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Medway Grammar School Applications 2019 Entry

 Last Updated September 2018


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

Medway Council's Official section on the Medway Test is here

You will find details of the outcomes of the Medway Test in 2017 here

You will find information about individual Medway secondary schools here, including oversubscription and appeals data.  

For details of 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 the Medway Admission Brochure (awaiting updated version). 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 4 June 2018
Closing Date for Registration for Medway Tests 5pm Monday 2 July 2018
Secondary school applications open
9am Monday 10 September 2018
Medway Test Date for children attending Medway primary, junior and independent schools which have opted to test in own school during the week Tuesday 18/ Wednesday 19 September 2018
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 22 September 2018
Parents informed of test results Monday 8 October 2018
Closing Date for review requests Monday 15 October 2018
Parents informed of review results posted by Tuesday 23 October 2018
Secondary School Applications Close 5 p.m. Wednesday 31 October 2018
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. 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 2013 it was 509, for 2014 it was 528 for 2015, 525, for 2016 it was 521, for 2017 it was 513, for 2018 it was 495 and for 2019 it was 492. 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. As a result and, I don't understand why, the previous bias towards girls passing the test vanished, although more girls than boys took the test (1000 girls against 921 boys). Also the test no longer favoured older children, although 1094 older children from the first half of the school year took it, against 878 in the second half. 
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 2016-2018 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
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 2018 there were 33 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.
The Rochester Grammar School (girls) is regularly oversubscribed and initially takes primarily those girls with the highest scores. For 2014 nearly all girls who had passed and applied were offered a place, but for 2015 admission, the cut off rose sharply to 535, the pass score being  525, and even further for 2016, to 539, the pass score being 521. For 2017 cut off was 546 with pass score 513; and for 2018 it was 520, the pass score being 495.
Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School (boys) takes those boys who live nearest. Has increased PAN to 180 for 2018, but offered 203 places.  Always heavily oversubscribed with local boys, 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 Monday, 08 October 2018 19:32