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........... to the Home Page of Kentadvice.co.uk, where you will find the latest news and comment directly below this introduction. The website contains over 600 pages of information, advice, news and comment on school matters that affect families in Kent and Medway, which you can access through the index on the right of this page, or the search engine above. You can receive regular news and blog items as they are published via the email notification, also on the RHS of the page, or by RSS. To find a list of all news items, go to "MORE NEWS", at the very bottom of the page, where you will also find a list of archived items and articles by me published in the media.  

The website will also introduce you to my professional services, providing  telephone support and advice on matters covered in the website, especially related to school admissions and appeals, as described here

If you need more general information please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For specific advice issues please go to the Contact page.    

For the year 2015, this website had 186,209 certified visits, from 114,122 different users, who carried out 402,521 page views.
This was in addition to the thousand plus subscribers, including parents, schools, education officers, politicians and the media who each received the 87 News and Comment articles published during the year. 
Most Popular Page: Kent Grammar School Applications - total views since publication 198,651  

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Latest News & Comments

Just click on a news item below to read it in full. Feel free to subscribe to the news via the email link to the right or the RSS Feed at the bottom of the page. Please note that the 800 or so regular subscribers who receive each news item directly are not included in the number of readers recorded below the item. If you have a view on any item posted, please leave a comment. Also feel free to suggest items of news, or areas where comment is needed to: peter@kentadvice.co.uk. \nNews items appear as and when I have time in a very busy schedule supporting clients.

  • Further analysis of Kent test results for Admission September 2017
    I have now had further opportunity to look at data relating to the recent Kent Test outcomes for Admission in September 2017, with a summary of the statistics below.  This article expands my initial lookat the 2016 Kent Test results, written in October, which should be read in conjunction with the article. The figures do not match exactly, as adjustments and late tests have produced changes.
    Headlines are:
    • A fall in the proportion of Kent children taking the Kent Test from 64% to 60%, and a 9% fall in the number of children put forward for Headteacher Assessments (HTA).
    • Girls are still ahead on both automatic test passes since the Test was changed in 2014, and also in HTAs, but the gaps have narrowed.
    • As in previous years, the highest proportion of HTA success is in East Kent, the lowest in West Kent.
    • The fall in HTA successes has resulted in an overall fall in success from 26.1% to 25.7%, nearer the target of 25%.
    • There is an increase in the proportion of children on Pupil Premium found selective to 9.1% of the Kent state school total passes,brought about through headteachers recognising ability in the HTA, where coaching is irrelevant.

    amherst       Ethelbert Road

    • Schools with the highest proportion of Kent successes are split between East and West: Amherst Junior (Sevenoaks); Ethelbert Road (Faversham); Ramsgate Holy Trinity CofE; and Claremont (Tunbridge Wells). 
    • Another leap in Out of County Passes, around 80% of whom will not take up places.  

    For more details see below:

    Read more...
    Written on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 07:14 3 comments Read 521 times
  • Holcombe Grammar School: A strange second try for Chatham Grammar to go co-ed

    The Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT), which sponsors Holcombe Grammar School (previously Chatham Grammar School for Boys) is again consulting on making the school co-educational from September 2018.

    To my great astonishment, and I am sure of many others, this proposal is taking place less than six months after the Department for Education turned down the previous highly controversial application for the school to become co-educational. It is perplexing to say the least, why this proposal is being wheeled out again so soon after the previous rejection as, on the surface, nothing has changed.

    You will find the Letter informing Parents here, much thinner than the previous version, as it clearly struggles to find a rationale for the peculiarly and obliquely phrased proposal that:

    There is a change of gender composition and consequential changes to admission arrangements from September 2018.

    (Translation – the school wants to change from being just for boys to become co-educational for September 2018 admission)  

     

    Read more...
    Written on Tuesday, 08 November 2016 00:39 2 comments Read 355 times
  • Secondary and Special Schools OFSTED 2015-16: Performance still Strong and Improving
    For the most recent school year, Kent and Medway had fifteen secondary schools given full inspections between them, with 73% being assessed as Good or Outstanding, well above the national percentage of 57% (latest figure as of March). Seven schools improved their grading, with just two going the other way. The most impressive performance was by Skinners Kent Academy, which achieved an ‘Outstanding’ rating, see below.
    SKA 2 
    The tilt given by the most recent OFSTED assessment towards performance is seen in the achievement of the four grammar schools, all improving their grading, three to ‘Outstanding’: Dartford and Wilmington girls’ grammars and Harvey Grammar, although the new priority on Progress 8 Levels may go some way to reversing this.

    In Medway the two schools inspected, Rainham Girls and Thomas Aveling, both maintained their ‘Good’ status.

    Kent’s Special Schools continue to be rated at the highest level with every single school now currently rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ (although the Director of Education quoted just 96% in his most recent Report on OFSTED).These successes include last year’s three Inspections (79% 'Good' or 'Outstanding' nationally), with Milestone School maintaining its ‘Outstanding’ rating, the other two schools improving to ‘Good’. In Medway, the one Special School inspected, the INSPIRE Free Special School, was placed in special Measures.

    Read more...
    Written on Sunday, 30 October 2016 18:26 Be the first to comment! Read 356 times
  • Kent and Medway School Appeal Outcomes 2016

    Updated: 17/11/16

    Each year, I collect Appeal data for every secondary school in Kent and Medway that has Admission Appeals for Year 7 entry, and for those primary schools whose appeals are organised by the two Local Authorities. My thanks to all the schools that have co-operated so fully and willingly. I now have the data for every secondary school that held appeals. 

    Success rates at admission appeals for Kent and Medway grammar schools have fallen to 34% for 2016, a drop for the third successive year, but for non-selectives, up at 40%, with chances of success at primary school appeals remaining very low.

    If you are qualified for grammar school, or if you wish to be considered form a non-selective school, it is important to put your name down on the waiting list for all schools for which you wish to be considered with well over 200 children being offered places by this route (it is impossible to be precise). 

    chatham clarendon                     St Georges 3

    For grammar schools, numbers range from Chatham and Clarendon Grammar (Ramsgate) with 118 appeals (down from 146 last year) of which 47 were upheld, and Wilmington Boys, 114 with just six upheld, through to Cranbrook School with no appeals and Dover Grammar Boys 16 with 7 upheld. In Medway Rochester Grammar had three successful appeals out of 43, and Fort Pitt four out of 41. For non-selective schools, highest were St George’s CofE, Gravesend with 57 appeals (27 last year) with just three successful, and St George’s Foundation, Broadstairs with 50 (74 last year) with 30 successful. These were also the two most popular schools in Kent measured by oversubscription levels. Also amongst the oversubscribed secondary schools, Ursuline College had 11 appeals of which none were successful.

    For Infant Schools where Infant Class Legislation applies (see below), there were 318 appeals heard across Kent and Medway by Local Authority Panels, with 14 successful.

    You will find further information and advice on school appeals here, with more data and explanation of the 2016 figures below. For comparison you will find the 2015 article here. .....

    Read more...
    Written on Monday, 24 October 2016 07:42 3 comments Read 687 times
  • Provisional 2016 GCSE results for Medway

    This year the long established 5 A*-C GCSE league table including English and maths has been scrapped, being replaced by two new assessments, Progress 8 and Attainment 8. Both these are measured by an arcane formula combining results in eight curriculum subjects to produce numbers whose meaning and spread is very difficult to comprehend, but enable schools to be placed in an order. The key measure is Progress 8 (full table here) which looks at progress from the end of primary school to the end of Year 11, comparing pupils to others nationally, who begin from the same starting point, with Medway above average at 0.05, against a National average of -0.03. 

     Attainment 8 (full table here) simply measures what it says, with Medway exactly matching the National average of 49.8., although there is a variety of other statistics to choose from to suit your case.

    These Provisional results are issued at this time to enable families to be better informed when making secondary school choices. These results are provisional and last year a number of schools saw a small improvement in results in the final version to be published  in December.Unfortunately, there has been such little publicity given to them that most families are not even aware of their existence. KentOnline has published a full Kent and Medway league table.

    Further information below, including the performance of individual schools, and a look at another measure, the English Baccalaureate ......

    Read more...
    Written on Sunday, 16 October 2016 18:34 Be the first to comment! Read 628 times
  • Provisional 2016 GCSE Results for Kent

     This year the long established 5 A*-C GCSE league table including English and maths has been scrapped, being replaced by two new assessments, Progress 8 and Attainment 8. Both these are measured by an arcane formula combining results in eight curriculum subjects to produce numbers whose meaning and spread is very difficult to comprehend, but enable schools to be placed in an order. The key measure is Progress 8 (full table here) which looks at progress from the end of primary school to the end of Year 11, comparing pupils to others nationally, who begin from the same starting point, with Kent slightly below average at -0.04, in 80th place out of 152 Local Authorities, against a National average of -0.03.

    Meopham 2Attainment 8 (full table here) simply measures what it says, with Kent doing better than average with 50.3, against a National score of 49.8., ranked 60th out of all Local Authorities, although there is a variety of other statistics to choose from to suit your case.

    NTC5   Copy

    The results are issued at this time to enable families to be better informed when making secondary school choices. Unfortunately, there has been such little publicity given to them that most families are not even aware of their existence.  KentOnline has published a full Kent and Medway league table. The results are provisional and last year a number of schools saw a small improvement in results in the final version to be published  in December.

    Further information below. including the performance of individual schools......

    Read more...
    Written on Friday, 14 October 2016 12:02 Be the first to comment! Read 939 times