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Primary School Admissions

 Last updated: April 2020


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

For parents applying for any school in Kent outside the normal admission round, you should approach individual schools directly to apply, although you are of course to be encouraged to talk to them in advance of an application.  In Medway, you need to approach the Local Education Authority for an In Year Admission Form. You will find further details here.

News and Information Items relevant to Kent & Medway Primary School Admission for September 2020

Kent & Medway Primary School Performance: 2019 Key Stage 2 Results

Official Guide to Applying for a Primary School in Kent 2020

Medway Website: Applying for a Primary School in Medway 2020

Kent and Medway Primary Allocations 2020

Primary School OFSTED Outcomes in Kent and Medway for 2018-9

Kent Primary School Allocations 2019: Oversubscription and Vacancies

Medway: Oversubscription and vacancies for 2019

Kent and Medway School Appeal Outcomes 2019

The link between sibling numbers and 'catchment' distance in reception class admissions 2015


Information on Individual Schools is here.

  •  There are standard application forms known as the Reception Common Application Form (RCAF) and Junior Common Application Form (JCAF). Parents can also apply on-line here, and I recommend this process.
  •  Primary school admissions are straightforward for most parents, with similar rules for entry to most schools, except church voluntary aided schools.
  • MAKE SURE YOU HAVE APPLIED FOR THE CORRECT SCHOOL. EACH YEAR, I AM CONTACTED BY PARENTS WHO HAVE PUT DOWN THE WRONG SCHOOL BY MISTAKE, ALMOST ALWAYS TWO SCHOOLS WITH SIMILAR NAMES, OFTEN CHURCH SCHOOLS WITH THE SAME SAINT IN THE TITLE! YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR CHOICE, ONLY APPLY AGAIN LATE THROUGH THE  In Year Admission process. However, if the school is full, an appeal is unlikely to be successful because of Infant Class Legislation. The worst scenario I have come across in recent years was a Gravesend child being offered a school in Dover, because parents ticked the box for a school with a very similar name to the one they intended.
  • If applying for a Kent or Medway primary school place for September 2021  at the normal age of admission, you MUST complete an admission form by 15 January 2021, whether on-line or by paper application. This allows you to name three schools in order of preference if you live in Kent, six in Medway. If you don't have one, a Kent admission prospectus for your area can be downloaded at Primary, for Medway you need to use the website at Medway.
  • There is no need to put your local school down in first place; enter the one you most want your child to attend. You will not damage your chances at your local school by putting it in a lower order.
  • For all junior, infant and primary community and voluntary controlled schools, most primary academies, free and foundation schools and some voluntary aided schools, the rules for allocating places if the school is oversubscribed, are the same. First priority in Kent goes to 1) Looked After children; then in order 2) (relevant only to junior schools where there is a linked infant school) attendance at the relevant infant school; 3) sibling link; 4) health, social and special access reasons (health and special access to Halling Primary only in Medway); 5) nearness of children's home to school. Medway is the same, except that there is an additional priority after (3) given to children who complete the Supplementary Information Form (SIF) and qualify under the rules for church denominational voluntary controlled schools. In both Authorities if there is any doubt at all as to your eligibility under one of these categories, you MUST consult the relevant Kent (divided into Districts) or Medway prospectus to check details (I am unable to go into the fine detail here).  Most of such decisions rest on distance, which is "as the crow flies" in Kent, and "by the shortest safe walking route in Medway" two very different measures. Both authorities give the furthest distance out  that places were offered in 2020 for most schools, which is a useful guide. However, it can change quite dramatically if there is a much higher or lower number of siblings who have priority, so it may be worthwhile contacting the school to see if they expect a significantly different number. However, the comment in the previous section still applies. 
  • If applying for a primary academy, free, foundation or voluntary aided school, make sure you understand the admission rules and have filled in the supplementary admission form, if one is required.  For church schools in this category, read the rules well in advance to see what you must do to qualify under the relevant category. For those reading this page outside the normal admission round, such rules should also be looked at well in advance, to see what conditions will apply for an application to stand a chance of success.
  • You will find primary school league tables for Kent here and Medway here. These need to be treated with extreme caution. They are heavily influenced by (1) the ability of pupils admitted to the school – see the most recent OFSTED Report for details of attainment for local schools on entry, on my Kent or Medway Primary School individual school information pages. or for a single school by direct link to OFSTED here. (2) the importance the school places on achieving high SATs results as distinct from educating the pupils.  I have posted details of Kent Primary School admission and appeal statistics for 2019/20 entry here.
  • If your child is at Infant School and you do not wish to transfer to a Linked Junior School, you can apply for other Junior Schools on the JCAF, or for any all through primary school school on an In Year Application Form, although chances that it will have vacancies are low, and you may have to try through the appeal process. Infant Class Legislation does not apply for such appeals. 
  • Key dates for Kent & Medway applications are  
Key Action
Key Dates in Scheme
Closing Date for RCAFs/JCAFs
Friday 15th January 2021 (Kent & Medway)
Offer day (posted or on line after 4 p.m.)
Friday 16th April 2021
(Kent & Medway)
Date by which places should be accepted or declined
Wednesday 15th May 2021 (Kent)
Friday 14th May 2021 (Medway) 
(Kent - Wednesday 6th May 2020; Medway - Friday 15th May 2020) 
Councils re-allocate places that have become available
Wednesday 9th June 2021 (Kent)
w/c Monday 7th June 2021 (Medway)
(Kent - Wednesday 10 Jun 2020; Medway - w/c Monday 1st June 2020)
Last modified on Monday, 28 December 2020 02:20
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