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Displaying items by tag: Medway Test - Kent Independent Education Advice

Kent maximum scores comment below updated 29 October.

The results of the Medway Tests were received by parents today, with an aggregate score of 509 being sufficient to secure a pass. More details below. 

Soem children who have taken the Kent Test will receive a score higher than the previous maximum, although this will make no difference to the allocation of places as it is just a slightly different standardisation range to previous years. I can see only one grammar school in Kent where it is likely to be relevant.   More details below.....

Published in News Archive
Thursday, 28 June 2012 20:08

Medway Test 2013 & last year's debacle

Now that the outcomes of last year's Medway Test debacle have been settled and all appeals heard, accompanied where relevant by an apology from Medway Council, it is timely to look at the consequencesfor the imminent tests for 2013 entry.  

Medway Council, highly embarrassed by its own poor management of the Medway Tests last year, has reorganised the organisation of the tests to be taken in September 2012. Children attending all Medway state primary schools will take the tests in their own schools.  44 of the 62 primary schools will take the Medway Tests on Tuesday 18th & Wednesday 19th September, the remaining 18 on Saturday 22nd September. Each school could choose which arrangement it wished to follow. Two private schools will also use 18th & 19th, St Andrews is going for 22nd, and pupils at Kings School, Rochester will take the tests at an independent centre, along with out of county children. The full list of schools is in the Medway Secondary Admissions brochure, available here, or from Medway Council directly. 

The logistics of this arrangement will be complicated......

Published in Peter's Blog
Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:17

Medway Council - 'Serving You@

The disgraceful saga of Medway Council's attempts to hush up the scandal of the Medway Tests debacle continues. The tale up to now is told below and in various articles on the News Pages of this website. It is my belief that Medway Council is trying to hush up a number of unpalatable facts about its appalling management of the scandal. As a result,.......

Published in Peter's Blog

I would be grateful for any advice on what to do about Medway Council on the following issue, from the 200 readers a day currently visiting this site. 

However, by a remarkable coincidence, within 19 hours of my publishing this article, Medway Council responded 43 working days after my   Freedom of Information request, just a month after the legal deadline of 20 days to reply, rejecting my request. See bottom of page for more.

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE READS:

I remain very concerned about the Medway Test shambles, which the Council appears to be trying to bury, hoping that everyone will forget about it, although its ludicrous claim that no children were disadvantaged by the problems stands as a  PR disaster, in that it angered so many parents, who would otherwise have just written the matter off to incompetence. I hear that the Local Government Ombudsman is preparing a draft report which, if it is subsequently published, should shed further light on the mystery of why Council officers and members made so many public statements that proved wrong.

My problem is that, in trying to understand further what went wrong, ...........

Published in Peter's Blog
Monday, 14 November 2011 18:46

Medway Test Shambles - Kent on Sunday

The following article appeared with an accompanying newspaper report in Kent on Sunday, October 30th. It was subsequently reproduced in full, in the blog of Medway Councillor Tristan Osborne. 

The row about the shambolic Medway Test arrangements at two Test Centres, described by Councillor Les Wicks, Portfolio Holder for Education at Medway Council, as ‘a mortification’ -  continues unabated. The Medway Eleven plus is held in a number of large centres (mainly schools) on a Saturday morning in September. There have been complaints about the operation of these tests for years, the Council agreeing nine changes in procedures with the Ombudsman in 2008 after a large number of complaints; last year the council admitted fault after another  large number of complaints about one centre and agreed to put in a number of improvements to monitor  the process. Sadly these failed to stop what the Council has now agreed were major faults at Rainham School for Girls, although it disputing the problems at the Chatham Grammar centre. At Rainham, the Council put in just one registration desk for over 200 children, with the result that anxious queues rapidly built up waiting long past the 20 minutes allocated, the tests starting 40 minutes late. Children were therefore on site for six and half hours. There were only three boys’ toilets, half the girls’ toilets were not working so many children spent the whole of their breaks in toilet queues.  They had been told to bring a piece of fruit and a bottle of water to sustain them, which was evidently insufficient for the extended exam period. Any adult subjected to such chaos for an important exam would probably have walked out. As it was some of the children did not have the stamina to cope. I have just listed here some of the many problems at Rainham, and Medway Council has now acknowledged that no fault attached to the school,  although at least two councillors alleged the problems were down to the incompetence of the school and had apologise for this later. I could go on about the problems at Chatham, sparked by the invigilators’ failure to provide the question paper for the first exam of the day, but you can read the details at www.kentadvice.co.uk.  Medway Council’s astonishing verdict was that as half the children passed the test at Rainham, none were disadvantaged – apparently they didn’t consider the half who failed!. The Council promised to carry out a thorough investigation of the problems and make the outcome known to all concerned. However this has  turned out to be a ‘management improvement  report’, a single page document looking forward to stop such problems recurring, that does not address the issue of why the problems arose in the first place.  One can only hope it is more effective than the promises of 2010 which were supposed to stop such problems! However, parents continue to be angry, not necessarily because of the original blunders, but because of council attempts to cover them up, and its ludicrous refusal to acknowledge some children were disadvantaged by the conditions to which they were subjected.  We await the Ombudsman’s verdict on this one, but spare a thought for those children who will never know if they would have passed, if treated fairly.

Published in Newspaper Articles

The Report on the 'thorough investigation' into the problems with the Medway Test has now been published. Parents may be relieved to learn that "thankfully the children were not adversely affected" although the large number of complaints reportedly received by Medway Council and the Local Government Ombudsman, the record number of entries on a Medway Messenger blog (currently standing at 514)  and my own email inbox suggest otherwise.  According to Mr Les Wicks, Portfolio holder for Education at Medway Council (Serving You),.......

Published in News Archive

I now have the results of the Medway Review process which shows 61 Medway children successful at Review, against a 2% figure of 59. Please note that I have not collected data by Test Centre, as I do not believe they will reveal anything untoward, although other FOI requests submitted by parents are exploring those issues and I will report on them if relevant. The figures are:.............

Published in News Archive
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 21:26

Medway Test Shambles

There is no doubt that the planning and operation of the Medway Tests at the Rainham School for Girls and Chatham Grammar School for Boys  was a shambles and the problems should never have occurred. Details are explained in the news item elsewhere in this website. Last year I was involved in a similar controversy at the Chatham Grammar School for Boys centre, which resulted in the Ombudsman and Medway Council agreeing on the faults and the Council promising to do better for 2011. In fact, the quality of provision at these two sites is, in my judgment, considerably worse......

Published in News Archive
It is becoming clear that for the second year running, Medway Council has overseen major problems in the running of the Medway tests at two centres, for admission to Medway grammar schools, in what can only be described as a shambles. This year the main reported problems were at Rainham School for Girls and at Chatham Grammar School for Boys, although the invigilators are not necessarily from those schools. You will find further comment in my blog........
Published in News Archive
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