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Kent Grammar School Applications for Entry in 2021

Warning: Little of the following takes into Account the Consequences for School Admissions of Coronavirus. See various articles via search engine for coronavirus. 

Note: This is the most visited page on the website, having been visited 354,458 times since it was first published nine years ago, twice as many as the second most popular page,  Kent Secondary School Admissions,  followed by Medway Grammar Schools and Medway Secondary Schools

Last updated November 2020 


Please note you will find considerable additional information about many Kent schools by entering their name in the search engine of this website, or by visiting Individual Schools

The commercial 11 Plus Exams website contains a great deal of valuable information about tests and how to prepare for them, and grammar school appeals, across the country. Three important points to bear in mind (1) much of the material is written from the perspective of the Buckinghamshire test; (2) The Kent Forum for the website is dominated by comments from out of county families looking for Kent grammar schools; (3) it is a commercial site whose main purpose is to sell materials for Test preparation (not necessarily a bad thing!).  

Once again parents will be able to register for the Kent Test online via by 3rd July 2020. If they register online and provide an e-mail address, they will receive their child’s assessment decision via e-mail by 26th November 2020. I do recommend this process as each year postal results for some children are delayed.  

News and Information Items relevant to Kent Test and Grammar School Admission 

Kent Test Results October 2020

Further Analysis of Kent Test Results January 2021 

Missed Registration for the Kent and Medway Test; and Illness at the Time of the Test

Kent Secondary School Admissions 2020

Oversubscription and Vacancies in Kent Grammar Schools: Allocation 2020

Kent Individual Schools Information

Application Process for 2021 entry (revised)

Key Action

Scheme Date

Registration for testing opens

Monday 1 June 2020

Closing date for registration

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Test date for pupils in Kent primary schools

Thursday 15th October 2020

Test date for out of county pupils

Saturday 17th October 2020

Assessment decision sent to parents

by Thursday 26th November 2020

Then as for Kent Secondary Schools Page

 KCC publishes a Kent Test Familiarisation Booklet which gives guidance and examples of questions of the type used in the Kent Test. 

Test Specification for 2021 entry

Kent candidates will take the tests on Thursday 15 October 2020. External candidates will take them on Saturday 17th October 2020. Everyone will take the tests on one day. 

The first test will be an English and Maths paper in multiple-choice format with a separate machine readable (OMR) answer sheet. The English test is the first section. The whole test will take an hour to administer, plus any admin time before formal timing begins. Each sub-test will take 25 minutes, and will be preceded by a five minute practice exercise. Children will be required to stop at the end of the English section and wait for instructions before they start the Maths paper. The English will involve a comprehension exercise plus some additional questions drawn from a set designed to test literacy skills.

The second test will be a Reasoning paper in multiple-choice format. It will take about an hour* to administer, including the practice drills and questions. It will contain a verbal reasoning section and a non-verbal reasoning section of roughly the same length, with the verbal reasoning being the first part. The non-verbal reasoning will be split into four short sections, administered and timed individually (as in the previous tests).

There will still be a writing exercise which will not be marked but may be taken into consideration in borderline cases referred to the local Head Teacher Assessment Panel. 40 minutes will be allowed for the writing task, including 10 minutes to plan the piece.

 *Exactly how long the reasoning test takes will depend on how quickly the practice drill and questions are completed before each timed section.  


Scores will still be age standardised, using a national standardisation. The score range on each paper will be 69 or 70 to 141 as now, so the maximum aggregate standardised score would be 423.


Until Kent pupils have taken the tests it will not be possible to predict the threshold for grammar school but it is probable that it will be set in a similar way, using a minimum aggregate score and a minimum level for a single score.

Wherever the threshold is set, those schools which rank children by aggregate score for admission will continue to work down their list of applicants in score order, taking the highest scorers first, so the only effect of the changes will be that the scores involved will be different because fewer tests are involved. 


You cannot appeal against a Kent Test Result, only against a decision not to be awarded a grammar school place you have applied for. 

Disability leading to a need to make adjustments to the Kent Test
Kent County Council has published its Guidelines for Requesting Reasonable Adjustments to 11 plus Test materials or the granting of additional time in the Test here.  You will find the guidance below the form. The keys are that it is the school that makes any request, not the parents; it has to be made in good time (there is a 24th June deadline given on the past information at this link), and that appropriate evidence has to be provided of a special education need which shows the school is "providing evidence to enable the LA to consider whether a child is disabled within the terms of the Equality Act 2010, and whether adjustments to 11+ materials or conditions may be appropriate. It is essential that you provide clear, concise, up-to-date evidence. Requests for adjustments will not be considered where no evidence is provided or the evidence is out of date".  Please note that a common outcome is for the child to be given extra time in the written test, which is of limited value as this is only taken into account in the event of a Headteacher Assessment, see below
Kent Test Results
 When results are sent out by 26th November (revised date), they confirm whether the child has been found selective or not, together with the results of the Individual Tests. Those who consider appealing are in for a long wait, as you cannot appeal until you are allocated a school on 1st March 2021. The first appeals are generally heard by the beginning of May. Feel sorry for those given an assessment on 26th November 2020, whose appeal is not heard until the middle of June 2021!

The pass mark is set to select 21% of Kent children and may vary from year to year. This variation does not mean that the test varies in standard. Kent County Council set a new test structure for 2015 entry explained in the Test Specification above, and some of the articles whose links are provided at the beginning of this article.

All parents of Kent grammar school applicants will have their decision letters placed in the post on or before 26th November to arrive on doorsteps on the 27th.  For those parents (the large majority) who registered online and provided a valid email address, an email will be sent after 4 pm, on or before 26th November. With some 16,000 results to be sent out, this sometimes takes considerable time.  For those parents who registered online but did not provide a valid email address, they will be able to log onto the KCC website to view the decisions after 5 pm and the individual test scores for the child. Please note, I have now retired from offering individual advice.

Consult the article on In Year Admissions if you are looking for a new grammar school at other times.

Note: Under the Data Protection Act, Schedule 7, Section 9, candidates do not have the right to see their test papers once they have been handed in. The Freedom of Information Act does not override the Data Protection Act in this matter.  However,  KCC officers are happy to check scores. 

Headteacher Assessment (HTA)
Primary school headteachers are provided with the results at the beginning of November. They have the right to apply for a 'Headteacher Assessment' (often called Headteacher Appeal) for children who have not reached the pass standard. This is carried out on a confidential basis without parents being informed.  A Panel of headteachers then considers a selection of work submitted by the primary school, the English written paper taken as part of the Kent Test and a report containing evidence from the Primary headteacher.  This process produces a further 4% (in theory, around 6% in practice) aiming to bring the total of 25% across Kent. Children from outside Kent are considered on the same basis but do not count in the statistical exercise. If the child is successful in the headteacher assessment, then the decision is regarded as a pass on an equal footing with those who gained automatic selection through test results. This means that the child is found selective and this decision is recognised at all Kent grammar schools. Importantly, The government has confirmed that this process is an assessment, not a review. The difference in definition is important as government legislation places severe constraints on applicants applying for a Review in authorities such as Medway (go to Review).



A total of 25.4% out of the whole cohort of children living in Kent were found selective for 2020 entry. The proportion of children in the west of the county taking the tests is lower than in the east, whilst the proportion passing is higher. You will find comprehensive statistics here

  • Six Kent grammar schools also offer places through their own tests. These are: Dover Grammar School for Boys; Dover Grammar School for Girls; Folkestone School for Girls; The Harvey Grammar School, Folkestone; Highsted Grammar, Sittingbourne; and Mayfield Grammar School, Gravesend. Eligibility for admission depends on success at either the school's own test or the Kent Test, although if the school is oversubscribed, as happened with four of the six schools for 2020 entry (excluding Dover Boys and Highsted), places are awarded through the oversubscription criteria which do not take into account which test was passed to achieve eligibility. 
  • The following schools will offer some or all of their places to the highest-scoring applicants. You need to read the oversubscription criteria to determine the rules:  Dartford Grammar School, Dartford Grammar School for Girls, Judd School, Maidstone Grammar School, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Skinners School, Tonbridge Grammar School (Girls). For some of these, you will not know the pass mark before applying, although there is guidance elsewhere on this website (use the search engine or go to Individual Schools). Depending on the school, the mark may only be determined by the scores of those applying, which you will find here fro 2020 entry and for 2021 will become public in March when decisions are announced.
  • You will also find links to Medway Test outcomes for 2020 entry.

Some Grammar School Admission Scenarios:

  • If the child has passed the Kent tests, you may name just grammar schools on your SCAF. 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 Canterbury, Dartford, Faversham, Gravesham & Thanet. 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 application which will enable this to happen. 

  • 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.




Last modified on Sunday, 31 January 2021 12:18