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Wednesday, 12 January 2022 16:34

Kent Test and Headteacher Assessment for Entry in September 2022: Further Analysis


I have now published  a further article analysing Kent Test outcomes for children attending Kent private schools, out of county schools and those being home educated here

This article follows on from the previous: ‘Kent Test 2021, Initial Results and Comment’, published in October and continues in the shadow of issues relating to the coronavirus pandemic. It looks in more detail at the performance of state school children in the Kent grammar school selection process, with another looking at those from schools outside Kent and local private schools here.

For entry in September 2022, there is a partial shift back to the 2019 pre Covid norms, with the proportion of children taking the test up and boys’ performance improving considerably. My concerns about the gap between East and West in the Kent Test continues, but this has been smoothed out to some extent by a surge in numbers for East Kent children being successful in the Headteacher Assessment. 

After the initial headline details immediately below, you will find further sections on additional pages, from the following links: Pupil PremiumDistrict Variation; Performance of Pupils in Individual SchoolsLocal Tests; Head Teacher Assessments; October 2021 Census.  

My articles last summer on 2021 allocations to grammar schools, and here on grammar school appeals, provide a considerable background to this subject. 

Last year I reported a sharp fall in most performance statistics over the 2019 pre-pandemic data especially for boys, state school children and those in the East and mid of the county, and this has been partially eased both with a larger proportion of children taking the Kent Test this year, and an increase in the numbers and success rate for Headteacher Assessments in East Kent

So, whilst just 10% of children in Dover, 12% in Swale and 13% in Thanet achieved passes in the Kent Test, against a county average of 19%, Headteacher assessments saw these percentages rise considerably. Overall, 24.6% of Kent state school children were found suitable for grammar schools, with slightly more boys than girls succeeding. Sevenoaks (32%), Tunbridge Wells (30%) and Dartford (29%) schools had the highest pass rates, with Folkestone & Hythe and Dover (18%) and Thanet (21%) at the other end. Six schools run an additional Local Test, which added an astonishing 8% to the total found selective last year, mostly in Folkestone & Hythe and Dover. The number of pupils in Kent private schools taking the Kent Test fell sharply for some reason, with the number of passes down by 8%.

Individual schools with the highest pass rates were:  Amherst (67%), St Thomas Catholic and Lady Boswell’s CofE (63%), all three being Sevenoaks schools; Our Lady’s Catholic, Dartford (60%); Ightham, Tonbridge (56%); Dartford Bridge and Wickhambreaux CofE, Canterbury (55%); and Hernhill CofE, Swale, (54%). Of course, many of these passes will have been achieved with the support of private coaching, and not dependent on the schools, which are not supposed to prepare directly for the Kent Test.

The Kent Test pass mark is set to give an overall selective assessment of 25% of the following population. The database comprises all Year Six children in Kent state schools added to those entered for the Kent Test from private schools in the county. The pass mark again required an aggregate score of 332 across the three sections, but with a slightly higher additional requirement to score 109 in each - English, mathematics, and reasoning. This year it identified 20.2% of the population, with an additional 5.8% through the Headteacher Assessment (HTA), giving a total pass rate of 26.3%, slightly up on last year’s 25.9%. No matter what difficulties were thrown up by the pandemic, approximately the same proportion of children are found selective each year according to the laid down procedure, so it is not possible to determine whether the process is more or less challenging. 

The table below shows more detailed outcomes for state school children, the main feature being the significantly increased proportion of boys being found selective. You will find the 2020 comparative table here. I also carried out an analysis of outcomes by birth month last year, here, and found that performance declines through the year from September births to August, although Test results are age standardised in an attempt to remove this. 

A straightforward pass is sufficient for entrance to the majority of Kent grammar schools, apart from seven that require higher marks for all or most of their entrants. The required marks for the latter vary according to demand each year.  Further places are awarded at the six schools which run local tests (see below) and can also be awarded to individual schools by the appeal process. My article on Appeals reports on 2021 outcome as well as the Individual Schools section which gives 2021 appeal data for every secondary school that held appeals. 

You will find the comparative table for 2021 and 2020 entry here

Kent State Schools Grammar Assessments 2021
for Admission in September 2022:
  Boys Girls Total Boys % Girls % Total %
Year Six
9371 8950 18321 51%  49%  
Sat Test
5169 5297 10466 55%  59%  57.1% 
Test Pass
1840 1562 3402 20% 17% 18.6%
903 1022 1925 10%  11%  10.5% 
HTA Passes 485 623 1039 5% 7% 5.7%
Total Passes
2325 2185 4510 24.8% 24.4% 24.6%
Pupil Premium
I am still waiting for details of the performance of pupils attracting Pupil Premium and will expand this section when I have it.
Next: District Variation in Passes

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Last modified on Sunday, 06 February 2022 17:48

1 comment

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 12 January 2022 19:09 posted by Faithful Follower

    Cor Blimey! Is this what you call retiring (see below)?

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