problem is the collateral damage these placements create. In the case of boys, denying local children places at grammar schools, if they have slipped up in a badly constructed test, which is biased towards girls. For girls it is very different. Look at the appeal statistics for Chatham Grammar. Families will be happy to have secured a place at 'grammar school', but is it really, with a quarter of its intake from appeals? The Sixth Form is one of the smallest of any grammar in Kent or Medway, despite the millions of pounds recently spent on lavish new premises. It should become coeducational to solve the gender discrepancy, but won't. I despair.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 07 October 2021 15:50 posted by Robert and Emma

    So you think this is the end of his dream of a grammar school place for our son? The undermining of his schooling by Covid over the past two years and missing a pass in the Medway Test by just one mark appear to have done for him. PETER: Unless the approach to Review by Medway Council and the Panel of heads and teachers assembled to make decisions changes from its practice over recent years or Holcombe grammar has a Damascene conversion this year, I am afraid I do.

Leave a comment

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