Supporting Families
  • banner8
  • banner6
  • banner12
  • banner11
  • banner3
  • banner9
  • banner4
  • banner7
  • banner2
  • banner10

Displaying items by tag: secondary schools

Last Updated October 2021

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage
This page is designed primarily for parents resident in Medway, whose children will be transferring to state secondary schools in September 2022. It should be read in conjunction with the pages on Medway Grammar School Admissions and Kent Secondary School Admissions.

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

You will find the full Medway Co-Ordinated Admission Scheme for entry in September 2022 here.

Please note that for parents applying for any school in Medway outside the normal admission round, you will need to go through the In Year Admission process. For schools run by Medway Council applications need to be made through the Council. Most academies and Voluntary Aided schools manage their own late and in-year admissions, in which case they are technically nothing to do with the Council. However, some of these still delegate the process to Medway Council. In my experience, Medway Council does not appear to operate a systematic approach to such admissions, with varying advice, some of it breaking the Schools Admission Code. You will find further details here

News and Information Items relevant to Medway Secondary School Admission for September 2021 

 

Oversubscription and Vacancies in Medway Grammar Schools: Allocation March 2021

Secondary School Appeals

Medway Grammar School Review and Appeals

Information on Individual Medway Secondary Schools

 
Consult the article on In Year Admissions if you are looking for a new school at other times.
 
TIMETABLE
 
Key Action
Key Dates in Scheme
Opening date for registration for Medway Tests Tuesday 1 June 2021
Closing date for registration for Medway Tests Tuesday 29 June 2021
Secondary school applications open  Monday 6 September 2021
Medway Test Date for children attending Medway primary, junior and independent schools which have opted to test in own school during the week Tuesday 14/ Wednesday 15 September 2021
Medway Test date for children attending Medway primary, junior and independent schools which have opted to test in own school on Saturday and those children from out of area and those Medway schools that have not opted to test in own school (will be tested in test centres). Saturday 18/Sunday 19 September 2021
Parents informed of test results Monday 4 October 2021
Closing Date for review requests Monday 11 October 2021
Parents informed of review results by Friday 22 October 2021
National Closing Date for Common Application Form (online and SCAF) 5pm Sunday 31 October 2021
National Offer Day, offers posted or sent by email Tuesday 1 March 2022
Places must be accepted/refused and requests to go on a waiting list and appeals must be submitted By Wednesday 31 March 2022
Vacant places re-allocated by Medway Council Monday 18 April 2022 until Friday 30 December 2022

Whilst there are national closing and offer dates, each Local Authority operates slightly different processes for allocating pupils, for example Medway parents have six choices and Kent parents have four choices. The Medway secondary school details, online here, contain details of the all important oversubscription rules, which determine if you will be offered a place if too many people apply. Medway residents need to apply on the  Medway Secondary Common Application Form (SCAF), also listing any schools in Kent applied for. In the same way, residents of Kent and other Local Authorities should apply for Medway schools on their own Local Authority application form. 

GRAMMAR SCHOOL TESTING
It is essential that all parents, who are considering entering their child for the Medway or Kent tests, register their child on the appropriate form hereYour child cannot take the Medway or Kent tests if he or she has not been registeredYou cannot be considered for a Medway grammar school if your child has not sat the  Medway tests, except in the case of the two Chatham Grammars - see following. There is nothing to lose by entering your child for both tests. For the two Chatham Grammar Schools, admission is via success in either Kent or Medway tests. Medway Grammar School applications are considered in more detail on a separate page.
 
THE REVIEW PROCESS 
Where children have taken the Medway Test and been unsuccessful, parents have the right to request a review of the decision within the next week. Results will be out in time for you to complete your SCAF. Parents will need to think carefully about whether to apply for a Review, as if unsuccessful, you may find yourself barred from making an appeal on academic grounds and the Review documents are presented to the appeal panel. For more information see Medway grammar school Review and appeal.
 
APPLICATIONS 
Most Secondary School Open Days take place in the Autumn Term. Most Grammar schools hold Open Days after assessment results are sent out on 7th October. Details of these are published in the school Admissions Directory for individual schools. 

Parents will then be able to select up to six schools in order on the Secondary Common Application Form (SCAF).   

Some scenarios:
 
 1) If the child has passed the Medway tests, you may name just grammar schools on your SCAF. Because there are falling numbers in Medway secondary schools, there are plenty of vacancies in the system, so naming all grammar schools for which your child is eligible ensures he or she will be allocated to one of these. 
 2) If your child has not taken the eleven plus, you can only be considered for non-selective schools.
 3) 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.
 4) 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.
5) Note if you finish up appealing see "Warning" below.
 
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 a school by placing it in a different order than your genuine preference. Sadly, some schools still verbally advise parents otherwise. No Kent or Medway school is told the position where parents have placed a school on the SCAF at allocation time, and so none can offer a place according to position.
 
Each school draws up a list of eligible applicants in terms of priority according to their oversubscription criteria. They are not told where you have listed them on the SCAF, so list schools exactly as you prefer them and don’t be swayed by any school telling you it gives priority to those who list them first. Your child will then be offered the highest preference school for which they are eligible. This means that some children could get their fourth choice ahead of others who listed it first if their claim is stronger. If your child does not qualify for any school on your SCAF, the LA will offer a place at the nearest Medway school it judges as appropriate, or sensible.

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 appeals the whole application form,including reasons for applying for a school is sent to schools being appealed for to be provided as evidence for appeal panels when considering appeals. 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. If you are likely to have to appeal, you therefore 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 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.

 
APPEALS
Your right to appeal is to a particular school, and so you must have applied for it on your SCAF. Medway Council has determined that no late applications to grammar schools are allowed outside the normal process.  For Kent, you will need to use the In Year Admission process. For Medway, you probably need to go through the Council who also hold waiting lists for all the schools and academies. The Medway process is often difficult and you may be initially told it is not possible. 
Grammar school appeals are likewise not against a non-selective decision in general, but must be made for a named school. As a result, you must list any school you wish to appeal for on your SCAF. You have to wait until National Offer day on 1st March before the school technically rejects your application and only then can you appeal.
 
FURTHER GUIDANCE
It is difficult to give general guidance on placing schools in order, as circumstances change enormously from town to town depending on popularity of individual schools and their oversubscription rules. Above all, make sure that you and your child visit the schools you are considering.
  • For all oversubscribed schools find out if you would have been accepted last year. Ask for the distance from school the furthest pupil who was accepted lived if this is relevant. Many church schools admit children according to their level of church support. Find out which category of religious support was the lowest accepted, although if the school is St John Fisher in Medway, they are unlikely to be oversubscribed. 
  • Each Medway academy makes its own admission rules and you need to check these out carefully to find if you are likely to be offered a place.
  •  Check the rules about free school transport, which only apply if you live more than three miles from your nearest appropriate school, or for certain church schools (this is different from Kent where children only qualify if they live more than three miles from their nearest school without taking into account "appropriate". These rules are detailed in the School Admission Booklet for your LA. See the page on School Transport and Appeals. If applying for a grammar school, especially if you live on the Hoo Peninsula make sure you apply to the nearest grammar school somewhere on your list (even if you are unlikely to be offered a place there). If you are trying to secure free transport to one of the Chatham Grammar Schools you may need to appeal to the nearest (usually RGS or the Math, and be turned down to satisfy the Council that the Chatham Grammar is your nearest appropriate available. 
  • 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.
  • 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”. In Medway, this only applies to St John Fisher Catholic School. You are under no obligation to provide information which is not required for this purpose. 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.
  • In Medway, 91% of children secured their first choice in March for entry in September 2021 (89% in 2020 & 2019). 
  • If not offered the school of your choice you can apply to go on the waiting list for any or all schools at which you have been turned down. Application forms are sent with decision letter on 1st March. 
  • Both Kent and Medway have an on-line application system on which parents can change choices up to the closing date. Details of the Medway scheme can be found here. 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. On-line applicants will be able to access decisions after 4 p.m. on 1st March. Paper applicants will receive decisions by post on 2nd March.
  • Most Medway secondary schools use nearness of homes to the school as measured by the nearest safe walking route determined by the Medway Council Geographical Information System. In a series of successful appeals in recent years, I demonstrated that the application of this system can be flawed.
Tagged under
Friday, 20 March 2009 15:37

School Places KOS March 2009

This Kent On Sunday article is based on information I obtained from Kent County Council. The data in it has also been used by Radio Kent and Meridan TV.

A response to comments from Medway Council appears below.

 Kent County Council data shows there is a total of just 131 vacancies in Kent’s 33 grammar schools, mainly in the east of the county.  268 out county children are taking up places in West and North West Kent grammar schools, displacing many children from these areas eastwards some to grammar schools they cannot reach daily. More than 40 West Kent boys have been   offered places in Folkestone or Sittingbourne.    

 

The biggest influx is into the four Dartford grammar schools, with 29 children coming from as far as Greenwich and another 15 from Lewisham. Bromley took up 59 Kent grammar school places, Bexley another 56 and East Sussex 50.  

 

Most oversubscribed grammar school was Tonbridge (101 turned away), edging out Judd from last year (95). These were followed in order by Skinners, Dartford, Weald of Kent, Tunbridge Wells Boys, Maidstone, and Tunbridge Wells Girls. This year’s problem is highlighted by these eight schools which all turned away more than 40 first choices who had passed the 11+. Last year there were just three, the same top schools as this year.  

 

However, for the second year running the most oversubscribed school in the county is the Leigh Academy in Dartford, rejecting 200 first choice applicants.  

 

One striking feature of non selective school placements is the wide fluctuation in popularity from year to year. The biggest controversy in the county surrounds Valley Park School in South Maidstone, whose popularity has soared this year, turning away 106 first choices, up from 16 in 2008.  There are 85 children in the adjacent areas who have been offered none of their four choices. Other non selective schools rejecting more than 60 first choices are: Folkestone Academy (newly rebuilt); Homewood (Tenterden); Bennett Memorial (Tunbridge Wells);  Westlands (Sittingbourne), Charles Dickens (Broadstairs), North School (Ashford), Archbishops’ (Canterbury); Aylesford (rebuilt under PFI and not even full last year); Mascalls (Paddock Wood) and Fulston Manor (Sittingbourne). Only half these schools were in the list last year showing how difficult it is to predict popularity.

 

At the other end of the scale, four schools were over half empty before children unsuccessful in any of their applications were allocated to them.

 

Kent’s Academies present a very mixed picture.  Cornwallis,  Folkestone and Leigh are all heavily oversubscribed. The other six, mainly with new buildings still to arrive, have a total of 328 vacancies between them before some pupils who had not applied to them, were allocated places by KCC . 

 

Following my campaign through the national media, Medway Council has changed its policy of not allowing late applicants for grammar schools entrance to apply for the 95 spaces in Chatham grammar schools.  Only two weeks ago Council officers were telling enquirers that there was no facility for late testing, but now the grammar schools have laid on additional open days and been overwhelmed by enquiries from Kent parents unable to get into oversubscribed Kent schools. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

 Following a comment by Medway Council on this article, I have written the following letter to KOS.

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
Monday, 04 October 2010 00:00

Kent Admission & Appeals Statistics

Kent Test Results for 2011 entry.

  2011 2010
Registered for Admission 11542 11987
Took Kent Test 10947 11255
Kent Assessed Grammar 4120 4139
Out of County Assessed Grammar 1156 930

Secondary school transfer statistics released by Kent County Council.

 

Kent Pupils
2010
2009
2008
No. of pupils
No. of pupils
%
No. of pupils
%
No. of pupils
Offered a school named on the application form
15,270
96.1%
15,504
95.5%
15,396
95%
Offered a first preference
12,725
80.1%
12,769
78.5%
11,508
70.5%
Offered a second preference
1,753
11.0%
1,850
11.5%
2,750
17%
Offered a third preference
595
3.7%
640
4%
1,138
7%
Offered a fourth preference
197
1.2%
245
1.5%
N/A
N/A
Allocated by Local Authority
620
3.9%
773
4.5%
840
5.5%
Total number of Kent pupils offered
15,890
16,277
16,236

Year
2010
2009
2008
Out of County Applicants
1,532
1,554
1,795
Out of County Offers
532
521
556

Year
2010
2009
2008
Total Numbers of Pupils in the Cohort
17,422
17,831
18,134

 

 

11 Plus news 2010 Entry 

The source of the data on this page is Kent County Council. My thanks for their co-operation in this.

Category               2009 entry 2010 entry change
  Number Number Number

Kent Entrants

9249

9418

-101

OutCounty Entrants

1992

2107

+115

Success Boys

2588

2561

-27

Success Girls

2549

2552

+3

Success Kent

4039

4120

+81

OutCounty Success

1098

993

-105

So, of the 11,255 children who sat the Kent Test in September, 5,113 were assessed selective, roughly the same number as last year (11,241). The number of out of county children sitting the test rose by 115, the number of Kent children fell by 101 reflecting a lower number in the age group. However, the number of Kent children passing is up by 81 to 4,120, whilst the number of out county children passing is down by 105 to 993.  

There are 4,458 grammar school places in Kent, so if only Kent children were taking them up, there would be 338 spare places, nearly all in the East of the County. The great unknown is how many out of county children will take up Kent places, as many of them have multiple applications across different counties and Boroughs.

My sense of these figures is - little change. 

Kent Transfer Appeal Statistics  2009
LEA or Community Schools
 
 
School Type Number of Appeals Number of                 Successes % Success Rate
Grammar  391  167  43
 NonSelective  158  99  63
 Primary  367  36  10

Please note that the large majority of successful primary appeals would be for junior classes, as Infant appeals are governed by Infant Class Legislation (see Primary admissions page).

Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools  

 

School Type Number of Appeals Number of                 Successes % Success Rate
Grammar  562  201  36
 NonSelective  215 104  48
 Primary 82 Not known  

In addition there are a number of schools that do not use KCC Appeal Panels. Statistics are not available for these. 

Statistics vary enormously school by school. For grammar schools the proportion of successes range from  76%  of 33 appeals (an LEA school) down to 7% of 108 appeals (a Foundation School). For non selective schools, there were five schools where all appeals were succcessful, but one Foundation school with just 10% of 20 appeals successful.

Kent Secondary Transfer Statistics 2009 entry

There was  a total of just 131 vacancies in Kent’s 33 grammar schools, at National Offer Day in 2009  mainly in the east of the county.  The problem is that the 268 out county children who took up places in West and North West Kent Grammar schools displaced many children from these areas eastwards, some to grammar schools they cannot reach daily, with more than 40 boys West Kent boys offered places in Folkestone or Sittingbourne. 

The biggest influx is into the four Dartford grammar schools with 29 children coming from Greenwich and another 15 from Lewisham. Bromley took up 59 Kent grammar school places, Bexley another 56 and East Sussex 50.

Most oversubscribed grammar school was Tonbridge (101 turned away), edging out Judd from last year (95). These were followed by Skinners, Dartford, Weald of Kent, Tunbridge Wells Boys, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells Girls. This year’s problem is highlighted by these eight schools who all turned away more than 40 qualified first choices. Last year there were just three, the same top schools as last year.

However, for the second year running the most oversubscribed school in the county is the Leigh Academy in Dartford, rejecting 200 first choice applicants.

One striking feature of non selective school placements is the wide fluctuation in popularity from year to year. I think the biggest controversy in the county surrounds Valley Park School in South Maidstone, whose popularity has soared this year, turning away 106 first choices, up from 16 in 2008.  Other non selective schools rejecting more than 60 first choices are: Folkestone Academy (newly rebuilt); Homewood (Tenterden); Bennett Memorial (Tunbridge Wells);  Westlands (Sittingbourne), Charles Dickens (Broadstairs), North (Ashford), Archbishops’ (Canterbury); Aylesford (rebuilt under PFI and not even full last year); Mascalls (Paddock Wood) and Fulston Manor (Sittingbourne). Only half these schools were in this list last year showing how difficult it is to predict popularity.

At the other end of the scale, four schools were over half empty before children unsuccessful in any of their applications were allocated to them.

Kent Test Statistics for 2009 Entry

9584 Kent pupils registered for the Kent Tests, with a further 2096 out of county.

Of these, 9294 Kent pupils took the tests, with an additional 1765 from out of county.

4213 Kent pupils were assessed selective, that is 45% of those who took the tests. 924 out of county pupils were assessed selective.

53% of the 1459 cases referred for a Headteacher Assessment were successful and are included in the above data.

There are 16297 children in the cohort,so that 21% were automatically found selective, with a further 4% after Headteacher Assessment, making a total of 26% of the cohort found selective.

The number of children who pased the test was up by 250 and there are 600 more successful candidates than there are Kent grammar school places. However, a large number of these are from outside the county with no intention or expectation of taking up a Kent grammar school place, and I understand that the  number of out of county pupils offered grammar school places in Kent is likely to be very similar to last year.

The out of county applicants were mainly from Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Medway and East Sussex (in order). The more distant ones include: Barking, West Sussex, Islington, Dorset, Milton Keynes, Leicestershire and Glamorgan (although many of the latter may be  families planning to relocate to Kent).

 Kent Secondary Transfer Appeal Statistics 2008

LEA or Community Schools

School type Number of Appeals Number of successes % success rate
Grammar 456 184 40
Non Selective 126 68 54

Foundation or Voluntary Aided Schools

These are appeals organised by the KCC for these schools. Many Foundation and VA Schools organise their own appeals and I do not have data for these. 

School Type Number of Appeals Number of successes % success rate
Grammar 540 143 26
Non-Selective 185 101 55

Note: these statistics hide a multitude of sins. One LEA Grammar school had 55 succsssful appeals, others have very few. Grammar School appeals include both selection appeals (where the child do not pass the Kent test, and oversubscription appeals (where many appellants may have pased the Kent tests and be seeking a place in schools that are full). 

I have focused on first choices for simplicity; the number of children on waiting lists may vary considerably from this. For example, many of those who put a grammar school in first place may also now be on the waiting list for a non selective school but won't appear in the statistics below, so the number on waiting lists for non selective schools can be considerably higher than indicated. After grammar school appeals, some of these numbers will fall as children on the lists are offered grammar school places.

Not one of the 34 most westerly secondary schools in Kent had more than three vacancies after allocation on 3rd March (these are probably all taken up by children with SEN statements). The situation will of course change, as some children will have been allocated to schools they will not take up, others will win appeals elsewhere freeing up places, or Independent Appeal Panels require some schools to take additional children.
Kent grammar schools that still have vacancies include: Borden Grammar, Chatham House Grammar, Clarendon House Grammar, Dane Court Grammar, Dover Grammar Boys, Folkestone School for Girls, Harvey Grammar, Highsted Grammar. Others may well have children who have not taken up places offered and so have vacancies. It is a matter of note that all those on this list are coastal grammar schools in East Kent.
  • 9 Kent schools have over 40 vacancies. Several others would have reached this figure if they had not been allocated children who had been offered none of their three chosen schools.
  • 2 Kent schools have more than half their available places still empty.
  • 9092 children took the Kent test, of whom 3778 were assessed as selective, including those who were passed at headteacher assessment.
  • 762 children from outside Kent were assessed as selective, having included a Kent grammar school on their Common Application Form. These would have come mainly from Medway, East Sussex, Surrey, Bexley and Bromley. Of these, 290 were offered places at Kent grammar schools, which would have been mainly at Judd, Skinners, Tonbridge Grammar, and the four Dartford and Wilmington Grammar Schools, adding to the pressure on West Kent grammar school places. Next year's new Dartford Grammar admission criteria will add to the pressure.
  • In 2007, 41% of pupils attending Tunbridge Wells secondary schools were from outside the district, 600 from outside Kent. The corresponding figure for Tonbridge and Malling was 42%.
  • KCC report that this year's eleven year old cohort is the largest and that in future, falling rolls will decrease the pressure.
  • The Year 6 cohort in March 2008 comprised 16,339 Kent pupils (15,975 in 2007).
    94% were offered a place at one of the schools named on the CAF as at 3 March 2008 (94%).

    There was a total of 2,126 (1,807) secondary transfer appeal for 2008 entry, of which 800 (759) were successful. This is a total of 37% of appeals heard. This statistic covers a wide range according to individual schools.

The headline news for Kent is that the number of children who were  allocated their first choice secondary school in March has fallen to 70% from 74% last year, whilst the number of out county applicants has increased from 1589 to 1795. The number of children who have been offered a school not on their list has risen from 4% to 5%.

The Kent test pass mark was the same as the previous year: children need to achieve two scores of at least 120 and one of at least 115 to achieve success, or be awarded a place through the headteacher assessment. Out of some 1200 assessments carried out, around half were successful.

Figures for Kent Appeals, March - December 2007. The following figures are solely for appeal Panels organised by KCC. Many Foundation and VA Schools organise their own Independent Appeal Panels and are not included. Be very careful how you interpret the following, as circumstances very enormously amongst Kent schools (it was ever thus!). The secondary school success rate varies enormously year on year, so is unlikely to be a good guide to 2008, especially with the new Code.

 In 2008 there were 55 successful appeals at Clarendon house Grammar School, which is likely to skew figures enormously.

Local Authority Schools

 

Appeals

Successes

% success

Grammar

633

295

47

Non-Selective

34

17

50

       

Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools

Appeals

Successes

% Success

Grammar

414

173

42

Non Selective

70

47

67

 In 2007, there were 1300 Headteacher Assessments in Kent, of which 632 were successful.


Figures for Kent Appeals, March - December 2007. The following figures are solely for appeal Panels organised by KCC. Many Foundation and VA Schools organise their own Independent Appeal Panels and are not included. Be very careful how you interpret the following, as circumstances very enormously amongst Kent schools (it was ever thus!). The secondary school success rate is over a third higher than the previous year, for reasons which are not obvious and so is unlilely to be a good guide to 2008, especially with the new Code.
Local Authority Schools

 

 
Appeals
Successes
% success
Grammar
633
295
47
Non Selective
34
17
17
Primary
218
73
33
 
Grammar Appeals include both children who have been unsuccessful in the initial tests, and oversubscription issues.

Foundation & Voluntary Aided Schools

 

 
Appeals
Successes
% success
Grammar
414
173
42
Non-selective
70
47
67
Primary
32
9
28
  • Scores for a Kent grammar school pass were: at least 120 in two tests, and at least 115 in the third.
  • 74% of Kent children were offered their first choice school in 2007. this is a considerable fall from last year's 79%. however, the percentage of children being offered one of their three choices has risen from 95% to 96.1 %.
Tagged under
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

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

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. 

 

Page 2 of 2