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Displaying items by tag: medway - Kent Independent Education Advice

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

Medway Council is bidding to create one of the 24 new University Technical Colleges (UTCs) to be set up by government, which would be based near the University of Greenwich site. I wrote and published here, the article you will find below, in October. All that has changed is that Medway Council is developing the idea and has set up an email consultation, which will form the basis of demonstrating whether parents want a University Technical College in Medway. You can respond to the survey here.  Whilst a site has not yet been chosen for the proposed College, Medway Council suggests it could be at an unused block at Brompton Barracks. You can find fuller information at the Medway Council website. Two of the pieces of information missing are the views of the current Medway secondary schools, some of which would be seriously damaged by the proposal (see below), another is Medway's best estimate of the collateral damage to other schools, and which school the Council considers would be at greatest risk of closure if the proposal goes ahead. 

Yet another Medway School, Barnsole Junior in Gillingham, has been failed by OFSTED, maintaining the proportion of Medway primary schools that have failed in the two years I have been monitoring outcomes at 21%. This appalling record is underlined by the fact that not a single Medway primary school has been found Outstanding in this time, although nationally the figure is running at 6% (just another 6% failing). 


University Technical Colleges are planned to "offer 14-19 year olds the opportunity to take a highly regarded, full time, technically-oriented course of study. They are equipped to the highest standard, sponsored by a university and offer clear progression routes into higher education or further learning in work". To quote David Cameron:.......

Published in News Archive
Monday, 16 May 2011 21:45

Bishop of Rochester Academy (2)

I hear that Mr Christopher Sweetman, Principal of Bishop of Rochester Academy since its opening in September 2010, who was suspended by the governors in March, following reports of poor behaviour in the school, is to leave the Academy. Although the two Vice-Principals have been running the academy in his absence, he is now to be replaced by an Executive Headteacher, Mr A Reese who is also headteacher of Greenacre School in Chatham. You will find a previous article on the issues behind these moves here.

The Medway Messenger has now covered this story in more detail and has attracted a (very) wide variety of comments on the story!

Published in News Archive
Thursday, 07 April 2011 16:45

Bishop of Rochester Academy (Updated)

The Principal of Bishop of Rochester Academy has been suspended today for unspecified reasons. A statement  from the three Sponsors: Rochester Diocese, Canterbury Christ Church University and Medway Council states: "The strategic direction and performance of Bishop of Rochester Academy is of the utmost importance to the academy sponsors and Board of Governors....

Published in News Archive
Monday, 17 January 2011 21:20

Medway Special Schools & Units

Where there has been a recent OFSTED Report, there are more details for each School below.


ABBEY COURT COMMUNITY SCHOOL Severe and profound learning difficulties RAINHAM CAMPUS, Gillingham (4-11years)  STROOD CAMPUS, Strood  (11 –19 years) 

  (OFSTED July 2010 - Outstanding) Abbey Court is based on two sites 12 miles apart. It has a capacity for 150 pupils aged from three to 19, all funded by Medway local authority. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs including severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties. An increasing number of pupils joining the school have very complex medical conditions or extremely challenging behaviour. There are fewer girls than boys. The vast majority of the pupils have a White British heritage. A few pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds and have English as a second language. A small minority of pupils are looked after in public care. Secondary pupils, including sixth-formers, are based at the Strood site. The site for primary-aged pupils is in Rainham and this has recently added a nursery to its provision. The school has specialist school status for cognition and learning. OFSTED 2012 - Outstanding; Excerpts: Information about this schoolAbbey Court is based on two sites, some 12 miles apart. The Rainham site provides for Early Years Foundation Stage, infants and juniors. The Strood site provides for secondary and students aged 16 to 19. Currently, the school has more than its official capacity of 150 places; Pupils have severe learning difficulties or profound and multiple learning difficulties as their main need; Some have additional needs such as visual impairment, hearing or sensory impairment, severe autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and physical disability; A few have life threatening medical conditions; All have statements of special educational needs; The school continues to experience a shift in the complexity of levels of need, including severe challenging behaviours; A minority of pupils require a minimum of full time one-to-one staff support to meet their needs; Currently, the large majority of pupils are boys and most are of White British heritage; The proportion known to be eligible for the pupil premium is well above the national average. Key findings - This is an outstanding school; Pupils make outstanding progress, particularly in literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT); Those with speech, language and communication needs make significant strides in developing and improving their communication skills through signing, the use of picture symbol cards and the use of a range of new technologies; Children attending the part-time sessions in the Early Years Foundation Stage make excellent progress, which prepares them for learning and enables them to proceed successfully to the next stage of their education; The outstanding sixth form provision enables older students to continue their seamless progress through the school and achieve nationally recognised qualifications - They improve their independence and social skills and this prepares them successfully for life beyond the school; As a result of a robust and sustained focus on improvement by the senior leadership team since the previous inspection, the quality of teaching across the school is now outstanding; Other strengths of the school’s work identified at the last inspection have been sustained and further improved; Pupils’ attitudes to learning and behaviour are excellent, which is a result of highly effective class management by teachers and other adults supporting in the classrooms; Pupils told the inspectors that they are safe and well looked after, which is further confirmed by the school’s own surveys, which are carried out regularly; The headteacher’s inspirational leadership of the school, together with the support of her highly effective senior leadership team, ensures the school meets fully its vision and aims and lives up to its motto, ‘We grow people’; The highly experienced governing body is outstanding in its role as a critical and supportive friend and successfully ensures the school is financially stable.

 BRADFIELDS SCHOOL, Chatham. OFSTED October 2013. Good. Excerpts from Report - Information about the school: Bradfields provides for students who primarily experience complex learning difficulties and disabilities, including speech, language, emotional, sensory, physical and autistic spectrum disabilities. Since September 2012, the school has been re-designated to include Early Years Foundation Stage children and Key Stages 1 and 2 pupils with autism and severe learning difficulties. The Lower School site has been redeveloped so that the Key Stage 3 MLD provision now includes additional and new build facilities for students with autism and in some cases additional challenging behaviours; Currently, the large majority of students are boys; The school is organised into five Learning Zones where most classes are taught by the stage of their learning. The Blue Primary (including the Early Years Foundation Stage) and Blue Secondary Zones are for students whose primary need is autistic spectrum disabilities. The Yellow Zone is for lower school Key Stage 3 classes, the Red Zone is for Key Stage 4 classes and the Green Zone is for is for Years 12 to 14 classes. In addition, there are three separate mixed-aged ‘special programme’ classes in the lower and upper schools and the sixth form for students with more complex needs, including severe learning difficulties. Key findings: This is a good school; Students make outstanding progress over time, particularly in English and mathematics. There has also been a year-on-year improvement of the proportion of students achieving GCSE passes, as well as successes in other accredited courses such as BTEC; Children attending the Early Years Foundation Stage in 2012 to 2013 made outstanding progress. This prepared them for learning and enabled them to move on successfully to the next stage of their education; The sixth form is outstanding. Many students continue their seamless progression throughout the school, others move directly to other further education provision, and some now join the school from other mainstream settings. All are prepared very well for the next stage of their lives beyond school; Students benefit from teaching which is mostly good and sometimes outstanding. However, a small amount of teaching requires improvement; Students’ behaviour is good. This is as a result of the highly effective care and support that staff provide. In lessons, students were highly motivated and wanted to do their best; Students say they feel safe and happy at the school, as well as at the off-site provision they attend weekly; Leadership and management are good. The headteacher and his senior leadership team have a strong focus on continuing improvement of all aspects of the school’s work; The governing body is highly supportive of the school, knows it very well and supports on-going improvements in all aspects of the school’s work.


(11-16 years) SPLD & Speech & Language @ COMMUNICATION CENTRE

CHALKLANDS CENTRE, Elaine Primary School, Strood

(5-11 years) Emotional & Behaviour difficulties.

DANECOURT COMMUNITY SCHOOL, Gillingham (4-11 years)  OFSTED 2012 - Outstanding. Excerpts from Report: Information about this school - Originally designated as a school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, Danecourt is now increasingly catering for pupils with severe learning difficulties and more complex needs, including speech, language and communication needs. It also has a designated unit for pupils with severe autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) with two classes in Key Stage 2 and one class in Key Stage 1. In addition, it has a commissioned ‘hub’ class, based in a mainstream primary school for pupils who do not need full time specialist provision. The school also operates an outreach service, through which its staff provides advice and support for pupils identified as having special educational needs in mainstream schools within the local authority. Currently, the large majority of pupils are boys and most pupils are of White British background. All have a statement of special educational needs. A few pupils are looked after by a range of local authorities and the proportion known to be eligible for the pupil premium is well above the national average. Key findingsThis is an outstanding school; Pupils make outstanding progress, particularly in the key skills of literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT); Those with speech, language and communication needs make significant progress in developing their communication skills, both through the use of picture symbol cards and use of new technologies; Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage make excellent progress, which enables them to proceed successfully to the next stage of their education and, in some instances, reintegrate into mainstream education; As a result of a rigorous and sustained focus on improvement by the headteacher and his deputy, the quality of teaching is now outstanding; this is a significant improvement since the previous inspection; Because of highly effective class management by staff, pupils’ attitudes to learning and behaviour are excellent. Learning is rarely affected by disruptive behaviour;The headteacher provides highly effective leadership of the school, ensuring it meets fully its core aim of providing a safe and caring environment in which to develop pupils as individuals and maximise their learning; The governing body is outstanding in its role as a supportive and critical friend of the school.

MARLBOROUGH CENTRE, Hoo St Werburgh Primary School

(5-11 years) Autism

RIVERMEAD COMMUNITY SPECIAL SCHOOL, Gillingham (11-19 years) complex emotional and behavioural needs including Autism: OFSTED 2012 - Good School. Excerpt from Report: Information about the school -  Provides for students aged 11–19 with complex emotional and behavioural needs. It is smaller than average in size and the overwhelming majority of students have a statement of special educational needs mainly related to autistic spectrum disorders. Most students have additional communication and language needs and/or medical/mental health needs. The length of placement at the school depends on individual needs, and many students have spent a considerable amount of time away from mainstream education before admission. The provision in the sixth form is still under development. It will be implemented fully in September 2012 and until that time there are no students of this age in the school. Key findings - Rivermead is a good school. The development of the sixth form is progressing well in preparation for September 2012 when new students will start. Students of different ages, backgrounds and abilities make good progress and achieve well. They achieve particularly well in the development of their skills in communication and in mathematics. In the vast majority of lessons, teachers provide students with activities that engage their interest and they use information and ICT well to enhance learning. They assess students’ work regularly and accurately and ensure that students know what they need to do to improve. The overwhelming majority of students make significant improvements in learning to manage their own behaviours, and bullying of any kind is almost non-existent. Students feel extremely safe and secure in school at all times. They enjoy school, support each other well and attendance levels are above average. The school is very well led and teachers’ performance is generally managed effectively. The strong leadership team ensure there is a sustained focus on improving classroom practice and outcomes for students.  The very effective way in which the school promotes students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a key factor in its success.

RIVERSIDE VI UNIT, Riverside Primary School, Rainham

(5-11 years) Visual Impairment

RIVERSIDE HUB, Riverside Primary School,Rainham

 (5-11 Years) Autism


(11-16 years) Emotional & behaviour difficulties.

ST WERBURGH CENTRE FOR AUTISM, Hundred of Hoo Comprehensive, Hoo

(11-16yrs)  Autism


(11-16 years) Visual Impairment


 TWYDALL INFANT PD Unit, Twydall Infant School, Gillingham


(4-7 years)  Physical Disability

TWYDALL JUNIOR PD Unit, Twydall Junior School, Gillingham

(7-11 years) Physical Disability & Complex Medical Conditions


 (4-11 years) Speech and Language difficulties


(11-16 yrs) Emotional & behaviour difficulties


(5-11 years) Moderate learning difficulties





Published Letter to Kent on Sunday

Dear Editor,

I was fascinated that Medway Council claimed in last week’s KOS that late testing for Medway grammar school places has been available for several years rather than introduced in the middle of this year’s admission process following media pressure, as I believe.

Perhaps the person who gave the statement did not know that Medway’s own prospectus states that late testing can only take place in exceptional circumstances ; that it is not even mentioned in the legal document that sets out Medway’s admission procedure; that when the Council commented on the media debate I initiated they were solely concerned with defending the status quo and forgot to mention this central issue; that parents were consistently told last year there was no provision for late testing; that when I contacted grammar schools early in March they were not aware of the change in procedure; and that one of my clients living in Kent contacted the Council offices two weeks ago and was told that there was no such procedure.

However the good news is that the Council has indeed bowed to that pressure and some Kent children allocated to inaccessible grammar schools will now be able to take up the vacant  spaces previously barred to them if they now take and pass the Medway selective tests.

Published in Newspaper Articles

Children at the Chatham Grammar School test centre, had their maths test halted five minutes early and some papers were collected in. The children were then given the correct time, but the confusion will certainly have affected some pupils' chances of success, especially as they then had to sit the English test
Published in News Archive
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 00:00

Medway Primary Schools

Update in Progress May 2019

Entries on this page include the OFSTED Grade for each Primary School updated twice a year, also recording change from previous Inspection result, together with some other relevant information below. It is worth using the search engine on the Home Page to pick up other references to individual schools.

You will find advice on Primary school Admissions and Appeals here

You can read the full Report on each Primary School at OFSTED. Each school is awarded a main Grade: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement (previously Satisfactory), and Inadequate (two sub categories - A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and requires significant improvement but leadership and management are judged to be Grade 3 or better - A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school). Each Report carries a brief description of the school before justifying its decision in more detail. If a school is in Special Measures or Serious Weaknesses, the results of further monitoring visits are noted.

A majority of the schools that have previously had a 'Good' or 'Outstanding' assessment are given a Short Inspection (known as Section 8). These are indicated by 'Good (S). These will be confirmed in their assessment grade. However for some of these schools, the Inspection Team may consider that there are concerns, or in the case of a Good school, grounds for raising the Grade and this can only be done by a full Section Five Grade. These are recorded for example as  'Outstanding (SC) or 'Good (SR). 

You will find an analysis of oversubscription and vacancies for  Medway Primary Places for September 2018 Admissions here, for 2017 here, and for 2016 here.

Reports on Inspections between between September 2018 and February 2019  are in the first table, followed by other tables containing older ones.

(A) Indicates the school is an Academy (2017 onwards)

Reports published post-August 2018 and pre March 2019 are in the first table, followed by other tables containing older ones .



School OFSTED Grade Date Change
Luton Infant Requires Improvement Oct 18 No change
Swingate (A) Good (S) Nov 18 No change
Walderslade (A) Good (S) Nov 18 No change


Balfour Junior (A) Good (S) Dec 18 No change
Brompton-Westbrook (A) Good (S) Jan 19 No change
Byron (A) Requires Improvement Sep 18 Up one
Deanwood (A) Good (S) Nov 18 No change
Fairview Good (S Apr 19  No change
Hempsted Infant  Good Sep 18  Up one
Lordswood (A) Good   Jan 19 Up one 
Twydall (A)

Effective Action After

Serious Weaknesses

Mar 19
Hoo St  Werbergh (A) Good (S) Sep 18 No change
Parkwood Infant (A) Good (S) Feb 19 No change
Chattenden (A) Good (S) Nov 18 No change
St Peter's Infant
Good Dec 18 No change

Temple Mill (A)  Good Oct 18 Up two


School OFSTED Grade Date Change
All Saints CofE (A) Good Jun 18 No change
Horsted Junior Good Mar 18 No change
Luton Junior Outstanding Sep 17 Up one
Oaklands Good Feb 18 Up one
St John's CofE Infant (A) Good Jun 18 No change
St Mary's Island CofE (Aided) Good Mar 18 No change


Burnt Oak Requires Improvement Jun 18 Down One
Hempstead Junior Good Jun 18 No change
Napier Community (A) Requires Improvement Oct 17  No change 
St Mary's Catholic Good Oct 17 No change
Twydall (A) Serious Weaknesses Jul 18 No change
High Halstow (A) Good Jan 18 No change
St James CofE Primary (A) Good Jan 18 No change
Stoke Community (A) Requires Improvement Sep 17 No change
St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic (A) Good Jun 18 No change
St Margaret's CofE Junior (A) Good Jul 18 No change
St Thomas of Canterbury RC Good Jan 18  No change 
St William of Perth (A) Good May 18 No change

All Faith's Children's Community (A)   Requires Improvement Nov 17 Down One
English Martys Catholic Good Feb 18 No change


School OFSTED Grade Date Change
Kingfisher Community Requires Improvement Jul 17 No change
Requires Improvement
Oct 16
No change
New Horizons Children's Academy Good May 17 First inspection
New Road Primary Good Jun 17 Up one


Mar 17 
Down one 
Sept 16
No change
Park Wood Junior Good
Mar 17 
No change 
Delce Junior Requires Improvement Mar 2017 Down one
Feb 17 
Up two 
Good Feb 17 No change
Cuxton Community Infant Good Feb 17 No change
Cuxton Community Junior Good Jul 17 Up two
Warren Wood Primary Academy Requires Improvement Jun 17 Up one
Wainscott Primary Good Jun 17 Up one
No schools inspected


School OFSTED Grade Date Change
Balfour Infants Good Nov 15 No Change
Balfour Juniors Good Oct 15 No Change
Horsted Infant Outstanding Jun 16 Up one
Luton Infant Requires Improvement May 16 No change
Oaklands Requires Improvement Jan 16  No change
Phoenix Junior Academy Good May 16 No change
St Michael's RC Good Jan 16 Up one
Wayfield Primary (A) Special Measures May 16 Down two


Barnsole Outstanding Mar 16 Up two
Hempstead Infant Requires Improvement May 16 No change
Hempstead Junior**  Section 8 Emergency Inspection  Jan 16
Oasis Skinner Street (A)* Effective Action to Remove SM Dec 15
Effective Action to Remove SM Mar 16
Good Jun 16 Up two
Saxon Way Primary (A)  Good  Jun 16  Up two
Woodlands Academy Good Jan 16 No change
Hoo St Werburgh Good Jan 16 Up one
St Helen's CofE, Cliffe Good Nov 15 Up One
St Margaret's Infants Good Mar 16 No change
Delce Infant Good Jun 16 Up one
 Hilltop, Frindsbury  Good  Feb 16  Up one
 Elaine Primary Academy  Requires Improvement  Jun 16  No change
Temple Mill Effective Action to Remove SM
 Sep 15

  * Oasis Skinner Street, see article here.

    Hempstead Junior**  See articles here,



School OFSTED Grade Date Change
Greenvale Infants Reasonable progress to removal of SW Nov 14
Requires Improvement May 15 Up one
Kingfisher (A) Requires Improvement Jun 15 Up one
New Road Requires Improvement Jun 15 No change
St John's CofE Infant Good Mar 15 Up one
St Benedict's RC
Good Jul 15 No change
 Good  Nov 14  Down one


Brompton-Westbrook (A) Good Feb 15 No change
Burnt Oak Good Mar 15 Up one
Reasonable progress to removal of SM Feb 15
Insufficient Progress to removal of SM May 15
Fairview Community Good  Jun 15 Up one
Featherby Junior Requires Improvement Jan 15 No change
Miers Court Good Mar 15 No change
Oasis Skinner Street (A)* Special Measures  May 15 Down one
Park Wood Infant Good Mar 15 No change
Rivermead  Good  Sep 14  No change
Thamesview Good Jun 15 Up one
  School not enough progress to removal of SM.
School improvement plan remains unfit for purpose.
 Oct 14
 Reasonable progress to Removal of SM   Jan 15
  Reasonable progress to Removal of SM  Mar 15
Reasonable Progress to removal of SM May 15
Walderslade Good May 15 Up one
All Hallows (A) Good Jun 15 Up two
 Cliffe Woods (A)  Outstanding  Mar 15
Bligh Infants Outstanding  Jul 15 Up one
Chattenden Good Nov 14 No change
Pilgrim Outstanding Mar 15 Up one
St Peter's Infants Good Dec 14 No change
Temple Mill****
Special Measures Oct 14 Down one
LA Statement of Action fit for purpose
School Action Plan not fit for purpose 
 Jan 15
 Insufficient Progress to Remove SM   Apr 15
Cedar Requires Improvement Jun 15  No change
 Wainscott  Good  Mar 15  Down one

 * Oasis Skinner Street, see article here.

**Byron, see article here.

*** Twydall, most recent article here

**** Temple Mill, most recent mention here.


School OFSTED Grade Date Change
Balfour Junior Requires Improvement Sep 13 Down One
Greenvale Infants Serious Weaknesses Jan 14 Down two
Good progress since SW July 14
Horsted Junior Good Apr 14 Up one
Luton Infant Requires Improvement Mar 14 Down one
Oaklands Requires Improvement Oct 13 No Change
St Mary's Island CofE (Aided) Reasonable progress following SM Nov 13
Good Mar 14 Up two
St Michael's RC Requires Improvement Oct 13 No change
Walderslade Insufficient Progress following RI Sep 13
Barnsole Requires Improvement Dec 13 Down one
Byron Special Measures Jan 14 Down two

local authority statement of action is fit for purpose.
The school’s improvement plan is fit for purpose.

May 14
Featherby Infant Good Feb 14 No change
Hempstead Junior  Good  Oct 13 No change 
Hempstead Infant Requires Improvement Feb 14 Down one
Napier Community
failure to make required improvements
from previous OFSTED (see below)
Oct 13
repeated failure to make required improvements Jan 14
Twydall Primary (see below) Special Measures  Mar 14 Down two
LA Statement of Action fit for purpose following SM
School Action Plan not fit for purpose 
Jun 14
High Halstow Good Jul 14 Up one
Hoo St Werburgh  Requires Improvement  Oct 13  No change
St Helen's CofE Requires Improvement Oct 13 No change
St James' CofE Primary Academy Good May 14 Up two
St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Good Nov 13 No change
St Margaret's CofE VC Good Dec 13 No change
Cuxton Junior

Special Measures Oct 13 Down one
Local Authority Statement of Action not fit for purpose
School Improvement Plan not fit for purpose
Dec 13
Local Authority Statement of Action not fit for purpose
School Improvement Plan not fit for purpose
Mar 14
Reasonable Progress in removing SM Jul 14
Hilltop Requires Improvement Nov 13 Down one
 St Margaret's at Troy Town CofE  Good  Sep 13  Up one
St William of Perth RC Good Mar 14 Up one
 Warren Wood Community  Special Measures Dec 13 Down one

local authority statement of action fit for purpose.
School improvement plan not fit for purpose.

 Apr 14

Elaine Primary Academy Requires Improvement May 14 No change
English Martyr's Catholic Good Nov 13 No change
Gordon Infant Good Good Dec 13 No change
 Gordon Junior    Reasonable prog in Removing SW  Nov 13

  You will find my views on Medway Council's oversight of its primary schools and their poor performance at OFSTED here

School OFSTED Grade Date Change
(see below)
Special Measures Mar 13 Down one
Satisfactory progress from SM Jun 13
Luton Junior Good Jan 13 Up one
Maundene  Good Sep 12 No change
New Road Satisfactory progress  from SM Sep 12
Good progress from SM Jan 13
Requires Improvement Jun 13 Up one
St John's CofE VC Infant Requires Improvement Mar 13 No change
St Mary's Island  Special Measures Nov 12 Down one
Satisfactory progress from SM May 13
St Thomas More Catholic Outstanding Feb 13 Up one

Wayfield Community

Good Jan 13 Up one
Walderslade Requires Improvement Jun 13 No change


Monitoring Insp: Not enough progress 
Feb 13
Nov 12
Up one
Burnt Oak Requires Improvement Feb 13 No change
Deanwood Good Sep 12 Up one
Fairview Community Requires Improvement Jun 13 Down one
Featherby Junior Requires Improvement Mar 13 No change
Napier Community Requires Improvement Jun 13 No change
Riverside  Good Nov 12 Up one
Saxon Way
(see below)
Satisfactory progress from SM
Dec 12
Satisfactory progress from SM Mar 13
Not enough progress from SM Jun 13
Skinner Street Requires Improvement Feb 13 No change
St Mary's Catholic Good Jan 13 No change
St Thomas of Canterbury Good Mar 13 No change
Twydall Good Oct 12 1st inspection Academy
All Hallows 
(see below)
Special Measures Mar 13 Down one
Satisfactory progress from SM Jun 13
High Halstow Requires Improvement Oct 12 1st Inspection Academy
Stoke Community Requires Improvement Jun 13 No change
Park Wood Junior Good Jan 13 Good
Thames View Requires Improvement Jun 13 No change
Walderslade Requires Improvement Jun 13 No change
Bligh Junior Good Feb 13 Up one
Halling Satisf progr from NtoI Oct 12  
  Requires Improvement May 13 Up one
St William of Perth RC Requires Improvement Nov 12 No change
All Faith's Children's Community Good Jun 13 No change
Gordon Junior  Serious Weaknesses Jan 13 Down one
Satisfactory  progress from SW Jun 13
St Nicholas CofE Infant Outstanding Jan 13 Up one
Sherwin Knight Infant  Requires Improvement Dec 12 No change
Sherwin Knight Junior  Serious Weaknesses Nov 12 Down One
Reasonable progress to remove SW May 13 (see note below)
Temple Mill Requires Improvement Feb 13 No change

Sherwin Knight Junior School is about to close and be absorbed into the Infant School which is extending its age range. Medway Council was criticised in the latest OFSTED Inspection for not monitoring or challenging the school sufficiently through a period of change. For instance, it has not asked leaders how pupils’ learning is going to be protected while the process of improving teaching takes place (quite important I would have thought).

Saxon Way Primary School, Kingfisher Community Primary School and Lordswood School are all to be taken over by the Griffin Schools Trust as sponsored academies in September 2013. 

All Hallows Primary is becoming an academy as part of the Williamson Trust in September 2013, joining High Halstow and Elaine Primary Academy.  

Twydall Primary School has been the subject of controversy following a proposal for it to become a Sponsored Academy (July 14)

Pre September 2012 Reports


School OFSTED Grade Date          
All Hallows Primary, Hoo Satisfactory Jun 2011  
Balfour Junior Good Sep 2010  
Barnsole Junior, Gillingham Notice to Improve Nov 2011 Good Progress Jul 2012
Brompton-Westbrook Primary Satisfactory Dec 2010  
Burnt Oak Primary, Gillingham Inadequate progress Jun 2011 Monitoring inspection of Grade 3 schools
Byron Primary, Gillingham Good Mar 2011  
Chattenden Primary Good Jul 2010  
Cuxton Community Infant Good Jan 2012  
Cuxton Community Junior Satisfactory Feb 2011  
Deanwood Primary, Gillingham Satisfactory Mar 2011  
Delce Junior Good Jul 2010  
Elaine Primary, Rochester Satisfactory Jan 2011  
Fairview Community Primary Good May 2010  
Featherby Infant
Good Sep 2010  
Featherby Junior, Gillingham Satisfactory Jan 2011  
Glencoe Junior, Chatham Inadequate progress Mar 2011 Not an inspection, but an Interim monitoring of Grade 3 schools
Gordon Junior Special Measures Jun 2009 Good Progress Jun 2010
Gordon Junior Satisfactory Nov 2010 Removed from Special Measures
Greenvale Infant, Chatham Good Jun 2011  
Halling Primary Notices to Improve Feb 2012  
Hempstead Infant, Gillingham Good Jun 2011  
Horsted Infant, Chatham Good Feb 2012  
Horsted Junior, Chatham Satisfactory Feb 2012  
Lordswood School Satisfactory  May 2012  
Luton Infant and Nursery, Chatham Good May 2011  
 Luton Junior  Good Nov 2010  
Miers Court Primary, Gillingham Good Nov 2011  
 Oaklands Infant Chatham Notice to Improve Nov 2010 see below
Oaklands Infant Chatham  Satisfactory Dec 11  
Oaklands Junior Satisfactory Nov 2010  
Napier Community Infant & Nursery, Gillingham Satisfactory Feb 2011  
New Road School & Nursery Unit, Chatham Special Measures Oct 2011 Satisfactory progress, Feb 2012, good progress May 2012
Saxon Way Primary, Gillingham Special Measures Jun 2012  
St Benedict's RC Primary Good Jun 2010  
St Helen's CofE Primary, Cliffe Satisfactory Feb 2012  
St James CofE VA Primary, Grain Special Measures Dec 2010 Satisf Progress May 2011, See below
St James CofE VA PrimaryGrain  Satisfactory Jul 2012 see above
St Margaret's CofE Junior, Rainham
Notice to Improve Sep 2009 Inadequate Progress Feb 2009 (see below)
St Margaret's CofE Junior, Rainham Good Nov 2010 Removed from Special Measures
St Margaret's Infant School, Rainham Good Jun 2011  
St Margaret's at Troy Town CofE VC, Rochester Satisfactory Jan 2012  
St Mary's Island CofE (Aided) Primary Satisfactory Jan 2011  
St Michael's RC Primary, Chatham Satisfactory Nove 2011  
St Peter's Infant, Rochester Good Mar 2011  
St William of Perth RC Primary Satisfactory Jul 2010  
Sherwin Knight Infant, Strood Satisfactory Jun 2010  
Sherwin Knight Infant,   Inadequate Progress Sep 2011 Monitoring Inspection of Grade 3 schools
Skinner Street Junior Special Measures Jun 2009 Good progress July 2010
Skinner Street Junior, Gillingham Satisfactory Jan 2011 Removed from Special Measures
Spinnens Acre Community Junior Notice to Improve Sep 2009 Inadequate Progress May 2010
Spinnens Acre Community Junior, Chatham Special Measures Oct 2010 Satisfactory Progress Mar 2011. Good progress Dec 2011, see below
Spinnens Acre Community Junior, Chatham Satisfactory Mar 2012 see above
Temple Mill Junior Satisfactory Nov 2010  
Thames View Junior , Rainham Satisfactory Feb 2011  
Twydall Junior, Gillingham Good Mar 2011  
Walderslade Primary Satisfactory Sep 2010  
Wainscott Primary Good Mar 2012  
Warren Wood Community Primary, Rochester
Special Measures Jul 2009 Inadequate Progress Jul 2010 & Sep 2010, Satisfactory Progress Mar 2011
Warren Wood Community Primary, Rochester Satisfactory Jun 2011  
Wayfield Primary, Chatham Satisfactory Sep 2010 Inadequate progress, Monitoring Inspection, Mar 2012
Woodlands Infant Good Nov 2010  


Admission Comments for September 2012 entry (Written March 2012)

The general Medway picture on Infant Class admissions for the last three years is as follows.


  2012 2011 2010
  No of Medway Pupils %

No of Medway pupils

% No of pupils %
Offered a named Medway school 2980 97.0 2842 97.4 2873 96.0
Offered first preference 2731 88.9 2678 91.8 2775 92.7
Offered second preference 184 6.0 127 4.3 98 3.3
Offered third preference 52 1.7 31 1.1    
Offered fourth pref 13 0.4 6 0.2    
Allocated by Medway 90 3.0 75 2.5 107


Total of applications 3071   2917   2980  

The number of Medway children offered a place at a non-Medway school is 73, with 42 non-Medway children offered places in Medway primary schools, all of these were a preference expressed by the parent/carer. Most of these will have been in the Walderslade area, where the county boundary crosses the M2.

The percentage of Medway reception aged children being offered one of their four named schools is 97.0% slightly down from 97.4% last year. These figures will always be higher than those of Kent, who only allow parents to name three schools. However, the number who were not offered their first choice has risen significantly from 7.3% in 2010, to 8.2% in 2011, to 11.1% this year. This year's increase will be down to the 5% rise in pupil numbers for 2012 Year R.

Pupil rolls at Year R in Medway have been falling for many years, bottoming out in 2011, and figures are reported to show increases each year from now on for the next three years (all years that children have been born and can be counted). In 2010, Ridge View Primary School in Chatham  was controversially closed and many parents have expressed unhappiness at the lack of provision this year, as revealed by the fall in proportion of first choices offered. As a result of the closure, the number of places has fallen by 60 to 3336, whilst the Medway Reception age group has risen by 154 children, an effective reduction in 217 places.

This still leaves just 3% of Medway children being allocated a school not of their choice,  33 of the 90 concerned being in Chatham, to Luton Infants School, the only school in Chatham left with any vacancies, and where the key pressure can be seen . This suggests that the closure of Ridge View was a mistake, with St John's Infants, which also came close to being closed, being full. No other school in Medway received more than 7 allocations. What is clear from the parental preferences  is their quite understandable wish to avoid their children attending the 30% of Medway primary schools that are, or have been, failed by OFSTED.

Most oversubscribed school was Balfour Infants, with 41 first choices turned away, followed by All Saints CofE Primary with 34, then: Fairview Community Primary; The Pilgrim; Miers Court Primary; and Twydall Primary, all with more than 15 first choices rejected.

The Hoo Peninsula primary schools have the highest vacancy rate between them, with 18% of places empty, compared with 3% in Chatham and 9% overall across Medway. Four schools, all with a Satisfactory OFSTED are at least half empty.


Published in Medway Primary Schools
Monday, 04 October 2010 00:00

Secondary School Appeals

Last updated: March 2019

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 2018 Appeals in Kent and Medway entry here and more information about individual Kent schools here

I have retired from my full appeals advice service but  My Telephone Consultation Service is available through the year, for both admissions and appeals.  I also support a range of In Year Appeals, often from expatriate families. I am afraid I only support families living in the Kent and Medway Local Authority areas for schools in these two authorities. See Can I help You for details. Up until summer 2016 I had supported around a thousand successful appeals to all types of schools in Kent and Medway providing me with a wealth of local experience.

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 Admisison 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 73, and for non selective schools from 0 to 25. You will find some more detail about appeal outcomes for 2018 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, Panels organised by the Local Authorities or Independent Panel Administrators managing appeals at a group of schools are generally most independent.

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.


Last Revised February 2019


You will find data for 2018 Appeals in Kent and Medway entryhere and more information including oversubscription and appeal statistics for individual Medway schools here

If your child is unsuccessful in the Medway tests you are entitled to apply for a Review of the decision, designed to select another 2% of children. However, for 2019 admission it reached another  new low at 0.12% of the cohort (2 out of 78 Medway boys who went to Review and 2 out of 81 girls, no private school or out of Medway children out of 26). For 2017 it was 0.37%, (4 out of 74 boys and 8 out of 87 girls). You will find overall figures for 2017 here (2018 to follow shortly), bringing the total up to a pass rate of 22.8% against a target of 25%. For 2018 entry, this process identified just a further 12 successful Medway children (only 0.37%) out of a total of 161 applicants  for Review, and for 2017 it was 24 out of 148.  

Current legislation is in a mess, and if you apply for a Review and are unsuccessful, the rules say you can only have your case heard by an Independent Appeal Panel if you can show the Review process was not fair, objective or consistent. You will find the legal background at Code of Practice for School Appeals, paras 3.12 and 3.13. I do not know how parents can weigh up which option to choose on this reading!  However, I attempt to summarise the situation below that may be helpful.

The Review procedure for 2019 entry was as follows. Review Panels, each comprising two teachers from different schools, looked at three pieces of work from each of English, mathematics and science submitted by the primary schools (usually but not always within books), together with standardised test results (including Key Stage 1) taken in the schools and a grammar/non selective recommendation from the primary school (there is no indication on the Panel decision sheet of how this information was used). The Panel were not given any other information although parents are asked to complete a form (which panellists were instructed to ignore) giving their reasons for asking for a Review.  Each Panel then made a decision based on the work of the children they were reviewing and the total of successful reviews for Medway state school children turned out to be 0.12 % well below the planned 2% which has been generally followed in previous years. There were no successes for private or out of Medway school children.

The problems are compounded by the Review application Form R1 that invites parents to give their reasons for requesting a Review. It is also made clear that  parents should not send in information or documentation additional to their written statement (this cuts out medical evidence or other special reasons for underperformance, including prolonged absence from school which would have an effect on quality of work submitted).  However, the form also states that decisions will be based on the evidence supplied by the school, implying (confirming) that these parental reasons will be ignored. Further the primary school headteacher is forbidden to write letters of support or to provide information, other than KS1 results, Year 5  levels and a high/grammar recommendation. In 2008, following a complaint by me, the ombudsman criticised this process as the combination of the two procedures denies parents any opportunity to put forward their case, which flies in the face of natural justice. However, in a 2010 complaint the Ombudsman found this contradiction was reasonable!

I have received many enquiries on the value of the words on the R1 Review Request form. All I can get from Medway Council is that:

Those carrying out the Review process should see the parental statement (and no more), just to place the academic evidence in context. The review panel will (then) make their decision based on a consideration of the academic evidence provided by the school. 

 This moves us no further forward as if parents have reasons for underperformance, no Review Panel should/could accept these without evidence that would be supplied by additional materials. In any case, the Panel decision is based (solely?) on academic evidence supplied by the school. I am very disappointed that Medway Council is unable to give proper guidance to parents on the value of their statement on Form R1, preferring to leave them in confusion. My own view is that although Panels are not be able to take the statements into consideration, parents should put reasons for underperformance down as it is often relevant for appeals (see below). Do not mention specific schools. Please feel free to use my telephone consultation service to discuss this. 

 Consideration of the Review Process at Appeal
 In all cases, if the child has been unsuccessful at Review, the school presents the Review results sheet (R2B) to the Independent Appeal Panel. It also provides the R1 Form, when an unhelpful comment by parents, written in good faith, can damage your appeal case. There is also an R2(A) which is presented, containing the information (above) submitted by the headteacher.

 At an Appeal, parents have the right to present whatever additional information they wish, to try and persuade the Panel that their child is of a grammar school standard. This is likely to include reasons why the child underperformed and alternative evidence of his or her grammar school ability. However, the statutory Code of Practice states that where a Review has taken place, the only grounds for appeal are that the Review was not fair, objective or consistent. In other words, according to the rules, panels cannot consider alternative evidence that the child is of a grammar school standard, or that there were reasons for underperformance on the day, unless they are satisfied that the Review process was unfair (but see below) 

 The real problem about Review often comes at appeal, as Appeal Panels for the different schools adopt different interpretations of the Code, sometimes adopting different views in different years.

 From entry in 2010 for all subsequent years, clients of mine persuaded Appeal Panels at Chatham Grammar Boys & Chatham Grammar Girls that the Review process was inherently unfair. Since then, Appeal Panels at Chatham Girls have ignored the issue and just considered the evidence put forward by parents. At Holcombe, the 2018 process was a shambles as explained first here, and finally here. I have no idea what will happen for 2019 entry. 

Clients of mine have persuaded the Panels at Sir Joseph Williamson's over the years, including 2016, that the Medway Reviews were unfair – I believe my arguments have been decisive in some years, and so parents did have their academic cases considered. For 2014 entry, the Panel, faced with heavy oversubscription of qualified applicants, decided that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the Review process was fair. You would have needed a very strong set of personal circumstances to overcome this. For 2015, 2016, 2017  and 2018 entry, the Review process was unfair in some cases!

The number of children, initially non selective, who were offered places at Rochester Grammar or Rainham Mark is negligible (for 2018 entry it was none), the fairness of the Review process providing an initial filter.

Panels at Fort Pitt  for 2016, 2017 and 2018 entry the school was heavily over subscribed so it was no surprise it was considered fair. 

Summary of Issues and Strategies for Review Process

  • If you go for Review and are unsuccessful, an assessment of your child’s work is sent to the appeal panel. I believe that because markers want to create clear water between those who are found selective and those who are not, Review reports are often unduly harsh and have a negative effect on Panels.
  • The Admissions brochure, like the parental advice, is ambiguous on the issue of whether parental reasons are taken into account, in spite of being criticised by the Ombudsman who considers parents should have the right to have their reasons presented to the Review Panel Review. The reality is, they are not, but can surface at appeal and count against you. 
  • The above analysis by school  suggests you should go for Review if you are considering a place at the two Chatham Girls. For Rainham Mark and Rochester,  chances of a successful appeal if your child is initially unsuccessful are usually slim (practically nil), and so I am unable to advise you which decision to take. For Holcombe I have no idea what is to come. 
  • For Fort Pitt and the Maths School, it may be dependent  on the level of oversubscription - Fort Pitt has found it fair in the past few years ;  the Math unfair for some even though oversubscribed.  
  • If you go for Review and are unsuccessful, an assessment of your child’s work is sent to the appeal panel. I believe that because markers want to create clear water between those who are found selective and those who are not, Review reports are often unduly harsh and have a negative effect on Panels.
  • Medway Council works hard to try and make the Review process fair, objective and consistent, following each previous year's experience, to meet the Code and ensure that Appeals cannot consider parental reasons. I believe that the process is inherently flawed and can be successfully challenged - but it is increasingly difficult! The reality is that if an Appeal Panel is determined to find the process fair, it is very difficult to budge it.  

Warning on Medway School Admissions

Schools are not allowed to know the position you have placed them on the Application Form when drawing up rankings of children to determine who is awarded a place. However, for 2014 entry the whole application form,including reasons for applying for a school was sent to Admission Authorities to be provided as evidence for appeal panels when considering appeals. This practice has continued for 2015 admission and subsequently, although I regard it as a seriously retrograde step placing parents in an invidious position regarding their choice of schools. It is certainly wrong according to the spirit, if not the letter, of the mandatory School Admissions Code,that does not allow schools to know in which order the parents have placed them on the form for admission purposes.  However, I am told it is legal and other Authorities (not Kent) also use it when parents appeal for a school place in March, It is possible that some schools which are their own admission authorities (including academies) may choose not to present the information to Independent Appeal Panels, but for 2016 appeals nearly all did. If you are likely to have to appeal, you therefore now have to consider order of preference on the Common Application Form much  more carefully than in previous years, as the school and appeal panel will now see all your preferences and be entitled to ask the reason for them.

Further, there is a section for you to provide the reason for applying to each school separately on the Form.  This used to be confidential to the school applied for and continues to be so, unless you appeal, when as it is on the common application form it is shared with all schools you are appealing to. Obviously if you put down strong reasons for applying to one school it may reflect badly on you if appealing for another! My advice is therefore clear. Do not put any entry in this section, unless you are applying on health grounds (or similar) on which you consider your child needs to attend a particular school, in which case you would also need to provide strong medical evidence to substantiate your claim. Otherwise, reasons are completely ignored for allocating places in the admission procedure as they do not form part of the criteria or rules by which places are allocated.

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