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Thursday, 13 October 2016 11:11

Kent Test Results 2016, Initial figures

You will find a much more detailed and later analysis here

Kent Test results have now been published with the pass mark the same as last year. An automatic pass has again been awarded to candidates scoring 106 on each of the three sections - English; maths and reasoning – along with an aggregate score across the three sections of 320. This total will again be around 21% of the total age cohort across the county, with further details to follow as I receive them.

An additional number of children will have been found to be of grammar school standard through what is called the Headteacher Assessment, usually around 6% of the total. You will find full details of the whole Kent Test process here. Overall, these two processes last year yielded passes for 26% of Kent children in the age cohort.  

One important and welcome change is that KCC are now making individual test scores available to parents who registered online from 5 p.m., so there will no longer be the anxious wait or chasing up of primary schools for results of previous years.

As last year, I  shall be publishing a second article later when I receive more data from KCC. 

Initial figures released by KCC are below, together with further information and ways I can support you. 

Please Note that this article has been produced to meet the Thursday 4 p.m. deadline and is likely to be revised at my leisure, if I have any over the next three weeks!

If you wish to contact me please read the information at the foot of the page and use the Contact Me Form together with all the information I request. If it is a simple question i will attempt to respond to it directly. 

There were 15,253 children registered for the Kent Test for admission to grammar school in September 2017 (14,486 in 2016), with 14,349 actually taking the Test (13,274 in 2015). Of these, 6, 537 (6,259 in 2015) children passed the test, of whom 4369 (4282) were from Kent schools, and 2,145 (1,966) were from out of County.

Around a further 350 children are eligible for a single grammar school through success in the Dover, Shepway, Mayfield (Gravesend Girls) or Highsted (Sittingbourne Girls) Tests.

Kent Test Results 2016 For Admission in 2017
Kent Schools Out of County
Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Other Total
Assessed Suitable
for Grammar
Admission 2017
4369 2145 23 6537
Assessed Suitable
 for Grammar
Admission 2016
2105 2177 4282 1025 940 1966 11 6259
Assessed Suitable
 for Grammar
Admission 2015
1963 2080 4043 807 889 1696 14 5753

Notes: (1) I don't yet have data for boys and girls differentiated, but will include this as soon as it is available

        (2)  'Other' includes children who are home educated. 

Sources of Information and Advice
 For those unsure of their situation when it comes to allocation I offer various sources for advice, but always speak to your primary headteacher who may have an objective view and knowledge of your local situation.

For information you will find Oversubscription and vacancies in Kent Grammar schools on allocation for September 2016 provides considerable information on pressure of places, as does the series of pages on Individual Kent Secondary Schoolswhich also contain additional information on each school. I am afraid I am behind in updating some of these pages (look at update date in top left hand corner), so if you would like more up to date information, please let me know. You will also find additional data on OFSTED Ratings, Examination Performance, and Appeal Statistics together with other important news, comment and information here. Also try entering the name of the school you are interested in in the Website Search engine: this usually provides a series of news, comment and information articles about that school over recent years.

I am currently finalising an article on school appeals statistics which will be published in the next week. you will find last year's article here. In the meantime you may wish to consult the relevant information pages for Kent Grammar School Appeals or Oversubscription Appeals for both non-selective and grammar schools.  

Out County Children
KCC in its press release, for the first time spells out the small proportion of grammar qualified out of county children, will take up places in Kent grammar schools, with last year just 412 of the 1966 qualified for a Kent grammar school taking up places, a considerable number of these left on the 424 waiting list places for the four Dartford grammar schools, and the 406 waiting list places for the six West Kent grammars. I suspect the overwhelming majority of the others will have had other preferences, including the M25 tourists, whose poor children take grammar school tests all around the ring.
Pressure Points
I anticipate as with last year, the number of Kent girls being found suitable for grammar school will be higher than the number of boys, last year 25% boys to 27% girls, but in both cases all Kent children will be allocated a grammar school place, not necessarily of their choice.

The main pressure areas are West and North West Kent and Whitstable/Herne Bay. KCC reports that an additional 192 places have been added into the Kent grammar school stock to provide a total of 4,959, although this will include an amount of double counting with temporary increases last year consolidated.  For example, the figure includes the new Sevenoaks Annexe for 90 girls, but in reality this adds only 30 places, as the school had a temporary increase from admitting 175 girls to 235 for 2014-15 only. The effective increase is therefore just 30 girls. In West Kent all girls should get a grammar school place in the District, not always the one of their choice. The boys’ situation may be more difficult, with no annex, the number of boys’ places being fewer and two of the three schools being super-selective. Some years all boys get a local place on allocation in March, but I suspect that this year, as several times recently not all will be successful first time round, usually from North Sevenoaks heading northwards, or else out towards Maidstone. There is always a shakedown in West Kent and some boys may need to go to appeal, but in past years, all have been successful at one of the schools to the best of my knowledge.

North West Kent appears to have the greatest pressure, caused by enormous numbers applying from London Boroughs, Dartford Grammar turning away 226 first choices first year, along with the girls rejecting local applicants whose pass scores were not high enough. However, the two Wilmington Grammars now give priority to mainly Kent children and although they have increased greatly in popularity should pick up all local children who have qualified and choose them.

Whitstable/Herne Bay is also often difficult, with no local grammar school, some children having to settle for a grammar school in Thanet, and extensive building development in the area. However, Barton Court in Canterbury has made another 23 places available which will ease the pressure a little.

In other areas the situation can be fluid, and whilst KCC reported 4,767 places available for 2016 entry, some schools expanded to meet demand, so there were actually 5021, with several further temporary increases as schools measured demand and capacity.

There will always be horror stories about pressure on grammar school places -they make good media copy, especially with the new proposals to expand grammar school places (already happening without legislation), but the reality is that nine of the 32 Kent grammar schools had vacancies last March on allocation.

My Services
As you may know, I run a Telephone Consultation Service to respond to any further questions, uncertainties or problems you may have about school admissions or appeals.  The cost is just £55 for half an hour, and I ask you to provide all the information I request when you submit an enquiry, made easier this year by the publication of scores for online Test entries. 
Whatever your situation, I wish you all the best in securing a place at the school of your choice. Last year in Kent, on allocation in March 81.4% of children were offered their first choice of school, and 97.3% one of their choices. Both those figures will have improved following re-allocation of places and appeal by the end of the summer. 

Last modified on Wednesday, 11 October 2017 17:46

1 comment

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 18 July 2017 20:57 posted by Max Simons


    Would you be kind enough to tell me how you acquire the pass rates by primary school information?


    Max. PETER: By Freedom of Information request. You will find for example a table of results here: Beware, it is of limited value, as it gives no indication of the effect of private tuition outside the school, nor or of the capability of children at each school (SAT results may give a guide to this), nor of the number of children in each school.

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