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Displaying items by tag: kent grammar schools

judd school


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Following the decision of KCC to change the Kent Test to reduce coachability and introduce an English assessment for the 2015 and onwards Kent Test, Judd has decided to stay with KCC. I have left this item on the website, as I consider these plans were a major factor in the decision to change the format of the Kent Test.


The Judd School is planning to leave the Kent Test structure and set up its own admission tests in mathematics and English for admission in 2016. You will find the school statement here. This comes as no surprise as the school has made clear for some time that it is disillusioned with the Kent Test and believes its own tests will enable it better to select boys of the highest ability, and those with a stronger background in English. I have looked at the background to this proposal in a previous article

Judd will therefore be the first Kent grammar school not to accept Kent Test results for over ten years, since the grammar schools of North West Kent scrapped their own separate admission procedure. Five other grammar schools: Dover Boys and Girls, Harvey Grammar and Folkestone School for Girls, and Mayfield Grammar in Gravesend now offer success at their own tests for admission, but they have kept the Kent Test as an alternative route. Loss of this prestigious school will be a great blow to Kent County Council, which has introduced its own new test arrangement for 2015 entry in an attempt to keep all schools on board.

This article looks at the reasons behind the move, including the problems with the current Kent Test notably around coaching of the two reasoning papers as confirmed by data on individual subjects. It also considers the consequences and future of the Kent Test, and dips into the influence of the Test data on appeals to other grammar schools..........

Published in News Archive

I have prepared a variety of statistics relating to the Kent Test, published below along with my comments. I am awaiting some more data on individual scores and will publish another article when I receive these. 


  • 21% of children in the "selective areas" of Kent gained an automatic pass, the target figure. To achieve this the pass standard varied slightly from the two previous years, being fixed at a minimum aggregate score of 360 and at least 118 in each of the three papers. Another 5.8% of children in these areas of Kent secured grammar school assessments through Headteacher Assessment, target 5%.
  • In spite of an increase of 183 in the number of out of county 11 plus passes, I estimate there will be no significant increase in last year's 335 ooc children taking up places in Kent grammar schools. 
  • Around 50% of Head Teacher Assessments were successful. As usual, the proportion of referrals and the percentage of passes is highest in the East and lowest in the West of Kent. Nearly 40% more girls than boys were found of grammar school ability by this route. This balances out the higher number of boys passing the test and gives very similar proportion of boys and girls passing overall......... 
Published in News and Comments

Government introduced new flexibility into the number of places each secondary school could offer for 2013, and many popular Kent schools responded positively with hundreds of families being pleasantly surprised to receive offers at schools they were not expecting. 

For 2014, the situation has changed further and considerably, some of the changes being confirmed, others removed and more having made increases, or in a few cases decreases, in their numbers. Further, we can be sure that some schools will once again increase their admission number when and only when they see their application numbers.

I have identified below those changes that are confirmed, although several are subject to further change before March. There is also the additional factor for a number of non-selective schools which, knowing they may lose children in the post allocation churn, mop up any appellants before the appeals take place. See article on appeals below

There are three major consequences of these changes:

1)  Parents can’t be sure when making application decisions, if the number of places advertised for a school will be increased by the school after applications go in. This can only happen in the case of an academy, free school or a Foundation or Voluntary Aided School who are their own admission authorities.  

2)  This pattern both of uncertainty and lack of similar historical patterns makes it more difficult for parents in some areas to make logical choices.

3)  For schools, government policy allowing popular schools to expand has the mirror consequence that those at the bottom of the pile are likely to spiral into further decline in numbers. I anticipate that as a result there will be closures within a couple of years.

A detailed breakdown of the known changes follows.....

Published in News Archive
Saturday, 10 August 2013 21:27

Kent Test for 2014 entry goes out to tender again

Kent County Council has cancelled its initial tendering process for a provider for the Kent Test over the next three years, and substituted a new process, but still working to the first test being taken in September 2014. You will the specification here, but need to scroll down to the bottom and use the link to ‘final tender document’.

The main change from the previous proposal is that KCC is now asking for tenders for a new Test for grammar school selection, for one year only, with an anticipated extension period of another twelve months.

This change of approach is partly the result of KCC being pulled in a variety of directions by its grammar schools, who are seeking different outcomes from the Kent Test as explained below.

A key principle behind the laid down process is that: “The Council and Kent’s grammar schools wish to reduce the capacity for coaching/ preparation to undermine the effectiveness of selection tests used in the process”.  However, the means by which this aim is to be met is left to the tenderers and I am afraid I can't see how this it to be achieved.

The new specification tells us that the test will remain as multiple choice across two papers, designed: “to assess children’s ability in numeracy, literacy and reasoning skills in September (of Year 6)  taking account as appropriate of National Curriculum expectations”.

This task poses a number of problems, the first being the assessment of literacy,.......

Published in News Archive


The Judd School in Tonbridge (grammar) has outlined the likely prospect of a Judd Entry Test for entry from September 2015, completely breaking away from the Kent 11 plus. The two Folkestone grammar schools have already introduced their own alternative to the Kent 11 plus to be taken this autumn and in following years. Both developments are described below........

Published in News Archive
Monday, 18 March 2013 00:00

Kent Test: Proposed new arrangements

Kent County Council has at last brought forward its plans for replacing the current Kent Test, which has been the subject of considerable criticism for a variety of reasons, notably the unfairness and skewing  of outcomes because of the intensive coaching culture which has developed around the Test. A totally inadequate survey of headteachers took place over the Christmas holidays, that provided little useful information, although it is being used to justify the proposals below. You will find the Report to be discussed by the KCC Education Cabinet Committee here.

The main proposals are:......

Published in News Archive

Updated with outcomes of Buckinghamshire's solution to 11 plus issues

The pressures on Kent’s eleven plus testing procedures continue to increase as further evidence mounts to underline the East/West divide. At the bottom of this article you will find Buckinghamshire's (13 grammar schools) solution to similar problems.  The main pressure is coming from the intensive coaching culture that pervades much of West Kent and which is responsible for seeing the Kent Test pass mark rise way above the natural level.  Kent selects 21% of eleven year olds across the county, the imbalance ranging in state schools from 10% in Dover to 36% in Sevenoaks, statistics which underline the extent of the problem. This range would increase even further if private schools are included (I am waiting for the figures from KCC). This means there are able children in East Kent being deprived of a grammar school place even though there are vacancies, and some children in West Kent securing grammar school places not on grounds of ability, but through intensive coaching. West Kent children who have not been coached can lose out in two ways if they don’t make automatic selection, as statistics show it is harder to gain a place amongst the additional 4% added through headteacher assessment, and far harder to win a place on appeal than in the east of the county......

Published in News Archive

This article covers a variety of new Kent Test related issues, including the forthcoming review, relative success of private and state schools, high scorers (including numbers of children with each high score in the Kent Test), and concluding with a note to posters on the eleven plus exams website forum. Please note that I do not publish pass rates in the Kent Test for individual schools, as I consider such league tables unhelpful, depending extensively on the calibre of the children being tested, and the amount of coaching undertaken by pupils from each school. State schools should have no influence on the performance of their children, except through the quality of maths teaching, which can perhaps be identified from the proportion of children achieving a Level 5 in Key Stage 2 SATS, as reported on the Education Department website, and through the consideration of work for a minority of children through the Headteacher Assessment. Some local newspapers reproduce such tables, but I am afraid I am unable to respond to requests about individual schools. There is also further information about test results in several articles below, including the most recent one......

Published in News Archive

UPDATED 6th November

This article covers a range of 11 plus matters based on new statistics, including: the Review of the Kent 11 plus; coaching; statistics for the Kent Headteacher Assessment; a closer analysis of those out of county children who have passed the Kent Test and likely destinations;  the pressures on North West Kent grammars; high scoring issues continued; Medway out of county issues; and today's article in the Sunday Telegraph. ......

Published in News Archive

Medway Secondary Common Application Forms (SCAF) are due in by 31st October, the National Closing Date. For Kent  - because of the half term break, KCC will accept SCAFs that are received by the Kent primary school headteacher by the morning of 7 November, or that are made online up to 23.59 on 5 November. I am not sugggesting you should leave them that late. 

Some general thoughts and then a look at a few specific parts of Kent, where there may be changes developing ; .......

Published in News Archive
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