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Tuesday, 12 March 2013 00:00

Secondary Transfer: In and out of Kent & Medway

I now have official details of the pattern of children crossing the Kent and Medway boundaries to take up secondary school places for 2013 entry and, as in previous years it gives a very different picture from the more lurid headlines on this issue. I have divided the cross border movement into four sections below: Medway; North West Kent; West Kent & South Kent. I don't have precise figures for which part of the county children live in so some of these figures are best estimates. The headline figures are: 589 children from out of Kent are taking up places in Kent secondary schools, with 436 going the other way, figures very similar to 2012. But don't jump to conclusions. Read the following:...

Abbreviation: ooc = out of county.

Medway Boundary - 111 Medway children into Kent schools; 148 Kent children into Medway schools

Whilst this sounds a fairly equal exchange, a detailed analysis shows otherwise, with 106 Kent children pouring into the six Medway  grammar schools, 39 to Rochester Grammar, 28 to Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical school, and roughly equal numbers to each of the other four, underlining the sharply falling rolls in Medway. This still leaves 130 grammar school places empty in Medway before appeals. Just six Medway children went the other way to Kent grammar schools. There are 42 Kent children going to Medway non-selective schools, the majority to Walderslade Girls and Greenacre from the small area of Kent to the south of Walderslade and the Bluebell Hill area where there is no convenient alternative. The majority going the other way head for Holmesdale Technology College (52), down the road in Snodland, 10 to Malling School, with 23 going to Kent catholic schools. The key outcome of this movement is a contribution to the 299 vacant spaces left in total in 5 Medway non-selective schools, which will certainly increase after appeals to grammar schools take place. It is difficult to see how all can survive.


North West Kent  - 251 ooc children into Kent schools; 111 the other way

With all the focus on West Kent it is easy to overlook that this is the area with the greatest pressure on places. Four grammar schools; Dartford Grammar School (48); Dartford Grammar School for Girls (12); Wilmington Grammar School for Girls (92 - out of an intake of 120); and Wilmington Grammar School for Boys (68) are admitting 220 children from the London Boroughs in total. These figures are all up on last year, with Dartford Grammar School (135 first choices turned away ) and Dartford Grammar School for Girls (85) topping the list of most oversubscribed schools in Kent . This has often set up problems for grammar school qualified children living in the NW Kent hinterland, although with pressure on places at the Gravesend Grammar Schools eased this year, and the additional places created in West Kent, this does not appear to have been a problem. 57 of the incomers are from Lewisham and Greenwich (an easy train ride). Just 35 Kent children go to grammar schools the other way. Few from ooc come into NW Kent non-selective schools (16 of these into Wilmington Academy, 10 to Dartford Technology College) but 29 go out to Catholic schools in Bexley, and 25 to Haberdasher's Aske's Crayford Academy (probably due to the extreme shortage of non-selective secondary places in Dartford), another 22 going to other schools.


West Kent - 150 ooc children into Kent schools; 114 the other way.

This of course is the area which creates the greatest controversy, possibly for political reasons. However the figures bear close examination before one jumps to conclusions. The school that usually takes in the greatest number of ooc children is Bennett Memorial CofE School (32). Judd (33 – highest this year, for the first time in several years), Skinners (22- lowest for some years); and Tonbridge Grammar (24) follow, admitting most of the remainder. Give that all four schools took in an extra form of entry for 2013 admission, this figure is surprisingly low. Judd’s increase is because of a sharp rise in the number of offers to East Sussex children (13). The two Bromley super-selective grammar schools have taken 13 Kent children in return, probably from West Kent. Whilst few other ooc children cross to the remaining Kent non-selective schools (mainly 22 from Bromley to Knole Academy), 70 go from Kent to the three nearest East Sussex comprehensives (Beacon, Robertsbridge and Uplands); 37 to Oxted School in Surrey; and 27 to Sackville Community College in East Grinstead, West Sussex. All these figures are down, reflecting the increased popularity of Knole Academy and Skinners Kent Academy (which increased its PAN by 30 children).


South Kent - 17 ooc children into Kent schools; 34 the other way.

Here the movement is almost entirely accounted for by two schools. 14 ooc children are going to Homewood School, Tenterden and 34 Kent children are going to Rye Community College, presumably from Romney Marsh, further depleting numbers at Marsh Academy.

Last modified on Friday, 05 December 2014 23:09

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