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Wednesday, 12 January 2022 16:34

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


Area Headteacher Assessments (HTA)
You will find full details of the process here. The HTA takes into account headteacher's recommendation, child's performance in class and in standardised tests, together with any special circumstances, success depending on satisfying a Panel of Headteachers that the child is of grammar school ability. Primary schools choose how many and which children to put forward for the HTA in a process which is supposed to remain confidential (and is broadly in state schools, parental pressure in local private schools sometimes overruling this principle) with a variety of different approaches to identifying who should be put forward. Some schools, including some Catholic schools, choose not to take part in the process.  

Most automatic passes follow socio-economic patterns across the county, but the influence of HTAs is quite different, perhaps reflecting local pressures. The table below shows outcomes of the four Headteacher Assessment Panels, that operate geographically across the county. Note: HTAs for out of county pupils will be considered by the most appropriate Panel, usually West or North West

Head Teacher Assessments 2021 
Boys Girls Total Boys % Girls % Total
HTAs Considered, % of boys, girls
447 507 954 46% 54%
293 328 621 47% 53%
182 225 407 45% 55%
118 121 239 49% 51%
1040 1181 2221 47% 53%
 HTAs Upheld, % of those considered Total %
283 344 627 63% 68% 66%
130 172 302 44% 52% 49%
100 136 236 55% 60% 58%
43 58 101 36% 48% 42%
556 710 1266 53% 60% 57%
Comparing with the 2020 data, one can see that the numbers of candidates being put forward by primary headteachers are again well down for three of the four areas, excepting East Kent, and even further down on the pre-pandemic 2019. This may well be because of lack of academic evidence to support individual cases where children have missed schooling over the relevant period through the pandemic. The exception is East Kent in an apparent, but successful, attempt to increase numbers, following the low rate of take up of places in most East Kent grammar schools last year. As always, the number of girls put forward for an HTA is significantly larger than for boys, probably because of the quality of work available.

The pattern continues into the outcomes of the HTAs, with a large increase from 53% to 66% of the numbers submitted in East Kent having the assessments upheld.

The Folkestone figures highlight the difference in area outcomes, for although the two grammar schools are in East Kent, they come under the Mid Kent HTA area panel, with a success rate amongst the lowest in the county (although the Local Test outcomes do make this irrelevant).

As always, the number of girls found of grammar school ability through the HTA far exceeds the number of boys, by 623 to 485 in Kent state schools, bringing the overall success rate very close to parity with 24.4% of Kent girls in the year group being found to be of grammar school ability, compared with 24.8% of boys.

October 2021 Census

The data shows that for last year, after adding in children successful in appeal, those found of grammar ability in the Local Tests, and out of county children, 104% of the county’s total grammar places according to their PAN numbers were filled. This is identical to the 104% for non-selective places, suggesting the overall balance between the two sectors is correct. In total, 29.7% of Year Seven children attending Kent’s secondary and Special schools are in grammar schools. Of the 12 grammar schools with vacancies on allocation in March, six still have unfilled places, four in East Kent together with Maidstone Grammar and Maidstone Grammar Girls.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 12 January 2022 16:57

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