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Wednesday, 15 October 2014 00:00

Kent Test Results 2014: Initial Outcomes and Thoughts

Last Updated: Sunday 19th October

               Kent and Medway parents
   Not sure which Kent & Medway schools to apply to?
    Use my popular Telephone Consultation Service
    for impartial and expert information and advice

Kent Test results have now been sent out and present a very different picture from previous years. First the facts.

There were two tests, the first being in verbal and non-verbal reasoning. The second was in curriculum English and mathematics, the  first time that English has been assessed as part of the main testing procedure.

This has produced three marks of equal weighting, one in Reasoning, one in English and one in Mathematics. The  achieved English scores range from 69 - 138 with the maths and reasoning between 69 and 141 after age related standardisation, so a top score of 420. 

To pass, children have to have scored an aggregate of at least 320 across the three papers, together with a minimum score of 106 in each paper. The aggregate score is very different from previous years and there are will be number of important consequences and conclusions from the changes, listed below. This is the first draft of this article, prepared today, so this section may well change. I am open to comment about my opinions that may well change as more data arrives. You will find the pattern for 2014 entry here

The table below confirms that a very similar number of Kent children passed the Test this year compared with 2013. The number who sat it has risen by nearly 1000, many of whom will be ‘out county’ applicants, as the number of these rises inexorably. However, it is important to note that, however many out county passes there are, the number of children being offered places in Kent grammar schools remains similar, at around twenty per cent of those who were found selective, at just 343, mainly in Dartford schools, for 2014 entry. See further comment below. You will find details of cross border school allocations here, with over 100 Kent children going to Medway grammar schools.


You will also find considerable discussion and advice in the comments at the foot of the column. However I am afraid I am no longer able to give individual advice on personal situations though this mechanism..............................

Kent Test Results 2014
  2014 2013
Sat Kent Test
12990 12064
Grammar Assessed:
4043 3998
Grammar Assessed:
Out County
1696 1488
Grammar Assessed:
Home Educated
14 8
Number of Grammar 
School Places
4767 4570

Please note that the number of grammar school places available will expand as some grammars decide to admit additional classes. 

The main reason for the changes in the Kent Test were to reduce coachability. The tests most prone to coaching were the verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests. By amalgamating these into one test and reducing its value from two thirds to one third of the total, KCC will have made some, unspecified and immeasurable progress towards this.

1) Whatever the changes, around 21% of the whole peer group in what was historically 'selective' Kent will have been found of grammar school standard, fixing the pass marks for all other candidates. Around another 4% will have been found selective through headteacher assessmentsAs marks have again been standardised for each test, they will still form what is called a 'bell curve', centred on a mark of 100, the 50th percentile of the national sample used. 

2)This is still resulting in a far greater bunching of marks in the six points between 100 and 106, than the previous 100-119.  The main consequence of this that there will be a far greater number of children who have missed an automatic pass by just a few marks than last year. This will have a considerable effect on the appeal process with limited guidance to inform panellists and possible appellants as to the significance of the gap by which they have missed a pass score. My own view is that it will also make the assessment process less reliable given the larger proportion grouped around the pass mark.

3) The range of aggregate pass marks is far greater, running now from 320 to 420, with the same number of children spread across it, and so it will be far more difficult to judge the chances of gaining a place at the super-selective schools. The Judd and Skinners' Schools have already issued a statement acknowledging this and suggesting potential candidates should not be put off applying if their scores are lower than in previous years. For Kent candidates who have passed the Kent Test this should present few problems. As always, put your preferred school first; you will not damage your chances at a lower preference school and a choice of four Kent schools should still not present a problem.

4) Two other Kent grammar schools where there will be a difference are Maidstone and Simon Langton Grammar Schools for Boys. These schools give priority to boys scoring above a certain mark in the Kent test. Because of the uncertainty of outcome, they have switched to an equivalent which still equates to the previous marks of 390 and 385 respectively.  However, it is clear there will only be a small number of boys achieving this standard, so nearly all places will now be awarded on grounds of distance, this has been confirmed to parents now by both schools . On a more general point, this underlines the greatly increased spread of marks this year, with the previous bunching at the very top mark evaporated. 

5) The Judd School was proposing to set up its own test to replace the Kent Test for admission to the school for 2016 entry. It was dissatisfied with both the too great coachability and the lack of English in the arrangements for 2013 and previously. It may be that the new test will satisfy the school and stop it going down the separate route.

6) Of course there are five Kent grammar schools that also offer alternative admission tests: Dover Girls and Boys, Folkestone School for Girls and Harvey, and Mayfield Grammar in Gravesend. It will be interesting to see how their results differ from the Kent test this year.

Out of County Issues

Several Dartford parents have rightly challenged me on my failure to comment on the consequences of the influx of out of county children into the four Dartford Grammar schools. Whilst all local children who pass the Kent Test have secured places in the past, new oversubscription criteria at Dartford Girls and Boys may undermine this, but I think it unlikely. In any case with boys the most critical, the changes at Wilmington Boys Grammar to give more priority to Kent children should remove this possibility. The problem comes with children who have failed the Kent Test however narrowly and for whatever reason. Their chances of success remain the lowest in any part of the county because the schools are full to bursting with long waiting lists of London children who have passed the test and are looking for places. I have every sympathy for these families, but schools do have the right to define their own priorities and too many, an increasing number, are chasing league table positions at the expense of local children. The decision by Wilmington Boys to reverse this trend is a welcome, if exceptional, development. I have now written a new article on the problems facing such children in North West Kent.

NOTE: As the 11 plus website Forum is dominated by parents seeking places at the the three West Kent Super-Selectives, anyone else reading the forum is likely to see a very distorted pattern of results, not reflective in  any way of the picture across Kent. I am having too many enquiries from parents who have been misled as a consequence. 




Last modified on Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:54


  • Comment Link Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:22 posted by Dele

    Hello Peter, Thanks for all the good informations, my son had 347 but we are under Bromley council, do we stand a good chance of getting into Darford grammar school or Wilmington grammar because we are on the average of 6 miles to these schools from our home in Orpintion. Thanks PETER: I am afraid, I do not give views on specific cases here, but people should used the Contact Me page under "What I offer". However, as my website makes clear in a number of places, i am afraid I do not in any case offer advice to families living outside Kent or Medway, Sorry.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 16 October 2016 16:55 posted by Dee

    My son missed the pass mark by 5 points in maths but in total scored 341. I have a meeting with the head at his school on wednesday but can't see them appealing for my son. He passed medway but wants to go to Wilmington grammar for boys, is there anything i can do as a parent? PETER: I wouldn't know..If you have an individual situation, please contact me directly as advised on the "What I offer" section of the website..

  • Comment Link Saturday, 15 October 2016 17:07 posted by Mrs Qaiser

    Firstly thank you for such great advice to all parents who are in a difficult situation after the 11+ results!
    My daughter got 340 in the Kent test 2016 but in maths she has 100 due to which the pass status was not achieved. She is a very bright student always remaining in top students of the class with high achievement in maths.
    We have meeting the headteacher tomorrow about submitting a review to give her the chance of getting a pass status as only owing to the maths she is falling out. Do you think it will be successful? Could you please advice of the best way to go about this, sincerely appreciated.PETER, there is no way of challenging or appealing against the Kent Test result, and no Review process. All you can do is apply to one or more grammar schools, and when they turn you down because your son has not passed, then you have right of appeal to that/ or those grammar schools.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 21 October 2014 20:25 posted by Kent mum

    Thank you for the great information. Do you know if it can work against you in an appeal situation if you have a child that passed and you put down 3 Grammars and 1 non and you are allocated the non selective school as your choice? I have been told that if you don't put all grammars on the form that can be seen as a negative when appealing for a selective place?

    So much rumour and hearsay it's hard to get the truth! PETER: This is an urban myth that is rubbish. Appeal Panellists are there to determine if the child is appropriately placed in a grammar school. If the child has passed the test then having a place at a non-selective does no damage. However, if you get offered a lower choice grammar it can (except for super selectives) damage your chances at the higher choice if the panel sees you are sorted. However, again, I know of one area where some parents deliberately do not put down a lower choice grammar where they may get an offer for this very reason, and the panel is now wise to this, so they can lose out completely! Life can be complicated.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 21 October 2014 13:27 posted by Bobo

    My daughter was assessed as suitable, but why does the letter say I have to get the test scores from the primary school? PETER: The Kent Test is a pass/fail test which is sufficient for most families to determine eligibility for grammar school. However, pressure on schools and the LEA to provide actual schools is rising and there now seems little reason (apart from cost!) to continue to resist.

  • Comment Link Monday, 20 October 2014 09:46 posted by Dawn Hall

    My son did not pass his Kent Test by 3 marks in Maths (despite Maths being his strongest subject and achieving high marks in class tests, also scored 119 in CAT Test). His Kent Test Scores were Reasoning 119 (ran out of time and didn't answer 7 questions in this paper), English 107, Maths 103. The Headteacher put in her appeal, but it was declined stating the reason that his English wasn't strong enough. We live very close to Dane Court Grammar School and a couple of miles from Chatham Grammar School. What do you think our chances of a successful parent appeal, and do you think it is the right thing to do or will he struggle at a Grammar School if the appeal is successful being that he would have only just passed? PETER: If the regular Chatham and Claerendon Panel upholds the appeal, from my experience they are a good judge of ability.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 18 October 2014 21:19 posted by Peter J Read



  • Comment Link Saturday, 18 October 2014 19:32 posted by Manjit Bungar

    Hi Peter, our son passed the Maths, 100 on English and 104 on Verbal Reasoning, school will appeal and support what are your thoughts/recommendations on appeals with these marks, he is 1 year younger than his peers and we have extenuating circumstances, his academic levels have been above average throughout since Y2. PETER: Missing on two, he is wrongly placed in Year 6, and you would have been best to keep him down, always the best decision in my view. Sadly I can;t see you winning an appeal.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:41 posted by Sarah Murdoch

    That you so much for your informative website. My daughter got 348 in total but got 105 in English so failed the test by 1 mark. She had good CATS tests early this year (127 for NVR, 122 maths, and 116 English). In addition we have proof that there was an emotional family upheaval during the summer. Her sister is already at you have any ideas about the chance of appeal. In addition, does the use of a professional appealer help the process? PETER: My advice is quite clear. Go for appeal. At Invicta you should have an excellent chance to win an appeal with this data and do not need professional advice, unless you want as some do "belt and braces" (as I would reply if you had emailed me privately). You ask my advice on "professional appealer" knowing that I am one. Make your judgement on what I have told you. Otherwise be careful in your choice. Do not choose someone who uses a template, these are easily spotted and resented by appeal panels. Do not use someone unfamiliar with the local situation; circumstances for appeals in Kent and Medway vary widely according to the school, the panel, pressure on places, and often other local factors. I have been contacted several times after the event by parents who have been burned off paying fees of upwards of £1000 for a poor service with no local knowledge to help. .

  • Comment Link Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:14 posted by R Steele

    Thanks for your response, Peter. While we live in Hextable, my son is actually at West Hill Primary in Dartford (we moved 2.5 years ago but didn't switch schools). Will not being in a "priority school" make a difference to getting in to Wilmington Grammar? I haven't seen this mentioned in their oversubscription criteria. PETER: you need to look at the criteria which answer many of the questions people ask without doing the necessary homework. The Wilmington criteria explicitly state "live in" rather than specify schools.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 18 October 2014 09:56 posted by Princess

    My daughter scored 367and passed the kent test. However, we live in Greenwich just about 6 miles from DGSG and 6.4 miles from WGSG. I totally understand that Kent schools should be for Kent children but my daughter prefers a Kent grammar even though she passed the Bexley test as well. What are her chances of getting into either of these school? PETER: As this website makes clear in many places I am only able to comment on situations relating to Kent or Medway families in Kent and Medway schools.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 18 October 2014 07:38 posted by A dad

    Unfortunately those involved in the appeals process are often volunteers with little experience of the 11+, Children and schools. Our KCC panel chair **********, a councillor from Canterbury was awful. He was aggressive and rude. We were intimidated and were not able to put our case properly. Ultimately the panel chose the kids with the highest scores and not those local kids with supporting evidence that they are able.

    In contrast our successful appeal for a grammar 22 miles away was run by an independent panel organised by Marilyn Atkins an ex head teacher. They were sensitive and spot on with their questions.

    Peter pls post this without removing the names. It is important that others in a similar position are aware. PETER: I have profiles of many panellists to help prepare my clients before appeals, and whilst I am unable to comment on this allegation, it would not be unique. From your description of events it suggests a Dartford Grammar all of which use KCC Panels, where competition is fierce and I would often anticipate a similar outcome. Some of the none KCC Panels are excellent, including in my experience those organised by the administrator you quote. Others are at the other end of the scale. There is a whole volunteer industry here to be studied one day. I probably have a unique appreciation of appeal panel operations, but can still read it wrong. If you hunt around this website or on Google you will find historical scandals at both Queen Elizabeth's and TWGGS, both of which I was involved in exposing, before they abandoned KCC Panels.

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 21:02 posted by R Steele

    My son scored 340 and passed the kent test. However, we live in Hextable just 1.5 miles from Wilmington boys grammar and 3.1 miles from Dartford boys grammar. My eldest boy scored 420 in 2012 and got a place at DGS. His brother also wants to go but despite being just 3 miles away is unlikely to get a place as Hextable is in Sevenoaks district not Dartford! Is there any idea what point score will get him in to DGS this year? Is he likely to get in to WGSB? I can't believe he can pass and live within 3 miles of 2 grammar schools and still be uncertain of a place! I am a primary teacher in Greenwich and have pupils get into DGS! I also tutored my child for this "untutorable" new test. If any parent is serious about getting their child into grammar then they need to research and work at it. I totally believe that kent schools should be for kent children.PETER: I think your chances at Dartford are very low. However, Hextable is now a priority school for Wilmington and although we don't have a historical patter for the new oversubscription criteria I would be surprised if you lost out.

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 19:47 posted by Anon


    If the admissions letter states that your child has been assessed as suitable for Grammar education but one of the individual scores is below the required 106 (102) does this mean your child was passed via the head teacher appeal process?

    Many thanks for your time. PETER: Yes, but it is still a full pass and your child will not be discriminated against on that basis.

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 18:31 posted by A Dad

    I wonder whether we are missing the point. My son missed out last year by a few marks in maths, despite the school thinking he was going to pass. We appealed to wilmington and were told he was unsuitable. We appealed to a grammar school 22 miles from his home and were accepted. We now take him to this school every day. By the way he was tested for maths now twice and has been top of the class. The 11+ is a joke and schools/ panels and I'm afraid to say you also Peter need to remember its one test on one day. Anything can happen.

    We need to get back to local schools for local children, rather than the mass immigration we are now seeing.PETER: I am not sure what it is I am missing. I am well aware that the selection process is a rough tool, to identify 21% of the Kent population to take up places in grammar schools. Its not that anything can happen. Those involved do the best they can. to make it fair. In fact, Wilmington has this year shifted its priority to give Kent children priority, so you may well have been more fortunate. I tend to agree with local schools for local children, but in my experience there are now so many exceptions this theory becomes very blurred.

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 17:40 posted by Mrs C.

    My son scored 358 in his Kent Test this year which is great news.... But now, due to the lower scores as a result of the new test we have no firm guidelines as to exactly what score is required for the super selective schools in the area. Consequently we don't know if his score is high enough or if it is even worth applying to any of these schools. The schools don't know either and have just advised people to put them down as their 1st or 2nd choice and not be put off by lower than expected scores....This doesn't really help us at all! PETER: Yes it does. If you live in Kent you are unlikely to have more than four grammar school options so go for it.

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 16:42 posted by Michelle

    Hello Peter. My daughters results came today and she was not offered a grammar place. I would like her to go to Invicta in maidstone. Her overall score was 333. Maths 111. English 121. Reasoning 101. As you can see her overall pass is there but fell short by 5 points. Do you think an appeal could work. We live in snodland so this is our closest grammar school. PETER: It could depending on the evidence.

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 16:21 posted by Anon

    I'm not sure if my daughters pass on the Kent test is classed as OOC. She took the test in her nearest local school (Kent), but we live in Medway. She failed the Medway test which she took at a test centre.

    Peter have you ever heard of a kent pass being successful in a Medway appeal (for Fort Pitt), along with increasing sat levels? PETER: A Kent pass is sufficient to secure a place at the Chatham Grammar schools, but not at Fort Pitt. However, it is evidence of ability and an Appeal Panel may choose to take it into account. Have I ever heard? One would not know for a successful appeal if this was a decisive factor, but I would be surprised.

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 15:43 posted by Linda

    My son has passed his 11+ and very proud we are too! I am now worried that because we live in Biggin Hill, Westerham that he will not get a place either in Skinners or Tunbridge Wells Grammar boys because of location. PETER: Skinners is not dependent on location. You may need to appeal for TWGSB

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 15:11 posted by Tiger Lilly

    I have stood outside the Dartford Schools and counted the coaches and spoken to the drivers. They are not going to London! They are going to Sevenoaks, Tunbridge and Rochester. There are no coaches from London to Kent.

    The problem is nto the parents who come for places from London, the problem is the private schools who put their children in for the tests with no intention of taking up the places but so they can use the score for a bargaining chip to get a scholarship or money off their fees. I know people who have down this. Put in their privately educated child who get the top scares therefore raising the pass mark for everyone else only to be juggling with the options in August when they can't make up their mind between Dulwich, or Westminster or Eltham College. These are the parents that are acting against the interests of state school children by skewing the pass marks. Once your child has not passed because all these highly coached children have scored so highly, it is too late. PETER: the data I have reproduced above shows the number coming to Dartford from London, usually by train. The highly coached children from Kent looking for private schools are a small proportion in relation to the whole Kent population of children and so will not have the effect you describe. Just one Medway child was awarded a place at a Dartford Grammar School this year, hardly enough to fill a coach from Rochester as you claim! Do not believe all you hear at second hand

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 14:16 posted by Clare

    Hello, my daughter scored 323 but only scored 104 in maths, so therefore failed the Kent test.
    She did however pass a separate assessment process for a grammar school and is eligible for the school for this.
    My problem is, the grammar school that is within walking distance from our home only accepts the Kent test result.
    The grammar school she is eligible for is 13 miles away and along bus or train journey.
    Do you think she would stand a chance of getting in by appeal to the grammar school which only accepts the Kent test result? PETER: Impossible to answer without details of schools, scores and where you live. If you live in Kent or Medway use Contact me form on this website.

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 13:23 posted by Louisa

    I have a very similar situation to the lady above my child scoredover in two areas but low in one area. However her levels of 5 surely suggest she is Grammar candiate ? We obvioulsy will appeal but is there any advice for this.Kind regards PETER: not from me with this level of information. If you are from Kent or Medway see the relevant page on my website and send me the information I request via the Contact me page.

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 12:38 posted by Worried Mum

    I understand that many prep schools run '11+ Clubs' before school and also freely is and text books during school time for their pupils taking the 11+. This is I expect the main reason why so many state educated children are losing out. Is there any way that these schools can be named and shamed by speaking to KCC? PETER: They are acting perfectly lawfully and its what their parents pay for so sadly unlikely to be shamed by being named - instead it would be good advertising!

  • Comment Link Friday, 17 October 2014 11:39 posted by ProudMummy

    Hi My daughter has passed the Kent test (not sure what her scores are yet). We live in Snodland and I am concerned we may not live close enough to get into the nearest grammar schools which are Invicta and MGGS both in Maidstone. What do you think of the chances? PETER: Very high. She would have been offered places at one or other in all the past ten years.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 16 October 2014 22:42 posted by chris silver

    my daughter has passed the Kent 11 plus and the only grammar school she could realistically go to is Highsted as we live on Sheppey. What is the likelihood that she will be offered a place? PETER: She would have got a place either directly or on appeal in all recent years.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 16 October 2014 19:56 posted by Anon

    I suspect the passmark is affected the outsiders taking the test and if so all local children will be disadvantaged. In Dartford we are massively disadvantaged because those that fail marginally stand no chance at appeal. Last year the edict from Kent to appeals panels was take the best marks irrespective of where they live. So at appeal those local boys and girls were wiped out. I know this because I have the stats.

    I do think it is something the media should be interested in. All they need to do is go to the Dartford Grammar schools and count the coaches.

    With regard to you comments about the children going the other way. Unfortunately bright kids like mine have no option but to travel 20 miles into kent to their grammar school. Their place at their local grammar school has been taken by someone from London.

    There is something massively wrong here and it shouldn't be hidden by vague stats. Come and see the coaches.

    I urge parents who failed this year to involve their MP early on. Local schools must be for local children.PETER. I have considerable sympathy for your point about the children who narrowly miss the pass standard and are unlikely to succeed at appeal as a consequence. I have added a section at the bottom of this article to address the point. However, you are wrong on two counts. Firstly, the pass mark is set by looking at the scores of Kent children to select 21%. The performance of out county children has and can have NO influence on this process. See my statistics from last year via the link in the article. Secondly, Kent sent out no such edict. They do not have the powers to do so and it would be illegal to tamper with the independence of appeal panels in this way. I can think of no panel I know that considers and has considered appeals for these four academies which would accept such an edict. What may happen is that the presenting officer for the academy may attempt to suggest such a way forward. It is then totally up to the panel to decide if they wish to accept such guidance or not. I can think of many cases where it simply does not happen, although I suspect that panels at these four very oversubscribed schools may well take notice of such guidance given the incredibly difficult task they have to identify a small proportion of candidates to be successful.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 16 October 2014 19:38 posted by nicola

    My daughter got 334, the pass rate was 320 but each subject - English, reasoning and maths had to have a minimum level of 106 and she got 120 in reasoning, 112 in English and 102 in maths (I know this was nerves).

    She actually got much higher mark than some who passed just by getting 106 on each. She was first in line for the head's appeal but all of his appeals got rejected. School thinks it's totally unfair and we have their full backing to appeal.

    My daughter cried herself to sleep last night. How on earth can this be a fair system to a 10 year old child who actually did very well!?

    Am disgusted. PETER: I am sorry for your experience. Sadly, if we have selective schools then there has to be a testing system. In Kent you have three chances: firstly the test itself; secondly the Headteacher assessment where work is also taken into account; thirdly the appeal where parents can ask for any other factors to be taken into account. However, at the end of the day there are only a certain number of places available for a theoretical 25% of the children measured by ability. I also worry about the stress on ten year old children, made worse in many cases by parental expectation and a coaching culture (not suggesting this is true in your case). Have you an alternative way of allocating these places?

  • Comment Link Thursday, 16 October 2014 10:23 posted by anonymous

    my son missed a pass by 2 points on the English paper. How do I go about asking for it to be remarked please? PETER: I am afraid there is no facility for remarking Kent or Medway Tests papers.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 15 October 2014 22:10 posted by anon

    32% of kids passing the test live outside of kent. These children are making it much more difficult for local able children to be able to go to their local grammar school. This just isn't right. PETER: I am also in favour of local grammar schools for local children but look at my statistics. Just 343 oocs into Kent, nearly 250 of which to Dartford and Gravesend. That is just 20% of those who passed, with 120 going out of Kent to grammars in Bexley, Bromley and Medway. Yes, there is a problem, but it is not as great as the media allege. Children who pass the Kent test, living in Kent will get places if they persevere. Those who lose out are some who have to appeal having failed the test in the first place.

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