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Displaying items by tag: kent grammar schools

Thursday, 18 October 2012 14:22

Kent 11 Plus results for September 2013 entry

I have now received the following preliminary information regarding Kent Test outcomes. This will be updated as I receive further information. 

 

  All Kent Out County
Number who registered for Kent Test 11841    
Number who sat Kent Test 11451    

Number assessed suitable for grammar school

starting September 2013

5370 4072 1298

Number assessed suitable for grammar school, 

starting September 2012

5308 4020 1288

These figures include .........

Published in News Archive

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
Monday, 04 October 2010 00:00

Secondary School Appeals

Last updated: December 2020. You will find the latest page on the effects on school appeals of the Coronavirus here.

You will find further information, comment and advice in the page relating to specific types of appeal: Kent grammar schools; Medway grammar school review and appeal; oversubscription appeals; and primary school appeals. A look at key points of the School Admissions Appeals Code also contains further advice and information.  

You will find data for 2020 Appeals in Kent and Medway entry here and more information about individual Kent schools here

I am afraid I have completely retired from offering individual appeals advice. 

All school appeals are required to follow the mandatory School Admissions Appeals Code.

Parents have the right to appeal against any decision not to offer a school place, and that decision must be in writing and contain information on how to appeal.  Whilst there is no time limit on when an appeal can be lodged,  it is normally best to meet the official closing dates, otherwise parents may find the schools their appeal is heard late and the school has filled at the time of the main appeals.

I regularly receive a number of enquiries about oversubscription appeals at the beginning of March when decisions arrive. These arise where the school (it may be non-selective or grammar) is full after the main allocation of places. 

In all cases, it is important that you notify the Admission Authority (which is the Local Authority in the case of Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools, otherwise it is the school or academy) that you are appealing, so that you are in the lists before the closing date for appeals. I advise many parents to put in a holding appeal (simply writing "I am appealing for a place for my child (name) at (name) school. A more detailed letter will follow" on the form you are sent with your decision letter, which means you do not need to submit full details by deadline day). You can then leave submitting a detailed letter until you have a clearer picture of the situation and you can also find out by how much you missed out on a place (for example distance) from the school. 

For non-selective schools, or oversubscribed grammar schools where your child passed the Kent or Medway Test, you should also apply to go on the waiting list. Arrangements for both processes are sent with your allocation letter on National Allocation Day.

In any case, DO NOT PANIC. Do not send off something immediately. It may damage your case when the appeal is finally heard and, however angry you are with the allocation, you won't gain any advantage or have your case heard early.  It is best to wait until you are ready with all your supporting evidence and then send it in together. It is good practice to get all material there at least ten days before the appeals start for your school, to ensure that papers can be distributed to the panellists. Few appeals are heard before May but Admission Authorities must publish their appeal timetable on their website. No Appeal Panel will discriminate against you if you deliver supplementary material after the official closing date for appeals, although administrators often find it convenient and may hassle you. If you don’t register your appeal until after this date you may find your appeal is heard after the main batch, when it may be more difficult to win an appeal if there is no room.

This right includes appeals against a decision not to be offered a place at sixth form, although the student themselves can also appeal in such cases.

In Kent and Medway, appeals are heard before an Independent Appeal Panel comprising three panellists (except at Simon Langton Boys Grammar that normally uses five panellists). These are independent of the school and the Local Authority, but are appointed by the Admission Authority. All panellists are required to have been trained. An Appeal Panel has to have at least one Advisory Member and one Lay Member. An Advisory Member has experience in education, or is acquainted with educational conditions in the area, or is the parent of a registered child at a school. A Lay Member does not have personal experience in the management or provision of education in any school, but may be a school governor or have other voluntary experience. As you can see, appeal panellists do not initially have to have great knowledge of the education system, but soon acquire expertise in the role and in the different situations they may be faced with. All are volunteers and in my experience the great majority carry out an effective job. 

Chances of success at appeal vary widely; last year the number of successful appeals at individual Kent grammar schools varied from 0 to 75, and for non selective schools from 0 to 51. You will find some more detail about appeal outcomes for 2019 here.  These figures confirm that whilst Panels are trained to follow the mandatory Code of Practice, they may adapt their decision to local circumstances, such as the pressure on places. 

For non selective and primary schools, appeals are against a decision not to admit the child because the school is full. 

For grammar schools, there are three types of appeal:
1) Against a decision that the child has been found non selective, although there are still places in the school;
2) Against a decision that the child has been found non-selective and the school is full;
3) Against a decision that the child has been found selective but the school is full. 

Appeal Panels can be organised in a variety of ways. All community  and voluntary controlled schools in Kent and Medway will use Panels selected and trained by the Local Authority, but independent of the Education Department. The LA also provides clerks to administer the process and will manage all paperwork. 

Academies, Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools in Kent may also use the services of Local Authority Panels, but those in Kent or Medway have three alternative choices:

  1. There are several Independent Appeal Panel Administrators operating in the area who offer services to a number of schools. These will recruit their own appeal Panel members and provide Independent Clerks. 
  2. A few schools use their own independent clerk to organise appeals and may recruit their own Independent panellists.
  3. There are now a couple of organisations offering to run appeals for schools, in one case even offering to provide the school representative at the appeal! Statistics for these panels suggest a much lower rate of success. 


In my experience, Appeal Panels are less independent than say ten years ago, as many schools recognise they are paying for the service, with some quite prepared to change provider if outcomes don't reflect school wishes in general terms. 

Each Panel administrator should provide comprehensive documentation in advance setting out the appeal process, so that parents know what procedure is to be followed.

An increasing number of schools that are oversubscribed in both Kent and Medway operate a group appeal. At a group appeal, all appealing parents are invited to hear the Admission Authority case for not admitting additional pupils in the presence of the Independent Appeal Panel, and to ask questions. The Appeal Panel can then make a decision on how many additional children should be admitted (if any), so that individual appeals can focus on the parental case, without the issues of fullness being considered further at every appeal. No individual case or circumstances are considered at the group stage. 

I believe this is an effective way of managing oversubscription appeals, but can produce fireworks or a difficult meeting that requires good chairmanship. Where a group appeal is not used, each individual hearing considers evidence on both the fullness of the school and the case for the individual child.

Monday, 13 July 2015 19:34

Kent Secondary School Admissions 2022

Last Updated: October 2021

Please note you will find considerable additional information about every Kent secondary school by visiting Individual Schools, and also for most of these by entering their name in the search engine of this website.

Please note that this section is rather lengthy, and hence is spread across several pages. You will find the links below.

It is designed primarily for parents resident in Kent, whose children will transfer to state secondary schools in September 2022. Parents considering a grammar school application should also look at the pages on Kent and Medway Grammar School Admissions and Medway Secondary School Admissions.

Kent Schools

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There is more information, advice and comment on the School Admission Code page. 

I am afraid I have completely retired from my Consultation Service, but I am available to give talks for parents at Kent primary and secondary schools by invitation, and am also happy to talk with groups of parents on more general aspects.  

KCC publishes annually online a guide to Admission to Secondary School in Kent. At the time of updating this article, the 2022 Admission Guide is available here. This comprehensive document sets out the full rules and procedures for application and admissions, including those relating to school offers, assessment for grammar school, residence rules, applying for Kent schools if you live outside the county, late applications and In-Year admissions, eligibility for free transport and the KCC Travel Saver pass. You will find the full formal details of the Kent Secondary transfer scheme for 2021/22 admissions on the KCC website here, together with next year's oversubscription and admission rules for community and voluntary controlled schools here, and individual Foundation, Voluntary Aided Schools and academies here where, in the Spring of 2022 you will also find any proposed changes for individual schools for 2023.  

For parents applying for any school in Kent outside the normal admission round, including late applications after 1st March when you can put in an application for any Kent secondary school you have not previously considered, simply download an In Year Casual Application Form and send it to the school you are applying to. You will find further details here. This does not apply in the same way in Medway.
 
You will find my information on individual schools here, including admissions, appeals,  performance (2019 data being the latest published), and OFSTED outcomes. At the time fo writing, all pages need updating, let me know if you are interested in one of these and I will update it next.
 
THE KENT ADMISSION SCHEME
The scheme operates for Kent residents, no matter where the schools for which they are applying are situated, and refers to entry in September 2022.

TIMETABLE

Key Action Scheme Date
Registration for testing opens Tuesday 1 June 2021
Closing date for registration Thursday 1 July 2021
Application Process for Secondary Transfer  Opens Wednesday 1 September 2021
Test date for pupils in Kent primary schools Thursday 9 September 2021
Test date for out of county pupils Saturday 11 September 2021
Assessment decision sent to parents Thursday 21 October 2021
National Closing Date for Secondary Common Application Forms (SCAF) Monday 1 November 2021
National Offer Day: e-mails sent after 4pm and letters sent 1st class post Tuesday1 March 2022
Schools send out welcome letters Not before Thursday 3 March 2022
Deadline for late applications and waiting list requests
to be included in the Kent County Council reallocation stage.
Also the date by which places should be accepted or declined to schools
Tuesday15 March 2022
Deadline for Lodging Appeals (to be sure of them being heard in the Normal Round) Monday 28 March 2022
LA re-allocates places available from schools' waiting lists
Schools take responsibility for waiting lists and re-allocation
Tuesday 26 April 2022
 

There is a national closing date for applications although grammar school registration process and dates and testing dates differ. Each LA has some differences in procedure, for example, Kent parents have four choices, and Medway parents have six choices. The admission booklets or websites contain details of the all important oversubscription rules, which determine if you will be offered a place at a particular school if too many people apply.  Do not try and take part in the process without referring to the rules for the schools in which you are interested.  

It is essential that all parents, who are considering entering their child for the Kent tests, register their child on a form obtainable from the primary school or downloaded from the Kent Website.  Your child cannot take the Kent tests if he or she has not been registered. You will not be considered for a grammar school if your child has not sat the Kent tests and they will only be able to take the test late, after 26 April and be considered as a late applicant whether or not the school is named on the SCAF. 

There is nothing to lose by entering your child for the tests. Parents in Kent living near the Medway border may also wish to consider entering their child for the Medway tests, which assesses children on different skills. Further details of Kent grammar school admissions are here.

The Dover Grammar Schools, Folkestone Grammar Schools, Mayfield and Highsted Grammar Schools all offer alternative tests that qualify children for admission to their schools only. Admission is by either (but not necessarily both) tests.

You will find some possible scenarios on the next page.


APPLICATIONS

KCC controls the allocation of places using the priority lists drawn up by each school placing applications in accord with their place as dictated by the school's admission criteria. They then award the highest school place for which a child is eligible to that child. This does not mean that placing a school in first place will give you any greater chance of a place at that school. The advice is simple. Place schools in your own order of preference and you won't go wrong. 

The process of identifying which one school your child will be offered on National Offer Day is called an Equal Preference Scheme and is quite complex to understand. However...

You will not boost your chances at one school by placing it in a different order than your genuine preference. Sadly, some schools still verbally advise parents otherwise (over a decade after the scheme that allowed it was scrapped) . No Kent or Medway school or academy is told the position where parents have placed a school on the SCAF (although several schools continue to claim otherwise at Open Evenings for parents, but not in writing), and so none can offer a place according to the position. WARNING: However if you go to appeal for a school in Medway, the school and appeal Panel gets to see your full list of preferences and the reasons for them. I think this is very wrong, but am told it is legal.   You should not place a non-selective school ahead of a grammar school on your form unless it is a real preference, otherwise you may find yourself offered a place at the non-selective school, even though the child has passed the eleven plus.

Some grammar school scenarios:

  • If the child has passed the Kent tests, you may name just grammar schools on your SCAF. In a few cases, if your child does not qualify for any of these because other children have taken up all available places, you could be offered the nearest grammar school with a vacancy, although KCC has no obligation to do so and tends to offer a place at the nearest non-selective school. In some previous years this has affected children in Dartford and West Kent. What was described as "an unwritten policy" by KCC that a Kent child who passed the 11 plus was entitled to a grammar school place, no longer applies.
  • The Dover, Shepway, Mayfield and Highsted Tests do not qualify you for admission to any other grammar school.
  • If your child has not taken the eleven plus, you can only be considered for non-selective schools but can make a late entry to grammar school, when you will be invited to take the Test. However, the local grammar schools may be full by then in which case you may have to appeal.  

  • If your child has taken the eleven plus and not passed, and you wish to appeal, you must name the grammar schools you wish to appeal to on the SCAF, together with any non-selective schools you wish to apply to.

  • If your child has passed the eleven plus and you name grammar schools and a non-selective school, for example a church comprehensive school, you will be offered the highest school on your list for which your child is eligible. If this is the non-selective school then you will be offered it in preference to a grammar school lower down your list.

You will find further advice and information on the next page, with the page on School Admission Appeal Outcomes in Kent and Medway for 2020 relevant for some. The 2021 article is in preparation and you will find the full set of outcomes for every Kent school that held appeals on the Individual School pages. 

You will find Kent grammar schoolMedway general and Medway grammar school admission  articles linked on the relevant pages


FURTHER ADVICE

  • You must list any school you wish to appeal for on your SCAF. In 2021 the first appeals were heard in the last week of March the final ones not being heard until the end of June. During Covid new arrangements for hearing appeals will apply and will also happen in 2022. My Appeals Report for 2021 hearings is in production, but you will find individual school outcomes here now.  In each Local Authority (LA), an admissions booklet will be issued at the beginning of September (online in Kent). There is now a national closing date for applications  although grammar school registration process and dates and testing dates differ. Each LA has some differences in procedure, for example Kent parents have four choices, and Medway parents have six choices. These booklets contain details of the all important oversubscription rules, which determine if you will be offered a place if too many people apply.  Do not try and take part in the process without the relevant admissions booklet to guide you.
  • If the school is described as “Community” or “Voluntary Controlled”, oversubscription rules are laid down by the LA. Each Academy, “Voluntary Aided”,  “Foundation” school or "Academy" makes its own rules and you need to check these out on the school website, or here, to find if you are likely to be offered a place.

  • If your child took but has not passed the Kent Test you have no right of appeal against this decision. Along with all other appeals, you must wait until National Offer day on 1 March 2022 before you can appeal. On that date the grammar school you have applied for technically rejects your application and only then can you appeal. See Kent Grammar School Appeals
  • It is difficult to give general guidance on placing schools in order, as circumstances change enormously from town to town depending on the popularity of individual schools and their oversubscription rules. Above all, make sure that you and your child visit the schools you are considering. I am afraid I have retired from my individual advice service. 

  • For all oversubscribed schools find out if you would have been accepted last year and check my Individual Schools Section. Ask for the furthest distance from school those pupils lived, who were accepted. Medway publishes this information in its admission booklets. Many church schools admit children according to their level of church support. Find out which category of religious support was the lowest accepted.

  • Check the rules about free school transport, which only apply if you live more than three miles from your nearest school (priority for the school to be a grammar or church school has been abolished, except for children on Free School Meals). These rules are detailed in the School Admission Booklet for your LA. See the KCC page on School Transport and Appeals.

  • Try and make sure that you will be eligible for at least one school on your list, otherwise you will be allocated the nearest one with vacancies, which may not be to your liking.

  • In Kent, most non-selective schools formally cater for pupils of all abilities. Most Kent secondary schools are now academies and make their own rules for choosing children if they are oversubscribed. Eleven church schools are scattered around the county. Several of these are highly selective on religious criteria (one reason they regularly appear at the top of performance tables). Their oversubscription rules also vary significantly from school to school and you should plan at least a year ahead (in some cases three years) to meet these if you do not currently fit.

  • Academies are all independent of Kent County Council, but are required to use the same admission system and appeal process. Further details are at Academies.

  • Application forms ask you to list reasons for preference. Ignore this unless you wish to make a case on grounds of medical or social need to attend that school. In Medway that information is seen on appeal, for all schools you have applied to. Be warned!
  • Parents applying for secondary school places may be given a supplementary form “only where the additional information is required for the governing body to apply their oversubscription criteria to the application”. You are under no obligation to provide information which is not relevant to the oversubscription criteria. No form should ask parents to state what preferences they have named on their SCAF, or the order in which they have stated their preferences, as no school requires this to apply its oversubscription criteria. KCC advise you to delete any such question and mark it “N/A” or “not applicable”.

  • For both Catholic and CofE schools, make sure you read the oversubscription rules well in advance to check on the school requirements with regard to church membership and attendance. Some schools require evidence of this dating back two or three years. 

  • for 2021 entry, 70% of Kent families were offered their first choice school in March, the lowest proportion for eleven years, but skewed because of different arrangements to manage Covid effects. You will find fuller statistics here. Please note that the 30% figure not offered their first choice was much higher last year because for one year only arrangements were altered with families choosing schools before the Kent Test results were out. 

  • Both Kent and Medway have an online application system on which parents can change choices up to the closing date. One concern for primary heads is that because they do not see these forms, they are unable to check if parents have made sensible decisions. Conversely, parents can hide decisions from the school, – valuable where certain primary schools strongly encourage certain applications. Online applicants will be able to access decisions after 4p.m. on 1 March 2022. Paper applicants will receive decisions by post which will be sent out on 1 March 2022 (the Kent website says this can take up to 3 working days to arrive).

  • Most schools now have specialist status, specialising in areas such as: mathematics & ICT, humanities, or sport, this is somewhat historical and can have little meaning in practice . Some select up to 10% of pupils on aptitude. A few Kent schools select a proportion of children by tests of academic ability, including Homewood (20%) and Archbishop’s (15%) - but neither is normally oversubscribed, so it is irrelevant.  Find out what the tests are so that your child is prepared. A number of schools now band children by ability, and set tests to select the correct proportion for each band. There is limited purpose in preparing for these tests, except that non-selective schools  have fewer children in the top band, so it may be easier for able children to secure places in the top band. Don't take that as gospel!  

  • For some parents, choice of school is determined by the desire to avoid being offered an unpopular school. If all schools were of good standard, then the pressure on families would be greatly reduced.

  • All Kent schools allow late applications after April 26th 2022, but there is no harm in applying earlier. In Kent, you will need to apply directly to each school using the Post Reallocation Common Application Form. You can make as many applications as you wish, confidential to each school.  

After appeals, if the school is oversubscribed, no child should be admitted to the school off the waiting list until the number of children falls back to the Planned Admission Number (PAN). For example: if the PAN is 175 and there are five successful appeals bringing the total to 180, no further children will be admitted off the waiting list until the number falls back to 174. It will not then rise again above 175 unless there are further successful late appeals. This all assumes that schools follow the rules - an increasing number don't!

I remain unhappy at the number of secondary schools still advising parents they need to put the school in first place on the SCAF, if they are to receive an offer. This is not only completely untrue as schools are not told where you have put them on the form, it would be illegal. Put schools in the order in which you want them, it is as simple as that; you will not be the loser for it. If you want a second opinion on this make a call to Kent County Council Admissions on 03000412121. I find them very helpful, but they are not allowed to go into certain areas relating to individual schools. 

 

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