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Wednesday, 15 October 2014 00:00

Kent Test Results 2014: Initial Outcomes and Thoughts

Last Updated: Sunday 19th October

               Kent and Medway parents
   Not sure which Kent & Medway schools to apply to?
    Use my popular Telephone Consultation Service
    for impartial and expert information and advice
 
PLEASE NOTE: I AM ONCE AGAIN LIKELY TO CLOSE MY BOOKS TO NEW CLIENTS BY CHRISTMAS,
AS NUMBERS USING THIS SERVICE, WHO SECURE MY ASSISTANCE FOR MARCH, ARE HIGHER THAN EVER 
 

Kent Test results have now been sent out and present a very different picture from previous years. First the facts.

There were two tests, the first being in verbal and non-verbal reasoning. The second was in curriculum English and mathematics, the  first time that English has been assessed as part of the main testing procedure.

This has produced three marks of equal weighting, one in Reasoning, one in English and one in Mathematics. The  achieved English scores range from 69 - 138 with the maths and reasoning between 69 and 141 after age related standardisation, so a top score of 420. 

To pass, children have to have scored an aggregate of at least 320 across the three papers, together with a minimum score of 106 in each paper. The aggregate score is very different from previous years and there are will be number of important consequences and conclusions from the changes, listed below. This is the first draft of this article, prepared today, so this section may well change. I am open to comment about my opinions that may well change as more data arrives. You will find the pattern for 2014 entry here

The table below confirms that a very similar number of Kent children passed the Test this year compared with 2013. The number who sat it has risen by nearly 1000, many of whom will be ‘out county’ applicants, as the number of these rises inexorably. However, it is important to note that, however many out county passes there are, the number of children being offered places in Kent grammar schools remains similar, at around twenty per cent of those who were found selective, at just 343, mainly in Dartford schools, for 2014 entry. See further comment below. You will find details of cross border school allocations here, with over 100 Kent children going to Medway grammar schools.

 

You will also find considerable discussion and advice in the comments at the foot of the column. However I am afraid I am no longer able to give individual advice on personal situations though this mechanism..............................

Kent Test Results 2014
  2014 2013
Sat Kent Test
12990 12064
Grammar Assessed:
Kent
4043 3998
Grammar Assessed:
Out County
1696 1488
Grammar Assessed:
Home Educated
14 8
Number of Grammar 
School Places
4767 4570

Please note that the number of grammar school places available will expand as some grammars decide to admit additional classes. 

The main reason for the changes in the Kent Test were to reduce coachability. The tests most prone to coaching were the verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests. By amalgamating these into one test and reducing its value from two thirds to one third of the total, KCC will have made some, unspecified and immeasurable progress towards this.

1) Whatever the changes, around 21% of the whole peer group in what was historically 'selective' Kent will have been found of grammar school standard, fixing the pass marks for all other candidates. Around another 4% will have been found selective through headteacher assessmentsAs marks have again been standardised for each test, they will still form what is called a 'bell curve', centred on a mark of 100, the 50th percentile of the national sample used. 

2)This is still resulting in a far greater bunching of marks in the six points between 100 and 106, than the previous 100-119.  The main consequence of this that there will be a far greater number of children who have missed an automatic pass by just a few marks than last year. This will have a considerable effect on the appeal process with limited guidance to inform panellists and possible appellants as to the significance of the gap by which they have missed a pass score. My own view is that it will also make the assessment process less reliable given the larger proportion grouped around the pass mark.

3) The range of aggregate pass marks is far greater, running now from 320 to 420, with the same number of children spread across it, and so it will be far more difficult to judge the chances of gaining a place at the super-selective schools. The Judd and Skinners' Schools have already issued a statement acknowledging this and suggesting potential candidates should not be put off applying if their scores are lower than in previous years. For Kent candidates who have passed the Kent Test this should present few problems. As always, put your preferred school first; you will not damage your chances at a lower preference school and a choice of four Kent schools should still not present a problem.

4) Two other Kent grammar schools where there will be a difference are Maidstone and Simon Langton Grammar Schools for Boys. These schools give priority to boys scoring above a certain mark in the Kent test. Because of the uncertainty of outcome, they have switched to an equivalent which still equates to the previous marks of 390 and 385 respectively.  However, it is clear there will only be a small number of boys achieving this standard, so nearly all places will now be awarded on grounds of distance, this has been confirmed to parents now by both schools . On a more general point, this underlines the greatly increased spread of marks this year, with the previous bunching at the very top mark evaporated. 

5) The Judd School was proposing to set up its own test to replace the Kent Test for admission to the school for 2016 entry. It was dissatisfied with both the too great coachability and the lack of English in the arrangements for 2013 and previously. It may be that the new test will satisfy the school and stop it going down the separate route.

6) Of course there are five Kent grammar schools that also offer alternative admission tests: Dover Girls and Boys, Folkestone School for Girls and Harvey, and Mayfield Grammar in Gravesend. It will be interesting to see how their results differ from the Kent test this year.

Out of County Issues

Several Dartford parents have rightly challenged me on my failure to comment on the consequences of the influx of out of county children into the four Dartford Grammar schools. Whilst all local children who pass the Kent Test have secured places in the past, new oversubscription criteria at Dartford Girls and Boys may undermine this, but I think it unlikely. In any case with boys the most critical, the changes at Wilmington Boys Grammar to give more priority to Kent children should remove this possibility. The problem comes with children who have failed the Kent Test however narrowly and for whatever reason. Their chances of success remain the lowest in any part of the county because the schools are full to bursting with long waiting lists of London children who have passed the test and are looking for places. I have every sympathy for these families, but schools do have the right to define their own priorities and too many, an increasing number, are chasing league table positions at the expense of local children. The decision by Wilmington Boys to reverse this trend is a welcome, if exceptional, development. I have now written a new article on the problems facing such children in North West Kent.

NOTE: As the 11 plus website Forum is dominated by parents seeking places at the the three West Kent Super-Selectives, anyone else reading the forum is likely to see a very distorted pattern of results, not reflective in  any way of the picture across Kent. I am having too many enquiries from parents who have been misled as a consequence. 

 

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:54

29 comments

  • Comment Link Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:22 posted by Dele

    Hello Peter, Thanks for all the good informations, my son had 347 but we are under Bromley council, do we stand a good chance of getting into Darford grammar school or Wilmington grammar because we are on the average of 6 miles to these schools from our home in Orpintion. Thanks PETER: I am afraid, I do not give views on specific cases here, but people should used the Contact Me page under "What I offer". However, as my website makes clear in a number of places, i am afraid I do not in any case offer advice to families living outside Kent or Medway, Sorry.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 16 October 2016 16:55 posted by Dee

    My son missed the pass mark by 5 points in maths but in total scored 341. I have a meeting with the head at his school on wednesday but can't see them appealing for my son. He passed medway but wants to go to Wilmington grammar for boys, is there anything i can do as a parent? PETER: I wouldn't know..If you have an individual situation, please contact me directly as advised on the "What I offer" section of the website..

  • Comment Link Saturday, 15 October 2016 17:07 posted by Mrs Qaiser

    Firstly thank you for such great advice to all parents who are in a difficult situation after the 11+ results!
    My daughter got 340 in the Kent test 2016 but in maths she has 100 due to which the pass status was not achieved. She is a very bright student always remaining in top students of the class with high achievement in maths.
    We have meeting the headteacher tomorrow about submitting a review to give her the chance of getting a pass status as only owing to the maths she is falling out. Do you think it will be successful? Could you please advice of the best way to go about this, sincerely appreciated.PETER, there is no way of challenging or appealing against the Kent Test result, and no Review process. All you can do is apply to one or more grammar schools, and when they turn you down because your son has not passed, then you have right of appeal to that/ or those grammar schools.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 21 October 2014 20:25 posted by Kent mum

    Thank you for the great information. Do you know if it can work against you in an appeal situation if you have a child that passed and you put down 3 Grammars and 1 non and you are allocated the non selective school as your choice? I have been told that if you don't put all grammars on the form that can be seen as a negative when appealing for a selective place?

    So much rumour and hearsay it's hard to get the truth! PETER: This is an urban myth that is rubbish. Appeal Panellists are there to determine if the child is appropriately placed in a grammar school. If the child has passed the test then having a place at a non-selective does no damage. However, if you get offered a lower choice grammar it can (except for super selectives) damage your chances at the higher choice if the panel sees you are sorted. However, again, I know of one area where some parents deliberately do not put down a lower choice grammar where they may get an offer for this very reason, and the panel is now wise to this, so they can lose out completely! Life can be complicated.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 21 October 2014 13:27 posted by Bobo

    My daughter was assessed as suitable, but why does the letter say I have to get the test scores from the primary school? PETER: The Kent Test is a pass/fail test which is sufficient for most families to determine eligibility for grammar school. However, pressure on schools and the LEA to provide actual schools is rising and there now seems little reason (apart from cost!) to continue to resist.

  • Comment Link Monday, 20 October 2014 09:46 posted by Dawn Hall

    My son did not pass his Kent Test by 3 marks in Maths (despite Maths being his strongest subject and achieving high marks in class tests, also scored 119 in CAT Test). His Kent Test Scores were Reasoning 119 (ran out of time and didn't answer 7 questions in this paper), English 107, Maths 103. The Headteacher put in her appeal, but it was declined stating the reason that his English wasn't strong enough. We live very close to Dane Court Grammar School and a couple of miles from Chatham Grammar School. What do you think our chances of a successful parent appeal, and do you think it is the right thing to do or will he struggle at a Grammar School if the appeal is successful being that he would have only just passed? PETER: If the regular Chatham and Claerendon Panel upholds the appeal, from my experience they are a good judge of ability.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 18 October 2014 21:19 posted by Peter J Read

    ADMINISTRATOR MESSAGE

    I AM AFRAID I AM NO LONGER ABLE TO ACCEPT AND COMMENT ON PERSONAL 11 PLUS SITUATIONS THROUGH THE COMMENT MECHANISM, AS THEY ARE UNLIKELY TO HAVE WIDER RELAVANCE

  • Comment Link Saturday, 18 October 2014 19:32 posted by Manjit Bungar

    Hi Peter, our son passed the Maths, 100 on English and 104 on Verbal Reasoning, school will appeal and support what are your thoughts/recommendations on appeals with these marks, he is 1 year younger than his peers and we have extenuating circumstances, his academic levels have been above average throughout since Y2. PETER: Missing on two, he is wrongly placed in Year 6, and you would have been best to keep him down, always the best decision in my view. Sadly I can;t see you winning an appeal.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:41 posted by Sarah Murdoch

    That you so much for your informative website. My daughter got 348 in total but got 105 in English so failed the test by 1 mark. She had good CATS tests early this year (127 for NVR, 122 maths, and 116 English). In addition we have proof that there was an emotional family upheaval during the summer. Her sister is already at Invicta....do you have any ideas about the chance of appeal. In addition, does the use of a professional appealer help the process? PETER: My advice is quite clear. Go for appeal. At Invicta you should have an excellent chance to win an appeal with this data and do not need professional advice, unless you want as some do "belt and braces" (as I would reply if you had emailed me privately). You ask my advice on "professional appealer" knowing that I am one. Make your judgement on what I have told you. Otherwise be careful in your choice. Do not choose someone who uses a template, these are easily spotted and resented by appeal panels. Do not use someone unfamiliar with the local situation; circumstances for appeals in Kent and Medway vary widely according to the school, the panel, pressure on places, and often other local factors. I have been contacted several times after the event by parents who have been burned off paying fees of upwards of £1000 for a poor service with no local knowledge to help. .

  • Comment Link Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:14 posted by R Steele

    Thanks for your response, Peter. While we live in Hextable, my son is actually at West Hill Primary in Dartford (we moved 2.5 years ago but didn't switch schools). Will not being in a "priority school" make a difference to getting in to Wilmington Grammar? I haven't seen this mentioned in their oversubscription criteria. PETER: you need to look at the criteria which answer many of the questions people ask without doing the necessary homework. The Wilmington criteria explicitly state "live in" rather than specify schools.

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