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Medway Grammar School Applications 2020 Entry

 Last Updated February 2020: Warning: None of the following takes into Account the unknown Consequences for School Admissions of CoronavirusUpdate in progress February 2021. 


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

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

Medway Test Results October 2020

Further Analysis of Medway Test and Review Results December 2020

Medway Secondary School Admissions 2020

Oversubscription and Vacancies in Medway Grammar Schools: Allocation 2020

Medway Individual Schools Information (including oversubscription and appeals data)

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

Ban on Late Testing for Medway Grammar Schools

 This page has a variety of information and links, including information on individual schools. 

For details of the Review and appeal process, go to Review.

Medway children are selected for grammar school using different tests and a different process of selection to that operated in Kent; see below.

For children in most primary schools, they will take the Tests in their own school  with some schools arranging the tests for the following Saturday. Details of school by school arrangements can be found in on the Medway School Admission arrangements page of the Council website. Children from outside Medway and at Kings School, Rochester, will take the tests in independent test centres 

Medway Test result and Review statistics for 2013 to 2018 entry are here.

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


Key Action
Key Dates in Scheme
Opening Date for Registration for Medway Tests 9am Monday 1 June 2020
Closing Date for Registration for Medway Tests 5pm Monday 29 June 2020
Secondary school applications open
9am Monday 7 September 2020
Medway Test Date for children attending Medway primary, junior and independent schools which have opted to test in own school during the week Tuesday 13 / Wednesday 14 October 2020
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 10, 11, 17 or 18 October 2020
Parents informed of test results Monday 2 November 2020
Closing Date for review requests

Monday 9 November 2020

Parents informed of review results

Posted By Tuesday 24 November 2020

Secondary School Applications Close No later than 5pm on
Monday 30 November 2020

For later dates go to here
For the 2016 Medway Test, the Council switched to new providers, CEM, which has a different perspective to the previous providers, but stayed with the same pattern of testing it has had for years, and continues with. I was very surprised to see the previous strong bias towards girls which I had anticipated would expand completely vanished! 
Children take three tests: verbal reasoning, mathematics and extended writing. The first two tests are multiple choice, the English is a single piece of extended writing, usually to an essay title, but it can be any Key Stage 2 theme. The scores on each test are standardised according to the scores of Medway children taking the tests, so that a score of 100 is allocated to the average child who took the test. Scores then range from 70 to 140.
The scores from the three tests are then added together in the following way: verbal reasoning score given a weighting of one, and the maths and English scores given a weighting of two, so for example:


Weighted Score
Verbal Reasoning 110 110
Mathematics 98 196
Extended Writing 100 200
Total Score 506
The pass score is then determined to admit 23% of Medway children (those from out of Medway are found selective in the same way, but their scores do not influence the calculations).  In 2013 the pass score was 509 so this child would not have passed. The Medway test pass mark for entry for 2016  was 521, for 2017 it was 513, for 2018 it was 495, for 2019 it was 492 for 2020 it was 495, and for 2021 it was 483.  The wide variation in pass scores is NO indication of the difficulty of the tests. It is a result of what is called local standardisation and is strongly influenced by the proportion of Medway children taking the test which varies from year to year.
I am very critical of this pattern of scoring, as Extended Writing is the least reliable of all tests used for selection processes, according to NFER who are the country's leading experts in test setting. Because it receives a double weighting, the result dwarfs that of verbal reasoning, a good predictor of academic success according to NFER. As a result, a child can gain a pass on the strength of a single strong essay, or similarly lose a place because they have misunderstood the extended writing question. There is no minimum mark required in any test. For these reasons, different children will perform well in Kent and Medway and so it may well be worth taking both sets of entrance tests, to secure a grammar school assessment (although each is only accepted in the Authority in which it is taken, except that the two Chatham grammar schools accept a pass in the Kent Test).
For 2017 entry, Medway Council changed its Test provider to a company called CEM. One consequence was that the bias towards girls initially dipped, but has returned in force for the 2020 Test, partly as a result of coronavirus effects.   
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 in any case, the Review documents are presented to the appeal panel. For more information see Medway grammar school Review and appeal.
Consult the article on In Year Admissions if you are looking for a new school at other times. You may wish also to consult the page on Review and Appeal. As well as the issue with the full application form now being presented by most schools to the appeal panel, Medway Council also makes available the results of the Kent Test if taken, which are also usually presented. 

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. I understand this practice will continue 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 2014 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 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.

Kent and Medway
Kent parents who apply for a Medway grammar school place and need to go to Review (see below) will only receive the outcome a few days before the Kent SCAF needs to be submitted. You cannot appeal for a Medway grammar school place unless it is named on the SCAF. 

The Schools

A grammar school assessment does not necessarily secure a place at the school of one's choice. There is further information about each school in the Individual Schools section of this website, including the historical pattern of applications and appeals. With three girls' grammars and two for boys, there is greater pressure on places for the latter.  
Chatham Grammar for Girls has taken all local children who have passed for many years so, if your daughter has passed the Medway test and  if the school is named on your application form above any non selective school you name, you can be confident you will offered a grammar school place if you live in Medway. They will also offer places to children who have passed the Kent Test or even if they have failed the Medway Test or not taken it, any other nationally recognised selection tests (unspecified). Even if your child has only taken the Kent Test and not passed, you have the right to appeal to Chatham girls. Historically the school does not take note of whether the girl has been to Review or not. 
Fort Pitt Grammar (girls) reduced its Planned Admission Number to 120 from 190 some years ago. It has now changed its oversubscription criteria to give priority to children living within two miles and then on the Hoo Peninsula together with Cuxton Winning an appeal has been difficult and the school appeal panel applied the rule about unsuccessful Reviews (see above). With steadily rising rolls in Medway there was oversubscription in 2016-2019 For details go to Individual Schools, Medway.  
Holcombe Grammar School  (previously Chatham Grammar Boys). The school will offer places to children who have passed the Kent Test or even if they have failed the Medway Test or not taken it, any other nationally recognised selection tests (unspecified) on the same basis as those who have passed the Medway Test. Even if your child has only taken the Kent Test and not passed, you have the right to appeal to Holcombe Grammar. Otherwise I have no idea of what policy the school will take on any matter after the 2018 appeals shambles. You will find my first article on this here, and the final one here. There was just one boy successful in the 2019 appeals.
Rainham Mark Grammar School (mixed) until entry in 2017 awarded places on high scores, but for 2018 admissions onward, it has switched to awarding the large majority of places to those living closest. For 2019 its intake expanded again to 2035, but there were still 27 grammar qualified first choices turned away. It is difficult to win an appeal, with just 5 places being awarded in each of the recent years. For further details go to Individual Schools
The Rochester Grammar School (girls) is regularly oversubscribed and used to give priority to those girls with the highest scores up until 2019 admission. For 2020 onward it will give main priority to girls living nearest. I have written several articles about this change and the consequences, latest here
Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School (boys) takes those boys who live nearest. Increased PAN again to 2013 for 2019.  Always heavily oversubscribed with local boys and turned away 70 grammar qualified first choices, some on  the Hoo Peninsula not gaining places, except some on appeal.  
The Howard School (boys) is not a grammar school, being technically bilateral (two parts, one selective and one non-selective) but caters for grammar ability boys. The grammar section has now dwindled, and most boys in this part of the school were originally non-selective but passed an internal test after being accepted into the school. Admission to the grammar section is no longer dependent on the Medway Test. 
Last modified on Thursday, 25 February 2021 07:54