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Tuesday, 18 April 2017 17:31

Kent and Medway Primary Allocations for September 2017

17/05: Coming Shortly: Oversubscription and vacancies in Kent and Medway primary schools 

The Press releases of both Kent County and Medway Councils celebrate the good news that record proportions of pupils have received  offers of Primary School places meeting their preferences. Unfortunately,  both omit to mention this is because of a sharp fall in the number of children in their current pre-school cohort.

 Kent County Council's Press Release regarding Primary School allocations this week rightly acknowledges the good news for most families:'A record number, 97% of Kent children will be offered one of their preferred primary schools on Primary offer day 18 April. This is the highest recorded percentage achieved since coordinated primary admissions began'.  

You will find a full breakdown of the data for 2017 and previous years below. Whilst this is no consolation for everyone, it is still excellent news for most with the proportion of first choices at 89.1% being above the national average of 88%.

Medway Council (Serving You) as usual has sent out an opaque press release on allocations, this year even thinner and vaguer than usual. With so little to go on, I have only been able to quote general percentages in the table below. Once again the Portfolio Holder for Children's Services, said: 'It is wonderful to see so many children in Medway offered a place at one of their preferred schools, and such a high number at their first preference school'. A great pity he forgot to mention that this improvement in the percentage of pupils gaining schools of their preference is purely down to a reduction of 162  Medway children looking for places.  

I will publish further details on oversubscription and vacancies at Reception Level and at Junior schools in Kent and Medway when I receive them, hopefully next week, but you can see a flavour of the situation from my 2016 article on Kent oversubscription and vacancies here, and for Medway here

The continuation below begins with some advice on next steps if you have not received the school of your choice. You will find informaion and advice on appeals here.

 Not offered the school of your choice?
My normal initial advice still applies. Do not panic and take possibly rash decisions. There is nothing you can do for the good immediately, as you have to work through the laid down processes, and you can undermine your prospects.
You have the right to go on the waiting list for, and appeal for any school on your application form, where you have not been offered a place. You also have the right to make a late application in Kent directly to any school that was not on your original list, on or after 18th June, when the first reallocation of vacant places takes place to children already on the waiting list. KCC will tell you which local schools still have vacancies on the day you enquire. The situation in Medway appears to be at the discretion of Education Officers. and varies from year to year.

A large , number of children are offered places off waiting lists, each setting off a ‘churning process’ freeing up other places. You have nothing to lose from going on the waiting list for as many schools as you  chilwish. Sadly, chances of success at appeal are negligible in nearly all cases, as explained below. 

The Kent press release, quoted above, continues: 6,855 children will receive a school of their preference with 15,429 being offered their first preference school, nearly a 2% improvement on 2016’s first preference figures.Only 2.56% of applicants were unable to be offered a school of their preference, a reduction of 162 from 2016 to 444. Of those 444 who were not offered one of their preferred schools, nearly half failed to make use of all available preferences, limiting Kent’s ability to offer them a preferred school
Kent Primary Schools: allocation of Kent children to Reception Classes April 2017
Offers to Kent Pupils 2017 2016 2015 2014
  No of pupils % No of pupils % No of pupils No of pupils %

 Offered a school on the application form

16855 97.4%







Offered a first preference

15429 89.0%


87.2% 14943




Offered a second preference 1077 6.2% 1229 6.8% 1272 7.3% 1239 7.3%
Offered a third preference 379 2.2% 466 2.58% 476 2.7% 546 3.2%
Allocated by local authority 444 2.6% 606 3.4% 724 4.2% 796 4.7%
Total number of offers 17329   18006 17415 17097
More than 97 per cent of Medway children will be starting their school life at one of their preferred primary schools this September - up more than one per cent on last year. The latest school admissions figures reveal that just over 89 per cent of children have secured a place at their first preference school (up two per cent), just over six per cent at their second preference, and just under 1.5 per cent at their third. The school admissions process for Medway is a huge task and involves the council processing applications for 3,375 Medway resident pupils and 130 out of area pupils.  
In 2016, according to its press release, Medway processed 3533 applications for Medway pupils, so it is hardly surprising, with a fall of 162 children to cater for, that there has been an increase in the proportion of children being offered preferred places.

 The numbers in the table below are not always consistent as data provided by Medway Council is not always easy to understand. Quoted percentages are not always accurate - with 'just under's" often proving misleading.

Offers made by Medway Primary schools 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Table Updated 10/6 with
further data provided
No of pupils % No of pupils % No of pupils %   No of pupils %        No of pupils %

 Offered a school named on the appln form

 3245 97.4% 3360 96.2%



 3171 95.5% 3058 96.0%

Offered a first preference

 2978 89.4% 3039 87.1%



 2847 85.7% 2803 88.0%
Offered a second preference  209 6.3% 220 6.3% 256 7.3% 231 7.0% 189 5.9%
Offered a third preference  49 1.5% 61 1.8% 55 1.5%  78 2.4% 48 1.5%
Offered a fourth preference*  7  0.1% 27 0.8% 20 0.6%  15  0.5% 18 0.6%
Medway children allocated by Council  85 2.6% 134 4.0% 126 3.6%  151 4.6% 129 4.1%
Total number of offers  3330 3490 3522 3322 3187

*This also includes a small number of 5th and 6th preferences. 

Primary School Appeals
Most Reception Class Appeals are governed by what is called Infant Class Legislation. Quite simply, you will not win an Infant Class Appeal if there are classes of 30 children in the Infant section, unless you have one of a few rare exceptional circumstances. Schools with intakes of, for example, 15, 20 or 45 children will run mixed age classes of 30, so fit the legislation. A few schools have an intake with a different number, for example I notice one exceptional Medway primary school admitting up to 55 children each year when Infant Class Legislation does not apply. With Infant Class Legislation in place, there were just 12 successful Reception Appeals in Kent out of 4
381 submitted (please note, this is exceptionally high, probably caused by mistakes made by schools allocating places, as I know in some cases). and one in Medway out of 106. I also include columns recording places offered off waiting lists before appeals are heard, and the number of appeals withdrawn before the appeal was heard for other reasons.
Kent and Medway Primary School Appeals 2016
Kent Reception
Infant Legislation
381 245 12 243 27 102
Kent Reception
46 37 23 10 3 6
Kent Junior 11 9 5 4 1 1
Medway Reception 139 70 2 68 28 39
Medway Junior 10


5 5 0 0

 This table is for appeal Panels organised by KCC ands Medway Council. A small number of primary appeals are managed by other organisations. Commentary here. You will find further information here.

You will find two personal commentaries on Medway appeals here and here.

Last modified on Friday, 16 April 2021 17:34

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